Container Platform: Docker
There is a third revolution happening in the world i.e., the technology revolution. This revolution has changed the world. And in this rapidly modernizing world, our way of building, deploying, and running applications has also evolved. Many technologies have been introduced over the last two decades. One such technology that has taken the software development world by storm is containerization. It has become a popular way of deploying applications and is used by developers and organizations worldwide. There is a multitude of platforms being used for managing containerized apps. However, Docker is believed to be the most widely used platform. So, this blog will explore the container platform Docker, its features, and its benefits.
To begin with, it is important to first understand the container platform.
What is a Container Platform?
A container platform is designed to automate the entire process of containerization, from building and testing the container images to deploying them in production environments. Containers provide a lightweight, portable, and consistent runtime environment for applications.
Simply put, a container platform is a platform that enables the creation, deployment, and management of containerized applications.
How do container platforms work?
Container platforms’ work is pretty straightforward. It uses a container orchestration system to manage the deployment and scaling of containers. The orchestration system allows users to define the desired state of their applications and automates the process of scaling and managing containers to meet that state.
Now let’s take a look at the famously used containers around the world.
Most popular containers
There are several container platforms available in the market, including Docker, Kubernetes, OpenShift, and many more. However, Docker has become the most popular container platform, with over 80% of the market share. This is why this blog will focus on Docker.
So, let’s talk about Docker.
What is Docker and how does it work?
Docker is a container platform that provides a way to package and distribute applications and their dependencies in a portable and consistent manner. Docker provides an easy-to-use command-line interface that allows users to build, deploy, and manage containerized applications. So, basically, it is a software platform that allows you to build, test, and deploy applications quickly.
Docker works by using a client-server architecture. Its client communicates with the Docker daemon, which is responsible for building, running, and managing containers. Docker daemon also isolates containers from the host operating system. Docker uses a layered file system that enables it to create and manage lightweight and efficient containers. This layered file system reinforces the isolation by creating a certain milieu for containers. Each layer represents a change in the container image, and Docker can reuse layers that have not changed, resulting in faster build times and smaller images.
What can I use Docker for?
Docker is a multi-purpose platform. We can use it for a variety of purposes, such as:
- Developing and testing applications in a containerized environment
- Deploying applications in a cloud-based infrastructure
- Building and managing microservices-based applications
- Running legacy applications in a containerized environment
Docker architecture is composed of three main components. Docker client, Docker daemon, and Docker registry.
Docker client: basically, it is a command-line interface that allows users to interact with the Docker daemon.
Docker daemon: A background process that manages the containers, images, and networks.
Docker registry: It is a central repository where Docker images are stored and distributed.
To better understand the docker architecture and its process, a flow chart is as follow.
Why should you go with Docker? Well, it offers numerous benefits, including:
Portability: It means that Docker containers can run on any platform, whether it’s a laptop, a server, or a cloud-based infrastructure.
Scalability: Docker containers can be easily scaled up or down to meet changing demands.
Consistency: Docker containers provide a consistent runtime environment for applications, regardless of the underlying infrastructure.
Efficiency: Docker containers are lightweight and efficient, resulting in faster build times and smaller images.
Things you may come across while using Docker
Dockerfile, Image, Container, and Registry are some terminologies you may encounter while using Docker. These terms are defined in the one-liner below.
Dockerfile: Primarily a text file that contains instructions for building a Docker image.
Image: It is a read-only template that contains the instructions for creating a Docker container.
Container: It is a running instance of a Docker image.
Registry: A central repository where Docker images are stored and distributed.
In conclusion, container platforms like Docker have revolutionized the way we develop, deploy, and run applications. They provide a way to create portable and consistent runtime environments, which can run on any platform, whether it’s a laptop, server, or cloud-based infrastructure. However, the most widely used platform is Docker. Its popularity can be attributed to its easy-to-use command-line interface, layered file system, and client-server architecture. If you’re a developer or an organization looking for a way to streamline your software development and deployment process, Docker is definitely worth considering.