There are a lot of features that really set Docker apart from other virtualization technologies. More and more hosting service providers are offering support for Docker containers as part of their services too, which means using and running one is now easier than ever. There is no better time to start using Docker than now, and here are a few reasons why you should benefit from the lightweight virtualization technology.
Big Names Now Support Docker
Until very recently, finding a good Docker hosting solution is relatively difficult. You either have to set up your own environment from scratch or use a pre-configured Docker hosting service from indie brands. Today, however, even Google and Amazon support Docker containers.
Docker really simplifies setting up virtual containers to a whole new level. Instead of having to rely on the older VMs, you can now run your Docker container on any platform and configure each container individually.
This type of simplification works really well with the cloud services from Google, Amazon and other top brands. You can even run your application across multiple cloud setups without a problem. For example, you can fully utilize Amazon’s wide range of cloud services to run a high performance web application using Docker.
From Development to Deployment in Seconds
One of the biggest challenges in deploying a new web application is setting up the deployment environment to match the development one, or vice versa. A lot of things can go wrong during the deployment process simply because there are inconsistencies in server configs and other elements of the environment.
Docker completely eliminates these problems with the way it is designed to work. Instead of leaving the configurations and application runtime environment on a server level, everything is self-contained and will work seamlessly when moved to a completely different server.
All you need is support for Docker, which a lot of cloud service providers now offer. All elements and modules needed by your web application are contained within the Docker container and deployment will be as easy as 1-2-3.
Cost Efficiency, Isolation and Consolidation
I personally love the way each Docker container is isolated. This very nature of Docker makes it very suitable for server consolidation, which in turn can help reduce the cost of deploying multiple web applications down to a minimum.
You no longer need to have multiple cloud instances running at the same time. If you want to deploy two apps that use different versions of REST API, for instance, you can have both Docker containers running on the same server rather easily. Each version of the API can run independently inside the Docker container, allowing both apps to access the functions they need without interfering with each other.
Docker works much better than conventional sandboxing, so you can also expect the Docker containers to be very secured. Should a problem hit one of your apps, you don’t need to worry about it affecting other Docker containers in the same server. Maintaining a secure environment for Docker containers is also very easy to do.
These benefits lead to one thing: more cost efficiency. There is no need to have multiple operating systems or waste precious cloud resources on running several instances of frameworks and engines at the same time. Docker containers have minimal footprints too, which increases the benefits of using them even further.
What about managing a large number of Docker containers? This may seem like a difficult task to tackle at first, especially since each container can have its own unique configurations and modules. However, managing and scaling Docker containers is actually easier than you think.
There are a lot of projects that focus on this matter. Deis, for example, provides a good series of Docker management tools to help server administrators and developers run multiple Docker apps without hassle. Panamax and Cadvisor are adding new tools and features to their suites as well.
Some PaaS providers are even implementing Docker virtualization and management tools natively. App Engine, for example, now supports Docker and allows for a better server consolidation. The same goes for Heroku and Elastic Beanstalk. For services that don’t incorporate these features natively, setting up the ideal environment for Docker containers to run is now easier than ever.
The Perfect Time to Start
As you can see, there is no better time to start using Docker than now. The top service providers are extending their support for this virtualization technology as part of their services, allowing you to benefit from using Docker containers easily. Migrating from older VMs to Docker containers is also very easy to do.
Once you have tried Docker and have a working app running from a container, you will never go back. It is very versatile and rapidly accessible, even compared to some of the most flexible and lightest VMs out there.