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Docker is a containerisation platform (visualisation via containers) created in 2014. Today, it is used by many professionals to create, deploy and manage virtualised application containers.
  • Operating system: Linux Debian 9
  • Includes: portainer.io

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Virtualisation via containersWhat is the Docker platform?

Understanding virtualisation via containers

Virtualisation via containers, or containerisation, allows you to create different virtual environments on the same OS, with the objective of running an application. These virtual environments are called containers and each have a file system, processor, RAM, etc. Each application located in the container can store its file library there.

If the separate environments share the same core (i.e. the same OS), they do not include it and are isolated from each other. Therefore, when considering the installation of containers, there is no need to install a new operating system. This is what differentiates virtual machines from container virtualisation.



Thanks to the OS shared between the different environments, they are able to communicate with each other. The advantage of this solution is therefore the simplicity of application movement: there being fewer resources to consider, such as memory space or RAM.

Docker: the containerisation platform

The very first version of Docker was released in 2014 and aims to simplify the creation, deployment and management of virtual environments. In the space of 5 years, it is estimated that Docker's containerisation has covered more than 3 million applications, and 37 billion applications have been downloaded. Today, even the giant Microsoft uses Docker, proof of the efficiency and performance of this software platform. But what exactly is this platform?

Docker is an open source software compatible with Microsoft Windows, Mac OS and Linux. Originally, it was developed to work only on the latter but, due to its growing success, its creators decided to adapt it to other operating systems.

The components of Docker

The Docker containerisation software platform includes seven components:

  • The Docker Engine: this is a client-server tool for setting up containers and deploying applications in an isolated virtual environment.
  • The drive: this is able to host images, containers, as well as storage space, thanks to the creation of a server-side daemon.
  • The SLI client-side interface: thanks to this, the Docker user can control the daemon through the software platform's programming interface.
  • The Dockerfiles: these are simply the containers created by Docker.
  • Docker Compose: this tool allows the user to manage the different components in an isolated virtual environment.
  • The Docker Hub: this on-demand software offers the possibility of sharing applications housed in containers in a shared library.
  • The Docker Swarm: this mode, edited by the Docker Engine, balances the cluster loads.

Docker: advantages and disadvantages

The reason why Docker has been used on a massive scale since its launch in 2014 is because of the many advantages that the containerisation platform offers to users.

Advantages

  • Speed: container creation, deployment and management is much faster than with other container virtualisation tools, making this Docker's main advantage.
  • Portability: this allows users to create and share a large number of containers on a multitude of hosts, regardless of the environment.
  • Efficiency: compared to virtual machines, the resources required for application development with Docker are lower.
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