Hierarchy of Isolation

One way to understand threads, process, containers, and VMs is to look at what each level of abstraction provides for isolation.

 abstraction stack & instructions heap process IDs,

filesystemn  &

network namespace

thread isolated shared shared shared
process isolated isolated shared shared
container isolated isolated isolated shared
Virtual Machine isolated isolated isolated isolated

I think of this as a hierarchy.

  • A Process is a thread, but one that also provides heap isolation.
  • A container is a process, but ont that also isolated the pid, network, and filesystem namespaces
  • A virtual machine is a process that, beyond the isolation provided by a container, provides a completely different Kernel instace.

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