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What is the difference between virtual machine and containers?

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Difference between virtual machine and containers:

Virtual machines and containers are both technologies that allow you to run multiple applications on a single physical host. However, they differ in their architecture and how they work.

Virtual machines (VMs) run a complete operating system, including its own kernel, on top of a hypervisor. This means that each VM is isolated from other VMs and the host operating system. VMs are typically slower to start up and use more resources than containers because they require a full operating system to be installed.

Containers, on the other hand, share the host operating system kernel with other containers. This makes them lightweight and fast to start up. Containers are isolated from each other using namespaces and cgroups. They can be used to package an application with its dependencies into a single unit that can be easily moved between environments.

Virtual machines have many advantage over containers such as:

  • Isolated: VMs are completely isolated from each other and from the host system, which means they can run different operating systems and applications without interference. Containers share the same host OS and kernel, which limits their compatibility and security.
  • Security: VMs have a higher level of security than containers, as they are protected by the hypervisor layer and can use encryption and firewall features. Containers rely on the host OS for security, which can expose them to vulnerabilities and attacks.
  • Flexibility:  VMs can be easily migrated, replicated, backed up, and restored across different physical servers and cloud platforms. Containers are more dependent on the host OS and the underlying infrastructure, which can limit their portability and scalability.

In summary, virtual machines provide full isolation between applications but are slower and use more resources than containers. Containers provide lightweight isolation between applications but share the host operating system kernel with other containers.