Containerization vs. Traditional App Deployment: Which is Best for Mobile Apps? 

Vishwajeet Mali 5th June 2023 - 8 mins read

What is Traditional App Deployment? 

Traditional app deployment involves building and deploying the application on a specific operating system, hardware, and network environment. This approach can be more time-consuming and complex, but it offers advantages such as greater control, familiarity, and customization. 


Containerization is a process of packaging your application together with its dependencies into one package (a container). Such a package can then be run anywhere, whether on-premises server, a virtual machine in the cloud, or a developer's laptop. By abstracting the infrastructure, Containerization makes your application portable and flexible.

Problems with Traditional App Deployment 

1. Platform-specific development - Traditional app deployment requires developers to build separate app versions for different platforms, such as iOS and Android.

2. Compatibility issues - Traditional app deployment can also create compatibility issues between devices, operating systems, and network environments.

3. Limited scalability - Traditional app deployment can be limited, making it challenging to handle sudden increases in traffic or usage patterns.

4. App store restrictions   - Traditional app deployment also requires developers to comply with strict guidelines and policies set by app stores, such as Apple's App Store and Google Play Store. 

How Containerization Overcomes these problems 

Containerization solves this problem by bundling the application code with all its configuration files, libraries, and dependencies in one container. As a result, developers can deploy this container on any host machine, and it can run across any platform without any issues. Also, unlike virtual machines that each contain an entire operating system, containers share the host operating system's kernel and do not need a full operating system to run. As such, they use far fewer resources than traditional virtual machines, so they're often referred to as "lightweight."

The picture features the logo for Kubernetes architecture.

Advantages of Containerization

Problems with Traditional App Deployment 

1. Portability: Containers are designed to be portable across different environments, making it easier to move an application from one environment to another without worrying about differences in operating systems or other dependencies. 

2. Scalability: Adapting to traffic or usage pattern fluctuations can be effortlessly achieved by scaling containers up or down. This means mobile apps can be easily scaled to handle more users or traffic without significant infrastructure changes.

3. Consistency: Containers ensure the application runs the same way across different environments, reducing the risk of errors or inconsistencies. This can improve the quality of the mobile app and make it more reliable for end-users.

4.Faster deployment: Containerization enables faster deployment of updates and new features. This is because containers can be easily updated and rolled out across different environments without complex deployment processes.

Similarities Between Traditional App Deployment and Containerization 

1.Both require the creation of a mobile application, which can either be a native app or a web-based app.

2.Both must be tested and debugged before deployment to ensure they work correctly and provide a good user experience.

3.Both involve deployment to a production environment, whether on-premises or in the cloud.

4.Both can benefit from continuous integration and delivery practices to automate the build, test, and deployment processes. 

5.Both must be monitored and maintained to ensure they continue functioning correctly and provide end users with the desired functionality.

Which approach is best for your mobile app? 

When deciding between Containerization and traditional app deployment, it's essential to consider factors like the application's complexity, the development team's expertise, resource availability, scalability, and portability requirements.

If you're developing a mobile app that needs to be highly portable, scalable, and consistent across different environments, Containerization may be the better choice. However, traditional app deployment may be better if you require greater control, familiarity, and customization.


Launching an application can be done through Containerization or traditional methods, each with its own advantages and disadvantages that you should weigh. When deciding on an approach between the two, it's essential to consider the specific requirements and the skills and resources of your development team. Evaluating these factors thoroughly will help you select the optimal deployment method for your mobile app.


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