Containerized server for the Plekkie app

Reading time 3 min

By Arlon
  • Blog

In most cases, an application runs on a VPS — a virtual private server at a hosting company — which is essentially (part of) a physical device with ‘fixed’ properties such as memory, speed, and connections. Containerization is a clever alternative.

What is containerization?

If you work with a containerized server, the different features or aspects of an application all get their own resources such as a processor, memory, and storage space.

That means containers are basically demarcated, small computers with a single function or responsibility. For example, there’s a container for data storage, a container for background processes, and a container for the front end. Above it is an extra software layer that ensures the containers can communicate with each other.

What are the benefits of containerization?

Containerization comes with some important benefits. First, developers can set up containers while they’re still writing code. That means you get to see if everything works properly at an early stage. It’s possible to deliver or expand faster.

Another benefit is that you can make much more efficient use of the hardware you have, such as memory space and processors. And that use is perfectly scalable. For example, if there’s a lot of traffic, you simply add 2, 5, or 10 standard containers. That way, you also provide a tailor-made solution at the hosting level.

Containerization in practice

Together with our client SURF, we’ve developed the Internet of Things app Plekkie to help students quickly find an available space in a building, on a campus, or even in a city. By using motion sensors, among other things, the app knows whether a space is being used.

We are currently in the proof of concept phase in one building of the Hanze University of Applied Sciences. If it turns out the sensor data provides correct information on the availability of a space, the project will be rolled out to all the university’s locations, and it can even be used nationwide to make better use of buildings.

Scaling up fast will not be a problem. Recently, this app’s containers have gone live on one of SURF’s servers. A job well done by our experts Arlon Antonius and Steef de Winter!

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