You can’t go to a developer conference today and not hear about software containers: Docker, Kubernetes, Mesos and a bunch of other names with a nautical ring to them. Microsoft, Google, Amazon and everybody else seems to have jumped on this bandwagon in the last year or so, but why is everybody so excited about this stuff?
To understand why containers are such a big deal, let’s think about physical containers for a moment. The modern shipping industry only works as well as it does because we have standardized on a small set of shipping container sizes. Before the advent of this standard, shipping anything in bulk was a complicated, laborious process. Imagine what a hassle it would be to move some open pallet with smartphones off a ship and onto a truck, for example. Instead of ships that specialize in bringing smartphones from Asia, we can just put them all into containers and know that those will fit on every container ship.