Container technology has rapidly risen in popularity over the last couple of years – especially since the release of the Docker platform in 2013. While containers existed prior to Docker, their platform introduced versioning and vastly improved portability. These new features, among others, are what will continue to drive the exponentially increasing interest in container technology, like Docker, throughout 2015.
Containers are encapsulated, lightweight, and portable application modules. They allow developers and sysadmins to build and run multiple standardized application environments on a single server. Traditionally, virtual machines (VMs) have been used to achieve operating system isolation or unique application environments. However, containers have proven to be lighter weight, highly portable, and more easily deployed than their VM counterparts.
Unlike VMs, containers don’t incorporate their own operating system and instead rely on the host server’s operating system, while isolating an application’s dependencies. This makes containers extremely lightweight, requiring very few resources to operate and freeing up computing hardware for other applications, or additional containers.
2. Advanced Portability Options
Not only are containers lightweight, but they’re also highly portable. A containerized application can be easily extracted from one server running Docker and moved to another server that is also running Docker.
3. Deployment Speed
Due to their portable and lightweight construction, containers enable an app, or entire suite of apps, to be quickly assembled and deployed from saved and versioned containers. This makes the transition between development, testing, and production environments much smoother, allowing products to ship faster and run across devices in an unchanged environment. Many of the common development and production roadblocks, due to differences in development environments, are easily routed around with containers.
While it is the buzzword of the moment, container technology hasn’t grown so quickly in popularity without a number of skeptics raising questions, notably about the maturity of the technology’s security. Despite such questions, containers do offer a number of benefits for the curious developer. Compatible with Liquid Web’s VPS Hosting and Cloud Dedicated products, the Docker platform could considerably speed up the development and deployment processes for our customers.