VMs versus Containers
Virtual machines (VMs) are used extensively in cloud computing to meet two key requirements: one, to provide isolation across multiple workloads and entities (hardware units, hypervisors, etc.); and two, to avoid resource monopolization while preserving multitenant provisioning. VM-centric virtualization lays the groundwork for the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS; e.g., servers, storage, networking) cloud-computing model, which in turn serves as the foundation for Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS; e.g., development tools, business analytics, databases) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS; e.g., hosted apps) deployment environments. VMs excel at isolation but running multiple apps, or different versions of the same app, in the same VM is not possible due to dependency conflicts. VMs, therefore, may not be very conducive to app agility and cloud-native friendliness. VM-induced overhead may also be a challenge because of each VM running on a full operating system (OS) and because of a hypervisor that serves as a conduit for data flowing to the outside world.
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