Containerization as a technique was invented in the 20th century in ocean shipping to make transporting of freight simple, fast, secure and efficient. In this technique freight is segregated by its type, placed in uniform size containers and transported using various transportation methods. Though they are of uniform size, each container is treated differently based on what content it holds. For example, some containers may be refrigerated while others may require humidity control, etc. A container may leave a factory by truck and be transferred to a railroad car, then to a ship, and, finally, to a barge. Transfers of an un–containerized cargo will result in theft, loss of efficiency and substantially add to the cost of transportation.
These principles have been adopted in enterprise mobility to keep enterprise data segregated on a mobile device. The principle is that all enterprise data can be placed inside a “container,” keeping it separate from the users’ own data. By doing so, enterprises can allow the employees to use their device, applications and data in a manner they please, but applying security policies on the container so that the data inside it can remain protected.
Various mobility vendors have attempted to implement this seemingly simple technique differently and with varying degrees of success but in the end, none has been completely accepted. Some of these different technologies are outlined in this whitepaper.