Docker
Are you wondering why you're always hearing or reading about Docker?

Well, that’s because, during the last few years, Docker has moved fast to become the preferred containerization framework for software deployment and testing.

Why? The main reason is that of the value that containers and development with Docker instances provide to software developers and admins.

Especially to those who have adopted DevOps-centric workflows in their software development life cycles.

Docker helps these development teams achieve next-generation efficiency in software delivery by solving many of the challenges associated with traditional virtualization.

What Is Docker?

Docker is an open-source project that automates the deployment of applications inside software containers, by providing an additional layer of abstraction and automation of operating-system-level virtualization on Linux.”

-Wikipedia

DevOps teams are finding it efficient to configure development and testing environments based on Docker containers.

Instead of deploying the raw binary files for the programs such as EXE and JAR files to the target environment, they are now packaging the entire application as a Docker Image along with all the dependencies and even the required operating system.

This image shares the same build version before getting published to a central registry. And it is then picked up by various environments (development, testing, staging, and production) for final deployment.

So, Docker has essentially become the most effective and efficient packaging format for software. It eliminates the dependency hell by ensuring whatever works on a development workstation works on the target deployment server as well.

Also, by leveraging the tight integration with source code control mechanisms such as Git and build frameworks like Jenkins – Docker can automate the build and deployment scenarios and scale them effortlessly. Using these automation tools and frameworks – you can build new Docker images as soon as new code is available.

This process results in a new Docker image which is instantly available to be deployed across environments. You can deploy a single instance of these container images or ten thousand of them – it is just as easy.

Benefits of Docker

  • Rapid application deployment: Containers include the minimal run-time requirements of the application, reducing their size and allowing them to be deployed quickly.
  • Portability across machines: An application and all its dependencies can be packaged into a single container that is independent of the host version of Linux kernel, platform distribution, or deployment model. This container can be deployed onto any server which is running Docker and executed there without compatibility issues.
  • Version control and component reuse: You can track successive versions of a container, inspect differences or roll-back to previous versions. Containers reuse components from the preceding layers, which makes them noticeably lightweight.
  • Sharing – you can use a remote repository to share your container with others. DockerHub is the largest public repositories of Docker images. Moreover, it is also possible to configure your own private repository.
  • Lightweight footprint and minimal overhead: Docker images are typically very small, which facilitates rapid delivery and reduces the deployment time for new application containers.
  • Simplified maintenance: Docker reduces effort and risk of problems with application dependencies.

In conclusion

Docker is an indispensable tool if you want to get into DevOps.

Docker makes it possible for teams to build and ship updated code quickly - because of its environmental consistency and lightweight nature of containers.

That's why Docker and DevOps go hand-in-hand.

Have you started using this excellent tool in your workflows? If so, how do you use it? If not, what are you waiting for? Lets us know by leaving a comment.