container management software

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: Developers' guide to deploying microservices and containers
Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

Container management software is a type of program used to handle tasks associated with the administration of containerized applications and application components. Applications are packaged into containers for ease of scaling, duplication and upgrading. Container management software facilitates the organization of large numbers of containers, avoiding much of the basic work and ensuring interoperability.


Containers make it possible to build and upgrade applications in a modular manner. Different aspects of the application, such as communications or user interfaces (UI), can be held by separate containers in a microservice architecture. Containers can be added for new capabilities or replaced with like ones with better abilities for upgrades or security changes. Container management software makes this a more building block-like process, so that multiple modules can be deployed at once.


Google Container Engine (GKE) is a management and orchestration system for Docker container  and container clusters running in Google's public cloud environment. GKE is itself based on Kubernetes, Google's open source container management system.

This was last updated in August 2016

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