Container platforms such as Docker are lightweight hosting environments for applications. When the application package is assembled, it includes all the application modules, libraries, and system code needed to run the application within a container. The container is executed within the container engine which runs directly on the server's operating system (OS). Multiple containerized applications run within the container engine on one OS. This reduces the overhead compared to virtualization, which runs a kernel that hosts multiple virtual machines (VMs), each VM runs its own OS and subsequent applications built for that OS.

Using Containers, a company can reduce the number of OS instances running on the server, which reduces the load on the server hardware. It also may reduce cost by reducing the number of OS licenses needed in the environment.