What are container orchestration and Kubernetes?


There is another critical concept that needs explanation: orchestration. If you have a container, this is easy to manage. However, as you create more containers, it is crucial that they are managed. If you don’t, you will probably go into chaos (and chaos is not good). Kubernetes saves you from that. An interesting curiosity: “kubernetes” is a Greek word that means “helmsman” or “pilot”. It is an open source system that pilots or orchestrates its containerized and sophisticated applications. Think of it as the crane that moves and controls the containers. As with Docker, IBM is very active in the Kubernetes open source community.

As we mentioned before, Kubernetes orchestrates its containers. What does this really mean, though? It maintains the balance of your application. Kubernetes rolls out the changes and updates to it, and, if something goes wrong, undoes the change and restarts the containers that failed, replacing some of them when certain nodes die and excluding the containers that do not respond to the check-up. This management provides resource savings without having to sacrifice availability and provides load self-balancing.

What is the difference between containers and virtual machine images?

As the name suggests, a virtual machine is software that simulates a computer system. MV allows teams to run what appears to be multiple machines on a single computer. If you need to run software on a different type of hardware or operating system, MV provides this option, without the need for any additional hardware.

The most important difference between a container and a VM is that, with it, the team can create virtual environments (containing operating systems), where different types of software are able to run. However, the container isolates the software from the environment and the operating system, allowing it to run almost anywhere. (Source: Containers vs. MVs: What’s the difference?)

How to start using containers?

I could quote the following saying: “the journey of a thousand kilometers begins with a first step”. But I will not go. The best way to start is by starting with a container. There are countless benefits to containerizing your applications, but the question is: where to start? Or: how to start?

Here are some ways:

1. Migrating and expanding: “Lifting and Shifting” is the process of containerizing a local application to take it out (from a data center, generally) and migrate it to another place, which is usually a public or private cloud. To clarify, lift-and-shift is not a way to restructure or divide your application, but rather a way to place all or a good part of it in a single container.
2. Modernizing the application: a more aggressive approach would be to remove its monolithic application and restructure it in container microservices. This structure moves between one development approach and another.
3. With new developments: finally, some organizations choose to start all new development using containers.
How can IBM Cloud Paks help?
In addition to containers and Kubernetes, companies need to orchestrate their production topology and provide management, security and control for their applications. That’s where IBM Cloud Paks comes in.

See Also  Install a highly available Elasticsearch cluster in Kubernetes

Cloud Paks are enterprise-ready containerized software solutions that provide an open, faster and more secure way to move essential business applications to any cloud. Each Cloud Pak runs on Red Hat® OpenShift® on IBM Cloud ™ and Red Hat Enterprise Linux and includes containerized IBM middleware, in addition to common software services for development and management, over a common integration layer. This video explains the architecture.

To learn more about the Cloud Paks available for Applications, Data, Integration and Automation, as well as Multinuvem Management, check out the IBM Cloud Paks.

Where can I rotate my containers?

Remember, Docker, like IBM Cloud Paks, allows you to package, ship and run applications on any public or private cloud. Most organizations today are not restricted to just one cloud vendor. This approach is a good option. 71% of companies use three or more clouds, and eight out of ten commit to a multi-cloud strategy.

What is Red Hat OpenShift on the IBM Cloud?

Containers, Docker, Cloud Paks and Kubernetes. Yes for all? Red Hat OpenShift on the IBM Cloud puts it all together for you. Leveraging the IBM Cloud, you can focus on developing and managing your applications. IBM handles the infrastructure, providing a fully available and managed OpenShift cluster at the click of a button. Check out the video “A guided tour of Red Hat OpenShift on IBM Could” for more details.

RedHat OpenShift on the IBM Cloud is directly integrated with the same Kubernetes service that maintains 250 billion daily forecasts on demand at The Weather Company. It is quite a thing!

Get the details of features such as dashboards with a native OpenShift experience, continuous availability with multizone clusters, and moving workloads and data more securely through Red Hat OpenShift on the IBM Cloud.


Containers are the building blocks for the future. More than “just shiny objects”, they are here to stay. From delivering applications faster, overfeeding development to implementation, and reducing infrastructure and software costs, containers provide real business results for both small and large organizations. The following links offer more resources, including videos, practical test drives, tutorials and other pertinent information to help you get started today.

Useful links
What is a Docker container?

What is Kubernetes?

What is Red Hat OpenShift?

What is the difference between Kubernetes and OpenShift?

What are IBM Cloud Paks?

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