It is now almost two decades since developers have enjoyed the benefits of leveraging the .NET development services. There are innumerable business applications that have been successfully implemented using the free, open source, cross platform .NET family – .NET framework, .NET Core being the prime ones. When it comes to maintaining ad managing those apps, modernization is the key.
Yet another buzz word today, in the world of fast-moving technology, is containerization. The inclination towards containerizing applications into well-classified containers is increasing. The USP being the same packaged app to execute on any type of infrastructure and running a variety of apps on a single host.
And, when it comes to containerization, Docker has its own standard slot amongst the reigning technologies around the globe.
Microsoft has been closely associating itself with the Docker community and Docker is turning up to be an ideal choice when it comes to building and hosting .NET and .NET Core applications. Eventually, the benefits that this combination holds are coming to front and gaining momentum in acceptance.
Before we witness the reasons of this duo getting together, let us glance through the basics of Docker.
Docker – the modern platform for high-velocity innovation, is the only independent container platform that enables organizations to seamlessly build, share and run any application, anywhere—from hybrid cloud to the edge. [source]
List of Docker Terms:
Docker is basically designed for server-based apps that execute in the background, it can’t be used for desktop apps, because of the lack of integration of user interface between the tool and Windows host. Hence, amongst the Microsoft family of products, it turns apt for WCF, .NET console apps, and other ASP .NET products.
Let us now go through the major pointers as to why software companies go with Docker to achieve their goals amidst stiff competition.
This calls for one of the biggest reasons to choose Docker while developing with the .NET framework or .NET Core. The significant amount to the contribution being given by Microsoft, to the Docker community has been on an increasing spree.
Docker workflows are being seamlessly integrated in VS and other environments. These tools create a great experience for users to integrate with Docker and hence while executing the code, the .NET family makes use of the Docker components and the containers.
With Docker embedding itself in the Microsoft range of products, users find it easy and secure to transfer containers from one host to a new one.
Two software processes that are in demand are continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD). There are many tools and technologies available to support these since it offers a simplistic way to handle software procedures.
But, as simple as it may sound, the practical implementation of the same turns out to be quite exhaustive and complicated. Hence, today, most of the CI/CD services opt for Docker containerization while building and deploying their applications.
This ensures that when the testing is done on the CI server, it holds the same environment as in the production. There are the least chances of errors occurring during the production run, that weren’t a part of the testing run, since both the environment are the same.
Gone are those days when the old OS kept offering the best of services. With technology moving forward, organizations are looking forward to migrating their legacy apps with the latest container-based technology, Docker.
Since Docker offers OS-level abstraction, it promises a unified level of the operating system. There is a large amount of benefit with regards to disk space, CPU utilization, and memory usage.
Since all components are well documented in the dockerfile, there is proper versioning done along with the code. As soon as the users update a software unit that is required to execute the software, the environment also gets versioned, in parallel.
This acts as a great guide especially when the users try to extract information about previous apps not functioning in a necessary manner. With Docker, they manage to do it easily, effortlessly, and effectively.
Usually, whenever you need to set up a server machine, there are a few things that need to be done, beforehand like installing the OS, SDK, software required by the application along with needed environment variables, etc.
With Docker, the user can mention them all in the dockerfile and whenever the system starts, there will be setting up of the correct software in the container. Even during updates, the user just needs to alter the definition of the container and redeploy it. The effect will be transferred.
This leads to big-time savings on maintaining the servers and offers users a preview of the prior version of the framework.
This has been a matter of concern for users and developers alike, for a long time. What portion code works perfectly fine on the development environment doesn’t work that way on the production side.
With Docker as their development server, developers can showcase the same performance on the production side too since, both the servers have the same configuration parameters and environment.
Though Docker utilizes the resources of the main machine, it does have its basic runtime infrastructure. It can offer as much security to the container as much as the conventional way.
Treating it almost as if it’s a real machine, Docker offers utmost security not to permit containers showing right on peer containers, except for well-defined user rights and network permissibility.
Docker containers have the biggest advantage of utilizing only those resources that are in need. Hence, it can, in parallel, decide on which and how many resources to be leveraged when there are multiple containers on one host.
Users can also impose constraints on the containers to host different resources. This helps containers that are heavily loaded, to keep away from the main machine’s resources and keep uptime high. This is very much unlike the conventional way, where the user needs to identify the resource details while the machine is being prepared and those resources get unavailable to others till they are released.
With cloud computing going ways, there are popular cloud technologies like AWS and Azure that offer great deployment support for containerization. Docker can gel effectively with these cloud models and support single container technology as well as multiple ones.
With Docker getting so much support from the community and the range of products like .NET Core, scalability isn’t an issue. Resources can be obtained as much as needed. Converting unified Docker containers to multiple instances can be done easily with certain changes in the Docker file. Hence, resources can be adjusted based on need leading to maximum usage and less wastage.
As we realize that Docker’s native origin was on Linux, the support of Microsoft towards Docker has brought evident changes in the way the .NET family looks at Docker. Now, Docker is the preferred choice for containerization technology, amongst the lot.
Depending upon the resource allocation, utilization of server components and user requirements, utilizing Docker for building and hosting .NET applications has turned out to an apt choice, worldwide and there are umpteen benefits that can be witnessed.
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