Introduction to Advantages of Docker
Advantages of Docker are based on two aspects, the first one is the reduction in CapEx and the second one is the reduction in OpEx. Here CapEx means Capital Expenditure and Opex means Operation Expenditure. Let’s understand the first aspect that is the reduction in CapEx. To understand how Docker reduces CapEx, we have to understand different types of deployments.
Types of Docker
Below are the types of docker:
- Traditional Deployment
- Virtualized Deployment
- Container Deployment
1. Traditional Deployment: In a traditional deployment, we have to deploy applications on physical servers and when it comes to doing maintenance on the servers, we had to shut down the application. We were able to utilize only 20- 30% of our IT resources in traditional deployment.
2. Virtualized Deployment: Then we entered into virtualized deployment. Here we can virtualize the physical hardware and can create multiple virtual machines on it. It is easy to do maintenance on physical servers without shutting down the application as we can run virtual machines in a cluster but still we are only able to utilize 40-50% of our IT resources.
3. Container Deployment: This is the era of container deployment and Docker comes into the picture now as it is one of the most popular container runtime applications. Here we deploy an application as a container using images. Images are very lightweight and it shares the host kernel that’s why we no longer need full-blown VM to run our applications. We can now utilize 70-80% of our IT resources.
Let’s understand it with an example, let’s assume we have 100 web servers to handle the web application traffic so we need 100 VMs. All VMs have its own OS that is going to take some amount of resource, let’s take each VM takes 1 GB of RAM to run its OS so total it will take 100 GB to run 100 VMs. If we run the same application as a container, we no longer need full-blown OS so we can save the licensing cost of 100 OS and 100 GB of RAM as well.
Let’s take the second aspect that is the reduction in OpEx. If we run applications as a container on Docker, we need less human resources to operate, manage and monitor the IT infrastructure and it is going to directly impact our operational expenditure because we can automate most of the tasks and it has self-healing capability so that it can heal itself automatically.
Advantages of Docker
Below are the prominent advantages of Docker:
- Faster time to market
- Developer Productivity
- Deployment velocity
- IT infrastructure reduction
- IT operational efficiency
- Faster issue to resolution
1. Faster Time to Market
Business is changing rapidly. We need a tool that can meet the business requirement at that pace. Here Docker container helps to deploy a new version of the software with added features into production easily and with less human interaction as we can integrate Docker with CI/CD pipeline tools such as Jenkins. We can easily rollback the deployment if the newer version has any bug or something. We can easily implement the Canary test in Docker. In the Canary test, we roll out a newer version of the software into production for few users only and if everything looks good we slowly deploy the newer version of the software into the production for all.
2. Developer Productivity
It increases developer productivity exponentially because earlier developers had to test their code in a test environment and when the operations team deploy the code to the production they got errors such as missing binaries, missing.net framework, etc. because both environments have different configuration and operations team just threw the code to the developers, saying code is not working and developers had to review the whole code and test it. However, while creating Docker images, a developer can include all its binaries and framework inside the Docker image itself that assures if code is working fine in a test environment then it is going to work in production for sure. It helps developers to enhance their productivity.
3. Deployment Velocity
Docker helps to increase deployment velocity from months to weeks. We can easily deploy new code to the production by integrating it to CI/CD.
4. IT Infrastructure Reduction
As discussed above, the containerized application uses less memory as compared to virtual machines. If we take an example of ISO image of Ubuntu it is about 4 GB in size however Ubuntu Docker image is about 60 MB in size that far lesser than ISO image. It is really lightweight and uses less resources to run hence reduces IT.
5. IT Operational Efficiency
We can use docker-compose to deploy a full-stack application that includes all our services that are required to start up a working application. It is also called microservices where application components are loosely coupled to each other. We can easily scale up or down any services as per our needs. Docker uses physical servers efficiently by distributing the load equally. Docker always checks for desired state configuration and matches the current configuration and if the desired configuration does not match the current configuration, Docker will automatically scale up or scale down the containers. It makes IT operations.
6. Faster Issue Resolution
As discussed earlier, Docker has a self-healing capability. It tries to restart the container if the container is not responding and it fails to do so it will just destroy the container and create a new one for us. So if there is an issue we can resolve it quickly to meet the business requirement. There is no much troubleshooting.
Docker images are portable as it encapsulates everything that is required to run an application. It means if it is running on a test environment, it will run on a production environment or any public cloud or any OS, just it needs Docker to be installed on the system on which we want to run.
Docker has many advantages however we cannot move all our workloads to Docker. It is also not a replacement for virtual machines as both have their own advantages. We need developers who can re-write or make modifications to existing code to make the application compatible with Docker.
This is a guide to the Advantages of Docker. Here we discuss the top 7 Advantages of Docker in detail and its example along with different types. You can also go through our other suggested articles to learn more –