In March 2013, Docker was released as open source software and made its debut to the public. Originally, Docker was built as a project within a company called dotCloud whose name later officially became Docker. With its unique architecture, Docker has helped reshape the software industry. Below is a quick guide to what is Docker, how it works, its base architectural elements, and its main advantages.
Docker gives a user the ability to create, ship, and run any application on any infrastructure by using what’s known as containers. It is container architecture, as opposed to the virtual machine alternative, that is able to execute packaged functions with a significant reduction in network latency. In other words, Docker can do the same job but faster. This is, in part, due to the fact that Docker doesn’t require a hypervisor layer and taps directly into the kernel of a host machine.
Below are some of the basic key concepts used in the Docker domain:
Docker assures that applications and systems behave the same regardless of the number of times they have been deployed. It works best with applications that are small and have a singular purpose. As such, Docker forces developers to lean towards creating minimally sized containers. Iterating development with smaller containers reduces complexity favoring predictability and rapid delivery as well as minimizing system drift. Thus it is that one of Docker’s great benefits is allowing for the easy movement and utilization of containers across various on-premise or cloud based systems. It solves the ‘dependency hell’ problem in addition to the annoying and unhelpful co-worker comment, “It works on my laptop”.
So what is Docker? In summary, Docker is a leader, with its strongly recommended container minimization and platform agnosticism, that has caused the software industry to shift towards the rise of microservices. The reason it has made such a large contribution is that it simply makes developers lives easier and production schedules drastically shorter.
For more information on how to secure the integrity of your Docker images and containers, check out our blog on how to get free integrity verification for Docker images.