Software applications require an incredible amount of dependencies like packages, libraries, and software components to run. Running multiple applications on a single operating system can cause system failure and changing anything in the software can cause a headache for the employees of an organization. Traditionally businesses use virtual machines to isolate and organize applications and their dependencies. Virtual machines allow multiple applications to run on the same hardware and in the process keep conflicts between applications at bay. But the virtual machines can take up a lot of space and reach up to gigabytes in size, and they are also unable to provide solutions for software updates, continuous integration, continuous delivery, and portability.
Docker Containers isolate the application into smaller and lightweight execution environments that share the same operating system. Containers are smaller in size and use far lesser resources than virtual machines. The startup time of containers are also very less, and it takes very fewer efforts to spin the containers up or down. The applications that run on Docker containers are wrapped up in such a way that many deployment and runtime issues like network exposure, storage and memory management, and access permissions are handled outside of applications. The applications can run on any compatible operating system host that has the Docker Runtime installed. Besides Encapsulation feature, Docker Containers offer isolation, portability, and control over the application. Versioning and component reusability is also possible as Docker has its own built-in mechanism. Docker Containers can easily be shared via repositories or Docker Hub. The detailed analysis of the benefits of Docker Containers is as follows:
Efficient Use of System Resources: Dockers use memory in megabytes, and start-up and stop very quickly. Very few operating system instances are required to run a heavy workload, which means less spending on software licenses. All of these features make Docker Containers a cost-effective option for enterprises.
Faster Delivery Cycles: Owing to present demands, the enterprises need to respond to changing conditions quickly. Docker Containers allow easy deployment of new versions of software, and it enable the companies to roll back to the older version if a need arises.
Application Portability: As Docker Containers encapsulate all the features that an application need, it allows the application to shift between environments. Any system which has a Docker runtime installed can run a Docker Container.