What is Docker?
Docker is a system designed to simplify and optimise the process of creating, deploying and running applications.
Software programs and applications are created as Docker images and then packaged into Docker containers – these containers include all the parts the program needs in order to run correctly.
A Docker platform is required to run the Docker containers. A single server can run several Docker containers simultaneously. Containers are isolated from each other on the platform but share the Operating System (OS). Sharing the OS means that more resources, such as memory and processing power, can be devoted to the application itself.
A Developer will install their programs inside Docker images that specify their precise contents. A Docker image is a lightweight package of software that includes everything needed to run an application: code, runtime, system tools, system libraries and settings. Docker images are like a template for an application.
This set up means that containers can be run anywhere and each time it will be exactly identical, regardless of the infrastructure it’s running on.
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Find out the answers to these questions and more in this introduction to Container Engines and OS Level Virtualisation featuring Docker and Kubernetes.
Swarm is the native clustering for Docker. Originally Docker Swarm did not provide much in the sense of container automation, but with the update to Docker Engine 1.12, container orchestration is now built into its core with first-party support.
What are containers?
Containers are essentially a logical packaging mechanism that virtualises operating systems (OS). Application code can be separated from the environment in which it actually runs so that it can be run anywhere – be it a desktop or in the cloud.
Containers v VMs
Containers are often compared with virtual machines (VMs). VMs work with a guest OS such as Windows or Linux running on top of a host OS with virtualized access to the hardware.
With containers, instead of virtualizing the underlying hardware, they virtualise the OS, so that each individual container accommodates only the application and its libraries and dependencies.
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