One of the new features included in Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7 is application isolation via containers. RHEL 7 provides the ability to abstract and isolate applications through strong integration with Docker.
What exactly is Docker? It’s a great tool for automating application deployments inside a software container. You can use Docker whenever an app needs to go through multiple phases of development — it’s useful for distribution or when collaboration on an application’s OS is required. It’s also a version-control system that can be used daily in development and ongoing operations practices.
By packaging applications in isolated containers, developers can keep apps from competing for resources and easily choose the version of Java to employ (and other factors). By isolating a process and simulating its environment in a host container, developers can ensure that the application is safe from attack, infection and compromise. This latest inclusion represents a significant step forward for any deployment of applications in the cloud or in straight RHEL systems.
Further, RHEL 7 containers are combined with Docker, systemd and cgroups to ensure security and easy deployment. The inclusion of Linux containers sets the stage for the new class of applications enabled through isolation and thorough testing.
As with the adoption of any new technology, using Linux containers will require modifications. For example, container technology requires a change in application configuration and packaging by the developer and ISVs. The inclusion of container technology in this newest release of RHEL represents a long-term strategy toward the goal of widespread adoption.