Docker is becoming increasingly popular as developers, and system administrators are discovering just how headache free it is to port applications – together with all of their dependencies – and get them running across their systems and machines.
The open-source program takes its name from the shipping containers credited as the invention of a guy called Malcolm Mclean, a trucker, who came up with a standardized way of loading cargo from trucks to ships and warehouses. A strong uniform design that was theft resistant and easy to load and unload. Docker has virtualized this principle. And developers can use Docker to ‘build, ship, and run’ applications on top of a Linux instance. And just like their large metal counterparts, they provide an isolated space for the whole team to work within.
Development, build, test and operations teams; they all stand to gain from using container software as it provides a virtual isolation area where things can be moved around without consideration of the contents and at a considerably quicker speed than using VMs. They are also more efficient than hypervisors in terms of systems resources because they use shared operating systems. But they each have their own isolated user space meaning you can run multiple different containers (LXCs) at the same time (without foregoing user space) on just a single host. It is their standardization that stands them apart from other companies offering similar tech.
This article is a great introduction to suggest some ways you can utilize Docker yourself without going mad and throwing all your applications at the program. The author provides several links to ideas to help simplify your architecture, a script for simple automated container upgrades, and tips to optimize deployment. The article recommends some initial steps new developers working with Docker can follow to boost workflow and make the most of the technology.