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What are the Benefits of Using Docker Containers & When Should They Be Used?by@priya11
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What are the Benefits of Using Docker Containers & When Should They Be Used?

by Priya KumariDecember 5th, 2022
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The biggest benefit of Docker is its ability to isolate the development and production systems for your applications. Each application container can be deployed on the same Docker host, which means you can use the same environment to test and run your application while it's in production.  Docker containers are more portable, faster, and less resource-intensive than virtual machines. They're also simpler to set up and manage. Docker containers allow you to run isolated applications in the same way that you would on any other computing platform. These isolated applications can be scaled up or down individually while they continue to run, making it easier to manage their performance and resources.

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Introduction

Docker is a containerization platform that makes it easy to build, deploy, and run containers in production. Docker is open source and helps to speed up application delivery and also reduces operational costs as it lowers infrastructure operational expenses. In short, given a Docker container image, you can now run any kind of application with minimum upfront cost and resource consumption.


It allows enterprises to easily integrate the benefits of containerization into their development lifecycle and operations.


Docker enables developers to build, deploy and manage containers in serverless computing which helps to save time and money. Docker provides a simple and secure networking environment, enabling developers to build containers efficiently and easily.


In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of using Docker containers and will figure out when they should be used. So without further ado, let's delve into the details.

The Benefits of Using Docker Container

What Problems Does Docker Solve?

Each service has its own OS dependencies, which they can manage for themselves by isolating their container from other services. Docker makes this easy by giving each service an isolated operating system, so you don’t need a third-party distribution to run the whole stack.


A docker container bundles up an OS in a "package" that can be deployed, reproduced, and run without affecting any of your other services.


Furthermore, Docker eliminates the need for virtual machines and reduces the complexity of managing multiple operating systems and app deployments by providing a unified, standardized runtime environment for application containers.


The biggest benefit of Docker is its ability to isolate the development and production systems for your applications. Each application container can be deployed on the same Docker host, which means you can use the same environment to test and run your application while it's in production.

Docker containers are more portable, faster, and less resource-intensive than virtual machines. They're also simpler to set up and manage.


Docker containers allow you to run isolated applications in the same way that you would on any other computing platform. These isolated applications can be scaled up or down individually while they continue to run, making it easier to manage their performance and resources.


Here are some of the key benefits of using Docker Container:


  1. Simplification of Configuration


Docker allows numerous ways of use and deployment. One of them is its simplification of configuration. As it enables you to avoid the tedious task of re-configuration on every environment change. It is also easy to install and can be used with different platforms on different devices, that too without much overhead or cost involved. It makes your code alive where no pre-requirements are needed. Docker allows you to build your code base once and run it anywhere, making it easier to test and deploy code.


Developers can place their code into Docker containers and have those containers deployed based on whatever configuration file is included in your project's Git repository. You pay only for what you use and get amazing developer experience along with an agile fleet management tool that simplifies the process of deployment.


  1. Effective Code Pipeline Management


This feature makes Docker highly beneficial for any company. Docker provides a consistent environment along all the stages from development to production, facilitating an easy development and deployment pipeline.


Code Pipeline Management is key to the work of developers; As they write code in a developer environment, it passes through various stages(each of different platforms/environments) and approaches (production stage), and a few minor differences could be observed. Dockers provide a consistent environment along all the stages from development to production, facilitating an easy development and deployment pipeline. Also, the stable nature of the Docker image and ease with which it can be started can add up to achieving pipeline management.


  1. Docker Boosts Deployment Productivity


Docker is a must-have tool for developers looking forward to boosting their deployment productivity as it is a centralized software that enables users to create containers, automate their deployment, and orchestrate multi-container applications. It provides a suite of secure, portable infrastructure for developers to create and run distributed applications across clouds or on premises.


With Docker, a developer can use the same programming language across all the machines where he is working.


