There is so much being said and written, by custom software companies about Docker and container virtualization. Docker needs no introduction. A highly popular technology by now has a lot in store for the future too. What is it that makes it so popular? Why are developers building a higher fan base over it? What are the statistical figures that showcase the success of Docker? Here is an article that highlights the fundamentals of Docker, container virtualization, continuous integration and its significance to custom software development services.
“Most organizations who have started using Docker have adapted to it within 1 month of usage”
“Docker usage is increasing by at least 30% every year”
A Peep into What Docker – the Software Containerization Platform Is
As one of the popular open source technologies around the globe, Docker has been an established name in the modern world of deployment container virtualization, facilitating OS-level virtualization and multiple containers executing on the unified server. It being lightweight, shares the operating systems of the hosts, does not run its own OS and hence looks like a hypervisor. It has a portable container that lets you host the application and allows deployment or relocation on any Linux server. In the era of bespoke software development services offering an enriching experience, this innovative technology surely plays a big and important role.
The architectural part that looks after the management of containers and app deployment is the Docker engine. The Docker Hub maintains and manages the repository of the application. Share, ship and run it anywhere is the key success mantra behind the latest advancement.
The Journey So Far
Launched by Solomon Hykes in France around March 2013, there have been varied versions, updates, and attachments that have been floated around each one having its own specific functionalities to offer. It started off as an internal project within dotCloud, a PaaS organization with contributions from other engineers. Little did they know soon it would be so popular and innovative in its success path. No wonder why there are a whole lot of organizations that are already implementing Docker successfully and leveraging its potential to the best.
There are many enterprises who are unleashing the potential of Docker and experiencing the worthiness of this innovative technology and the list is still increasing, never to look back.
Somewhere in June 2014, Docker had released its version 1.0 which got downloaded close to over 2.5 million times. And when you see today, the figure has extrapolated close to over 100 million. Doesn’t that simply show its success story?
Docker & Containerization – A Standardized Unit of Software
The fundamental purpose of utilizing containers is to ensure all software components to execute perfectly while they are shutting between different phases such as development, testing, acceptance, and implementation. It is not necessary that containerization applies best within the software lifecycle phases. It also applies best when it comes to adopting cloud computing by moving from premise to Cloud or virtual machines. Here are some of the basic components of an ideal container.
In today’s IT glorified era, applications are being executed in containers instead of virtual machines. Considered as one of most rapidly advancing technology, what lies at the core of containerization is Docker – the media through which users can seamlessly do the packing, distribution, and management of applications within containers. It facilitates the automatic deployment of apps within software containers which allow the users to chip in all needed parts like libraries as a unified pack. So, this makes it machine independent and gives a sigh of relief to the developers in terms of no worry of which machine to use and whether it will be the same as the development one or not.
Docker and Continuous Integration / Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) – A Modern Day Approach
A quick and short way to deliver, iterations in a speedy manner, the risk at the minimum, value getting added like never, trustworthy software at your disposal – all these are key highlights of what you avail once you use Continuous Integration. This explains the importance of continuous integration in modern-day application development. To add to the success charts, containerization helps to enhance the entire process to the finest. Be it speed or the efficiency level, they are bound to get better with Docker.
A quick snapshot of what these terms mean:
Continuous Integration – A practice where there is code integration into a shared place, at regular intervals that consists of integrating novel functionalities into the current structure. This also ensures minimal defects during runtime.
Continuous Deployment – A practice by which the development team members give out software for varied phases in brief phases. Changes that developers undergo get deployed straight till production.
Docker helps at its best in CI/CD implementation by helping developers build and test code, whatsoever may be the environment and grasp errors in no time. It saves big time on builds and process rearrangement. It offers seamless integration with popular source control management tools like GitHub and integration tools like Jenkins.
Docker Working Best for Custom Software Companies – Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
Docker has bee contributing to the development community in its pretty own ways and the results are positive and fruitful. The trends continuous and seems to be having a bright future. Here are the key highlights of how bespoke software development is benefiting out of this technology:
- Portable Across Cloud Platforms
With cloud computing being the trend today, Docker has proven its flexibility by being adopted by tech stalwarts like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Compute Platform (GCP), Microsoft Azure, OpenStack, Chef, Puppet, Ansible and many more.
- Simplified Configuration
Counting the environment and configuration parameters into the code is the highlight of Docker, which is why there is the least reliance on infrastructure needs and the solution can be executed against different platforms without any alterations.
- Enhanced Security Control
The applications being executed on containers are totally separated and secluded from each other, offering you comprehensive control of the traffic flow and its monitoring. None of the containers can come to know about what is happening in the other. Containers are independent and have their own resource pool that manages all. This leads to a high level of security in all software phases. Isolating the application safeguards that the environment for each application has its own specific components with the original flavor.
- Risen Productivity, Simultaneous Services
The facilitation of letting multiple services execute concurrently increasing productivity with lower memory usage. This surely raises the efficiency level. Since the entire architecture is completely standardized, resources are fully in control of the available infrastructure, there is less time consumption and productive time available is on an increasing spree.
- Faster Deployment
Docker is capable of decreasing deployment time to seconds. Since there is a container available for each procedure, there is no need for any operating system to boot every time. The cost factor involved reduces massively and deployment gets swifter and efficient.
- Maximized RoI and Cost Effective
For differently sized organizations, the core aim that they focus on is maximizing RoI and that is what Dockers help to do. It helps in lessening the cost factor and at the same time, an increase in profitability and productivity are achieved. Put together, it works as a highly cost-effective solution, offering stable returns over the longer period.
- Simple Error Fixing Process
Docker offers diverse checkpoints at different levels, be it between containers or their versions. This aids enormously in fixing applications with ease and speed.
Because of both – Docker and container virtualization, the deployment procedure is now just a matter of few seconds. This immutable nature of Docker has made it increasingly popular today.
A Look at the Few Negatives First, Then the Many Positives of Docker
However strong and popular any technology is, there are always two sides of a coin. Though there are just a few of them, it is always fair to have a look at what Docker lacks in and then have a glance at the many benefits it has been offering to the IT community and many more to come.
The Limitations, A Few of Them
- Since the containers have a common kernel, there could be security threats that would need prior attention and any weakness in the host operating system would directly impact the containers based on it.
- There is more dependency on Linux technology since even if Docker is functional on Windows, Mac, Linux, it used a virtual machine for a non-Linux environment.
- There is limited knowledge available about the containers with the stats command and hence not enough monitoring can be done.
The Advantages, Many of them
- Since the container has a sizing in multiple of MBs and the virtual machine can take up multiple gigabytes, many more containers can be attended to by the server as compared to the virtual machine.
- The containers consume fewer resources and hence can be loaded more in terms of computing power.
- Increasing demand for containers can be effectively handled since providing containers is a quick job.
- Swift and simplistic distribution of resources are possible with containers while executing applications in different frameworks.
- There is a big saving on time and cost both, as containers are best fit for faster software lifecycle phases.
- Since the environments of development and testing are on similar grounds, there is less hassle and complication
- When it comes to the latest technologies like Microservices, DevOps, Continuous Deployment, Docker seamlessly works as one of the fittest options.
On a parting note, what seems very clear is Docker has had a great start, is having a perfect present and is sure to have a bright future. With attributes like portability, flexibility, simplicity shining smart, there is no looking back for custom software companies now to leverage the potential of Docker.