Introduction to Docker Alternatives
Docker is a tool that uses containers to run applications. Using this tool makes it very easy to create applications, deploy them and run these applications. It is now possible for the developer to club an application along with other required components and libraries. This ensures that the application will run on any machine and environment as the container holds all the files required.
Docker functions as a virtual machine. The difference is in how it runs. Docker does not create a virtual operating system, but it ships all the components required to run the application along with the code. This optimizes the performance and minimizes the size and the speed required to run the application.
Docker is available open source.
Who should use Docker?
This tool is beneficial to both developers as well as administrators. Hence it is an important part of DevOps toolchain. The developer now doesn’t have to worry about the environment where his code would run. Hence a developer can focus on writing effective and efficient codes. Docker gives the operations team the flexibility and also brings down the number of systems required since it has a comparatively smaller footprint and lower overhead.
What are the Pros and Cons of Docker?
Pros of Docker:
- Well Documented
- Has Public Container Registries
Cons of Docker:
- Storage is difficult
- Poor Monitoring
- Is Platform dependent
List of Docker Alternatives
Different Docker Alternatives are as follows:
1. Virtual Box
The Virtual Box tool by Oracle, as the name suggests, creates a virtual environment which allows a developer to set up and run his applications in different platforms. This runs on any standard X86 OS. A developer can create cloud-based, online storage straight from his own system, using this Docker alternative. Creating and updating computers and systems and formatting the files to run on any OS is made possible by the Virtual Box. Hence, Virtual Box is a tool that provides the developer with a flexible solution that lets him work cross-platform. Virtual Box also makes it very convenient for the developer to use cloud computing and switch between operating systems.
An open source software Vagrant is a tool developed for building, supporting and maintaining portable virtual environments for software development. The objective of this tool is to maximize the development productivity by trying to simplify Software Configuration Management of Virtualizations. The program is developed using Ruby. However, the ecosystem supports development in a few more languages.
Wox has been proven to be a very effective launcher for the Windows Operating System. Wox is an open source code that is a full featured launcher that helps the developer to access programs, web content and other information parallel to other work. This helps the developer to be more productive. Wox is freely available at Github.
An open source code, Rancher is another one among the list of Docker alternatives which is built to provide organizations with everything they need. This software combines the environments required to adopt and run containers in production. A rancher is built on Kubernetes. This tool helps the DevOps team by making it easier to testing, deploying and managing the applications. A rancher is used by the operations team to deploy, manage and secure every deployment by Kubernetes irrespective of the platform they are running on.
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This is the software that has been designed to manage, scale and deploy containerized applications. Kubernetes is being used by various popular companies like SAP, Yahoo, Pokemon GO, Black Rock, The New York Times, eBay, Pearson, Bla Bla Car, Goldman Sachs, Philips, Zulily, Huawei, WePay, SoundCloud. The tool even has its own convention: KubeCon.
6. Apache Mesos
Another Docker alternative is Apache Mesos. This tool is designed to leverage the features of modern kernels in order to carry out functions like resource isolation, prioritization, limiting & accounting. These functions are generally carried out by groups in the Linux or zones in the Solaris. What Mesos does is, it provides isolation for the Memory, I/O devices, file systems, and the CPU. Using Linux containers is also possible but Mesos is limited to CPU and Memory.
7. LXC Linux Container
The 3 main components of LXC Container include LXC, LXD which is the runtime component, a Daemon thread developed in GO. This component manages containers and images. The third component is LXFUSE. This component manages the file systems. LXC is an older, more popular but a lower level set of tools. LXD component expands on LXC thus offering a better User Interface and CLI for better management of the container. LXD emulates the experience that is used for operating the available Virtual Machines but only in the terma of the containers. This is done without any server overhead of the Virtual Machines. LXD component can be configured on both Windows and MacOS clients. This Linux container has some disadvantages like an absence of Kubernetes integration and LXC not being PCI compliant. But LXRUN is very likely to resolve these shortcomings.
Even though Docker has many features that are useful in many use cases, it is important to understand one’s business requirement before choosing a tool. One should always consider various tools available; functions and features offered and compare them according to the business use case. Only then zero down to the final decision.
This has been a guide on Docker Alternatives. Here we have discussed the top 8 Docker Alternatives with Pros and Cons. You may also look at the following articles to learn more –