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Detail illustration WASM I/O Detail illustration WASM I/O
Kate Goldenring
Saiyam Pathak
Shivay Lamba
Daniel Lopez

Containers vs. WebAssembly: What's the Difference and Which Should I Use?

Kate Goldenring - Fermyon / Saiyam Pathak - Civo / Shivay Lamba - Meilisearch / Daniel Lopez - VMware

The cloud native community is garnering excitement around WebAssembly (Wasm). It offers a new way to package your application that provides secure memory isolation, portability, and quick start up times. Given the choice to package an application as Wasm modules or containers, which should I choose? Are the two technologies interchangeable?

In this panel, discussion speakers will share their experience working with Wasm and their point of view from the cloud-native perspective. A blanket statement that “Wasm will replace containers” is a bold one. Instead, which use cases are best suited for Wasm workloads vs containers, and where do Wasm modules and containers best coexist? How should one go about orchestrating Wasm modules in the Cloud, whether with Kubernetes, Nomad, or a PaaS? The panelists will focus on these important questions which will greatly help the audience in understanding the landscape and assessing whether they could benefit from adding Wasm to their technology stack.

The panel will dive into the benefits of the Wasm and container ecosystems, such as the tooling support, cold startup times, application size, and more. The panel will also address the maturity of Wasm, pointing out some of the current limitations that exist in server-side Wasm and its developer tooling. By the end of the discussion, the audience will have a good understanding of both the technologies and where they stand today. They will clearly understand the similarities and differences between Wasm and containers and their best use cases.

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