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Portainer is your solution to securely deploy software containers across your fleet of Edge devices.

Boemo Wame MmopelwaJune 30, 20234 min read

How to Tame Container Resource Consumption in Docker and Kubernetes

Noisy neighbors are a popular and bitter phrase DevOps engineers use to define a container that consumes more than its fair share of resources. Noisy neighbors negatively impact the performance of other containers on the same host. When containers are starved of resources, services fail, and many errors appear in your logs.

Noisy neighbors shouldn’t exist in a DevOps environment where resource consumption is consistently monitored and regulated. Teams and users must analyze resource metrics to ensure that no container negatively impacts any other container. Having a platform that displays network usage, memory usage, and I/O usage metrics in an easy-flexible way is imperative. Portainer.

This article will teach you a few areas to observe when monitoring your container and cluster. In addition, you will learn how Portainer tracks resource consumption and ends uncontrolled resource consumption by setting resource limits.

Reasons Why You Should Observe and Monitor Container Resources

You can find potential application performance bottlenecks by monitoring container resource metrics. If a particular container consumes a lot of CPU or memory, it might be a sign that the application needs to be scaled up. Early issue detection allows you to address problems before your applications crash.

It is crucial to set resource limits to prevent situations where containers request more resources than they should. You can cut costs and raise the overall performance of your containers by setting and optimizing resource requests and limits. 

Monitoring container resources can assist you in troubleshooting problems with your applications. For instance, insufficient resources can crash your application, so if you monitor resource consumption, you will know that inadequate resources caused the application to crash.

What Metrics Should be Considered When Observing Container Resources?

This article section highlights key metrics that should be monitored to ensure the efficient utilization of resources.

  1. CPU and memory usage metrics offer valuable information regarding the consumption of CPU and memory resources consumed by containers. 
  2. Monitoring network traffic metrics is essential for gauging the amount of data transmitted to and from the cluster. You can detect unauthorized network access and poor performance by analyzing these metrics. 
  3. The status of pods and nodes provides a comprehensive overview of the cluster's health. By continuously monitoring the status of pods, containers, and nodes, you can identify any pod failing to be scheduled. You can also notice when there is a higher percentage of unavailable pods than available pods. 
  4. Resource quotas play a vital role in ensuring fair resource distribution within a cluster. Analyzing resource quotas enables you to verify that resources are utilized efficiently and fairly. 
  5. Logs are invaluable for troubleshooting and identifying issues within the cluster. By diligently monitoring logs, you can detect vulnerabilities that cyber attackers can exploit. 

Tracking Resource Consumption with Portainer

Portainer collects your container resource metrics and displays them in an aesthetically pleasing UI. The image below shows resource metrics collected from a container within Portainer running on Docker and Kubernetes.

Docker Resource Utilization

Kubernetes Resource Utilization

What is good about Portainer is that you do not have to consistently input commands on the terminal to check container resource consumption metrics. All you have to do is click the statistics button.

Portainer gives you resource consumption metrics and allows you to set container resource limits, which are essential for preventing noisy neighbors. Resource limits play a vital role in mitigating uncontrolled resource consumption. 

Portainer enables you to set resource limits when creating a container by dragging and adjusting the:

  • Memory reservation progressBar
  • Memory limit progressBar
  • Memory CPU usage progressBar

Docker Resource Reservations

Above is an example of the Docker Runtime and Resource settings within Portainer made available during the creation of a new container.

Kubernetes Resource Reservations

Above is an example of the Kubernetes settings within Portainer made available during the creation of a new container (or application.)

It's much easier to set container resource limits using Portainer. 

Using the above features offered by Portainer can help reduce costs because resource consumption observability and cost observability go hand in hand. Your budget dictates how many resources your containers are allowed to consume. If you monitor and control resource consumption, you can cut costs.

Monitoring containers will teach you the science of resource performance; you will gain insights into how your pods and applications perform daily. You will spot noisy neighbors that sabotaged other containers. Monitoring resource consumption will enable you to spot containers that are struggling. Misconfiguration or mismanagement of resource allocation often extends beyond container or application health into spend and budgetary issues.


Many companies prefer cloud platforms over in-house platforms. So, the more cloud resources you consume, the higher the costs. Resource consumption also affects the technical performance of the cluster because one pod consuming more resources will lead to other pods starved of computing and memory resources.

You could monitor how many resources your pods and containers consume during different events and days. In doing so, it will help you to set better resource limits and requests. With improved resource limits, the more precise the budget and better technical performance due to fewer noisy neighbors.

Using Portainer to monitor container resource usage and set resource minutes will save you from the stress of seeing container resources overconsumption and exceeding budgets. Cloud resources are expensive; the last thing you would want to see is an extra charge.


Boemo Wame Mmopelwa

Boemo is a software developer who writes Kubernetes tutorials. I have published various publications focusing on Kubernetes, Containers, and DevOps.


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