Containers: To Use It or Not to Use It (2019)

By Avinash Raghavendra, Ericsson North America

With the proliferation of Cloud Computing into all major segments of the society, be it private, public or hybrid, Network Function and Application owners now have a multitude of choices to deploy their Network Functions/Applications. Previously it was deployed directly on a bare metal, now the applications can be virtualized or containerized.

One of the most popular and rapidly growing technology is Containers. The containers with their cloud friendly features and functionality have rapidly made strides to be in the forefront of the next big wave of deployments be it Edge, 5G or any Network Function.

But is it a panacea for all that ails a virtual or physical world? In this paper, we shall look to answer that important question by evaluating the needs of the network function to identify the best technology fit, be it a Virtual Machine or a Container for the Network Function/Application.

There are many different aspects that are considered as part of this evaluation. These include Infrastructure, Networking, Application Design & Deployment. Other Operational considerations including scalability, availability, monitoring, and life cycle management also play a very important role in the evaluation. Finally, one must not ignore the security considerations that play an important role in this evaluation.

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