Unikernels: The Next Generation of Cloud Technology

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The New Needs of the Cloud

At its inception, cloud computing was focused on services and orchestration. Now that this goal has been accomplished, the needs of cloud computing have shifted to create workloads that are better suited to the cloud: workloads that are lightweight and agile, yet just as powerful and more secure than their predecessors. This has given rise to technologies like containers and unikernels, whose purpose is to make the packaging and distribution of applications lighter, faster and more efficient. But where do they fall short in this goal and what types of environments might work best for one over the other?

Most technologists have heard about software containers (or simply "containers") – a technology that became popularized by Docker, which is an open platform for building, shipping and running distributed applications through containers. Containers use shared operating systems to create a capsule, of sorts, to contain your application.

They are increasingly popular, but are not the panacea able to solve all the new challenges cloud computing presents. Problems mainly pertaining to security tend to hinder this technology. However, a new technology on the rise — unikernels — holds great promise for the next generation of cloud infrastructure.

For this slideshow, the Xen Project provides background on what this new technology is, how it fits within the greater cloud infrastructure ecosystem, why it's well-suited to the future of cloud computing, how it compares with containers, and how to choose between the unikernels and containers to best support the needs of specific IT environments.


Related Topics : Cloud Computing, Dell, Services Vendors, SMBs, Web Platform Vendors

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