Running applications in containers instead of virtual machines is fast gaining momentum in the IT world. This technology is one of the fastest-growing ones in recent history. Key names in the industry and software vendors adopted it or are about to. At the heart of this ecosystem lies Docker. This is a platform that allows users to pack, distribute, and manage Linux applications within containers. The company has grown immensely since the beginning, now seeking to invest in furthering the usability of the container technology.
But what makes Docker so special? Why this unparalleled growth? Why do practitioners from all over the world use it? In the following article, we seek to highlight some of its best features.
Simplicity and Faster Configurations
One of the key benefits of Docker is the way it simplifies matters. An advantage of VMs is allowing the user to run any platform with its own configuration atop the user’s infrastructure. Docker is able to offer the same without the overhead of a VM. Users can take their own configuration, put it into code, and deploy it without any fuss. As Docker is suitable for a wide variety of environments, you don’t have to link the requirements of the infrastructure with the environment of the application.
When it comes to working in a developer environment, two major goals come at the forefront of our minds. The first is bringing the product as close to production as possible. You can run every service on its own VM to showcase how the application works. However, at the same time, we do not want to add in overhead whenever a compilation is required. The second goal is to make the development environment as fast as possible for interactive use. This allows you to receive feedback in a timely manner. This is where the zero-overhead of Docker comes into play. Docker shows its functionality by not adding to the memory footprint and allowing a few dozen services to run within it.
In the past, bringing up new hardware used to take days. The appearance of VMs took this timeframe down to minutes. However, Docker manages to reduce deployment to mere seconds. This is due to the fact that it creates a container for every process and does not boot an OS. You can create and delete data without worrying that the cost to bring it up again won’t be affordable. Moreover, by having a low cost of bringing up a new instance, you can allocate more resources.