What is Docker and Why You Must Use It?

21 / Jun / 2016 by Anuradha Ishwaran 0 comments

Running your software application on different environments can become very tricky. The behavior of your application on the test, staging and production environments may not be the same as you would expect. In fact, you cannot run the application in datacenters in a similar way as you run on the cloud. Every environment can be unique, and your application may behave in a different manner in each of them. Also, it’s not just the environment that makes all the difference but also the topology and security policies which can affect the behavior of the application.

Container technology is one solution that can help to resolve this issue with its package of all the required configuration files and libraries that are crucial to run an application in any runtime environment. In other words, a container has all the dependencies of an application that would assist it to run in any environment.

Docker implementation is very effective both in physical and virtualized environments as it uses few resources and makes both the application and operating system cloud independent. Migrating your applications to Docker is very beneficial and advantageous; however the process of migration can be a daunting task. Before you decide to migrate your applications, a clear understanding of the capabilities of Docker implementation is necessary followed by formulation of a strategy for application migration.

Listed below are the few advantages of dockerizing your environment.

  • Continuous Integration: Any changes in the code will be automatically deployed immediately and would be available for testing anytime. Thus, Docker helps in Continuous Integration by significantly reducing the time.
  • Continuous Delivery: The transition time from development to production can be greatly reduced as one container can be used across multiple environments. This way applications can be delivered much faster and in a more reliable way than ever before.
  • Portability: Docker can be moved from one server to another with ease. Docker images come very handy while moving the container from one server to another without much efforts thereby saving a lot of time. The images can be either private or public.
  • Scalability: A Docker container is very lightweight in size like tens of megabytes when compared to gigabytes in the case of virtual machines. Thus, multiple docker containers can be launched on a single machine and are highly scalable as per the demand.
  • Micro Services Integration: Integrating microservices with the applications running on containers is easy. Each tier of a multi-tier application running on Docker behaves as an independent container and can be used to integrate microservices with the application.
  • Reduced Cost: Due to its various advantages such as continuous integration and continuous delivery, Docker significantly reduces the cost of running an application .

With its popularity, Docker has become synonymous with container technology through the availability of other containers like rkt in the market. Docker is being widely used in the development environment as compared to others.

Once you have decided to implement Docker by understanding its capabilities, the next step is to plan an adoption strategy that can be a bit puzzling in the beginning. There are different approaches to initiate the dockerization of applications running on different environments.

There are many things that need to be considered while dockerizing your environment including the complexity of the application, Docker monitoring etc.

You can read a detailed white paper on the advantages of using Docker containers over Virtual machines and the things you should keep in mind before dockerizing your environment. Click the link below to download and to learn more.

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