Chris Xiao

Aspiring Software Engineer

Chris Xiao

Aspiring Software Engineer

Why is Docker so important?

What is Docker, and why should I care?

devops 
Last updated on Dec. 30, 2018

TL;DR

Docker lets you package your application and all its dependencies in a single image, so you can deploy it in different environments without much hassle.

Watch Jake Wright's video about Docker and Docker Compose to get started.

What is Docker?

Docker is an open-source software that allows developers to easily create, deploy, and run applications using container. Developers can package an application and all its dependencies in a container, and deliver as a single package. This allows the application to run on any Linux machine with Docker installed, regardless of configurations that may be different from the development machine.

Containers are similar to virtual machines in many ways, but unlike virtual machines, containers shares the kernel with the host OS. This greatly reduces the size of the application and improves performance, so more applications can be deployed on the same machine.

Learn more about containers on Docker's site.

Who is Docker for?

Docker is for everyone involved in the developemnt and deployment of applications, and it works in deployments of any scale! In fact, this site is running in a Docker container on a AWS EC2 instance.

For developers, Docker allows them to focus on developing the applications without worrying much about where their code will eventually run.

For system administrators, Docker allows them to easily deploy applications without needing to manually resolve dependencies. Docker can also potentially reduce the number of servers needed, due to containers' small footprint and small performance impact.

In large deployments, Kubernetes, a container orchestration tool, can be used with Docker to automates deployment, scaling and management of containers in clusters.

Sounds great! How to get started?

Installing Docker is very simple. Follow Docker's install guide to install Docker on all your machines.

If you'd like to learn more about Docker, Docker's official documentation is a great way to get started. You can also check out Jake Wright's video about Docker and Docker Compose.


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This article by Chris Xiao is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Use is permitted with attribution to the original author.