  1. Multi-Tenancy Isolates Containers for Different Users


Multi-tenancy can be a major headache for application developers. You may have to redesign or completely rewrite the entire application’s code base, which can be tedious and costly to do properly. Docker allows you to quickly spin up multiple instances of your application in a single process so that each tenant can run an instance of your app while sharing underlying resources.  Multi-Tenancy provides the ability to have multiple instances of an application running on one host. This makes it easy to scale your application and avoid rewrites.


Moreover, decoupling is a multi-tenant application's codebase into individual containers making it easier to reuse and refactor. This allows you to roll out new features without incurring associated downtime or the risk of destroying the whole application.


  1. Debugging Competencies


Docker makes it a breeze to debug your containers, whether they are running in production or in development. You can checkpoint and rollback, set network ports, run commands on the container per request, or otherwise interact with your application.


As an effective container management platform with debugging capabilities, Docker comes with the ability to halt an application before executing it from within a container and also has multiple check-pointing options. Docker also helps in differentiating two containers with labels or names that are used as identifiers for the same thing.


  1. Better Resilience and Disaster Recovery


With a Docker container, you can get a snapshot of the running state of your app at any time. This will be useful to recover from any emergency issues. In case the entire system crashes or fails due to an external event, Docker guarantees that your data will be saved at that exact moment and not before. Docker uses snapshots to restore data in the event of an emergency. Docker is a handy option for those who want to easily test "what-if" scenarios or switch between different versions of the same software.


Docker provides a secure way to save state across several versions of specific files and the ability to repeatedly switch between multiple versions of the same software. Disaster recovery is a critical issue. Deploying new instances in an environment is not a simple task. You need to take care of different things like making sure that your default instance is ready before moving or replacing it with another instance. Once done, backup and restore the data until you are back 100%. With Docker, you can backup an image in different ways i.e. replication or rolling back, etc., which makes the procedure easier and faster without losing any data.


  1. Docker Has Made It Easier for Organizations to Embrace DevOps


Docker enables DevOps by allowing organizations to deploy software and also manage a cloud infrastructure in a highly consistent manner. It makes it easier for organizations to embrace DevOps by creating consistent infrastructure across multiple environments, eliminating the need for manual configuration, and enabling CI/CD-enabled pipelines to be run on containers. Docker systematizes environment setup and configuration, which allows machines to be local or remote across networks. Docker can introduce improvements and fixings in your DevOps department.

DevOps is an important trend in the IT industry. Organizations are moving towards DevOps intending to improve their processes and maximize efficiency. Docker is a containerization mechanism that allows software teams to easily self-service containers and deploy them at scale without fear of overhead, complexity, and management overhead. Docker CI is a simple yet effective tool for automating builds, testing, and deploying applications with ease. DevOps can be implemented using Docker through headless services to automate workflow and reduce manual efforts.


In short, Docker has made it easier for organizations to automate builds, testing, and deployment processes while reducing human error. All this is in addition to introducing continuous integration practices into any project.


  1. The Dynamic Allocation of Resources Facilitates Speedy Deployment


As long as you are allowed to do so, Docker can greatly speed up the deployment of new servers in your company. Developing a new process is not only about engineering and development; it is also about testing, QA, and production. Because of Docker, you are able to integrate all these processes into one cohesive unit which allows continuous integration from start to finish, allowing for much faster development time.


Docker reduces the time to launch a new instance. It allows rapid deployment, easy scaling, and a more dynamic allocation of available resources.

When To Use Docker?

Docker is a great way to ensure that all the developers have access to all the necessary bits and pieces of code. So, if someone adds software dependencies, everyone has them when needed.  If it is just one developer, there is no such need to do everything with Docker as you would do with an operating system that includes your entire app's operating system.


Docker is a great tool to use when you want to make sure that all the developers on your team have access to the same software. This can help avoid dependency issues and ensure that users can update their environments easily. Docker is used to set up your server operating system environment, store applications, and make them available to your team.


Let’s have a look at some scenarios when you can use Docker containers:


  1. Testing and Developing New Projects Instantly


Docker provides a disposable and isolated environment in an effort, to begin with, a new tool even without spending much time on installations and configurations. Several projects maintain Docker images with the applications previously installed and configured.


With Docker, you can get to the next stage of your development process rapidly. It gives you a local environment that can be used to build and deploy complex applications without worry.


  1. When You Just Need An Image From Docker Hub for Your Basic / Standard Application


Usually, to build a Docker image and run it locally on your machine, you need to have all the needed dependencies ready. For example Compiler, Libraries (Java, C++, or anything else), Conduit. You need to add all these components to your image in order to make it functional.


This is not very efficient at all. In order to avoid this problem, we can use Docker Hub which will provide us with images for our basic application which contains all these dependencies that we need before deploying it in production. So as an example, if I am building my web application that needs jQuery, ReactJS, AngularJS, and most probably some more CSS libraries. But I don't know them yet due to my lack of knowledge about them etc., then I can add such libraries into the image I'm building and this will make my image easier to build and deploy at any point in time. Docker Hub is a built-in service of Docker Engine, where you can localize your Docker images and manage them.


Docker Hub provides a central place to store, sync, and share all of the Docker services we use throughout our development process so that you can pull any image with ease. Not sure what that means?  These days, it's all about Continuous Integration (CI), Continuous Deployment (CD). This means that teams are expected to have their own private registry for all internal build images, private builds, and test environments. That is where Docker Hub comes into play as a centralized hub where everyone shares their code safely through images and Dockerfiles.


  1. When You Need No Dependencies and Wish to Isolate Your App


App Isolation lets you isolate your different applications on a separate server and helps maintain their dependencies. This is useful when there are several applications using a single handler component and you want to use one server for them all.  Each application component is isolated by keeping it in its own container. This makes for easier troubleshooting when trying to manage numerous applications on a single server.


App isolation will ensure that all dependent applications (including middleware, caches, and database queries) are running in the correct containers. This means that database connections, static content, and other resources will not be discarded when an application is restarted if it was running on a different server.


  1. You Need An Effective Tool to Better Co-ordinate With Your Fellow Developers


Docker also enables developers to set up a local development environment that closely matches the production environment, allowing them to better coordinate with other developers, even if they are working in an entirely different setup.


With Docker, you can use the latest version of your favorite application stack without leaving behind the rest of your infrastructure. By using containers you can reuse applications across all hosts, scaled horizontally and replicated to allow high availability in failover scenarios.


  1. Choose Docker When Want Your Applications to Perform Better


The performance-critical applications should be placed on Docker hosts. Examples of Performance-critical Applications include web applications, financial services, and cloud platforms. These applications require a high level of performance to support the interactive user experience and deliver fast transaction processing times to support the business requirements.


The best way to avoid performance issues is to use a containerized-based architecture.  Docker is the fastest way to build and ship your application.


 Docker can be a good option for performance-critical applications. Compared to VMs, containers share the same kernel and emulate a full OS, therefore they can obtain higher performance than VMs. Also, containers are lightweight and more resource intensive compared to VMs.


  1. When You Require an Open-Source Community to Manage Your Hassles Such as Upgradation


Docker is managed by an open-source community, so you don't need to undergo any hassle of hardware upgrades or software installations. This way you can experience its new features continuously without many hassles.

Wrap Up

Docker containers are used to create, deploy and run distributed applications as containers. These containers are in turn built from images that include application source code with the OS libraries and dependencies required to run that code in any environment.


Containers are the foundation of Docker. Containers isolate apps, so developers can update, test and deploy them without disrupting other applications or services. Containers are self-sufficient, optimized to run on any infrastructure, and — because they're lightweight — take up less space than virtual machines or physical instances. Customers looking for a way to reduce costs while improving app development time will benefit in particular from using containers.


We hope this post was able to provide you with a high-level overview of the usability of Docker containers, their benefits, and under what circumstances they form an ideal business solution. At MSys Technologies we are experts at optimizing your digital transformation projects by enabling you for containerized technologies and allied appropriate integrations; all this at a competitive pricing.


For any help in getting started with containerized technology, feel free to get in touch.