Docker Introduction and Overview

Hello guys, we are going to learn about something I found amazing and would want you to try out, Docker. Now, some of you may have heard about it and some my have not. Lets start!

 Docker is the world’s leading software container platform.

Developers use Docker to eliminate “works on my machine” problems when collaborating on code with co-workers. Operators use Docker to run and manage apps side-by-side in isolated containers to get better compute density. Enterprises use Docker to build agile software delivery pipelines to ship new features faster, more securely and with confidence for both Linux and Windows Server apps.

Docker Introduction and Overview

Docker is an open platform for developing, shipping, and running applications. Docker enables you to separate your applications from your infrastructure so you can deliver software quickly. With Docker, you can manage your infrastructure in the same ways you manage your applications. By taking advantage of Docker’s methodologies for shipping, testing, and deploying code quickly, you can significantly reduce the delay between writing code and running it in production.

Docker automates the repetitive tasks of setting up and configuring development environments so that developers can focus on what matters: building great software.

Developers using Docker don’t have to install and configure complex databases nor worry about switching between incompatible language toolchain versions. When an app is dockerized, that complexity is pushed into containers that are easily built, shared and run. Onboarding a co-worker to a new codebase no longer means hours spent installing software and explaining setup procedures. Code that ships with Dockerfiles is simpler to work on: Dependencies are pulled as neatly packaged Docker images and anyone with Docker and an editor installed can build and debug the app in minutes.

The Docker platform

Docker provides the ability to package and run an application in a loosely isolated environment called a container. The isolation and security allow you to run many containers simultaneously on a given host. Containers are lightweight because they don’t need the extra load of a hypervisor, but run directly within the host machine’s kernel. This means you can run more containers on a given hardware combination than if you were using virtual machines. You can even run Docker containers within host machines that are actually virtual machines!

Docker provides tooling and a platform to manage the lifecycle of your containers:

  • Develop your application and its supporting components using containers.
  • The container becomes the unit for distributing and testing your application.
  • When you’re ready, deploy your application into your production environment, as a container or an orchestrated service. This works the same whether your production environment is a local data center, a cloud provider, or a hybrid of the two.

Docker Engine

Docker Engine is a client-server application with these major components:

  • A server which is a type of long-running program called a daemon process (the dockerd command).
  • A REST API which specifies interfaces that programs can use to talk to the daemon and instruct it what to do.
  • A command line interface (CLI) client (the docker command).

The CLI uses the Docker REST API to control or interact with the Docker daemon through scripting or direct CLI commands. Many other Docker applications use the underlying API and CLI.

The daemon creates and manages Docker objects, such as images, containers, networks, and volumes.

What can I use Docker for?

Fast, consistent delivery of your applications

Docker streamlines the development lifecycle by allowing developers to work in standardized environments using local containers which provide your applications and services. Containers are great for continuous integration and continuous development (CI/CD) workflows.

Consider the following example scenario.

  • Your developers write code locally and share their work with their colleagues using Docker containers.
  • They use Docker to push their applications into a test environment and execute automated and manual tests.
  • When developers find bugs, they can fix them in the development environment and redeploy them to the test environment for testing and validation.
  • When testing is complete, getting the fix to the customer is as simple as pushing the updated image to the production environment.

Responsive deployment and scaling

Docker’s container-based platform allows for highly portable workloads. Docker containers can run on a developer’s local laptop, on physical or virtual machines in a data center, on cloud providers, or in a mixture of environments.

Docker’s portability and lightweight nature also make it easy to dynamically manage workloads, scaling up or tearing down applications and services as business needs dictate, in near real time.

Running more workloads on the same hardware

Docker is lightweight and fast. It provides a viable, cost-effective alternative to hypervisor-based virtual machines, so you can use more of your compute capacity to achieve your business goals. Docker is perfect for high density environments and for small and medium deployments where you need to do more with fewer resources.

The Docker daemon

The Docker daemon (dockerd) listens for Docker API requests and manages Docker objects such as images, containers, networks, and volumes. A daemon can also communicate with other daemons to manage Docker services.

The Docker client

The Docker client (docker) is the primary way that many Docker users interact with Docker. When you use commands such as docker run, the client sends these commands to dockerd, which carries them out. The docker command uses the Docker API. The Docker client can communicate with more than one daemon.

Docker registries

A Docker registry stores Docker images. Docker Hub and Docker Cloud are public registries that anyone can use, and Docker is configured to look for images on Docker Hub by default. You can even run your own private registry. If you use Docker Datacenter (DDC), it includes Docker Trusted Registry (DTR).

When you use the docker pull or docker run commands, the required images are pulled from your configured registry. When you use the docker push command, your image is pushed to your configured registry.

Docker store allows you to buy and sell Docker images or distribute them for free. For instance, you can buy a Docker image containing an application or service from a software vendor and use the image to deploy the application into your testing, staging, and production environments. You can upgrade the application by pulling the new version of the image and redeploying the containers.

Docker objects

When you use Docker, you are creating and using images, containers, networks, volumes, plugins, and other objects. This section is a brief overview of some of those objects.

Images

An image is a read-only template with instructions for creating a Docker container. Often, an image is based on another image, with some additional customization. For example, you may build an image which is based on the ubuntu image, but installs the Apache web server and your application, as well as the configuration details needed to make your application run.

You might create your own images or you might only use those created by others and published in a registry. To build your own image, you create a Dockerfile with a simple syntax for defining the steps needed to create the image and run it. Each instruction in a Dockerfile creates a layer in the image. When you change the Dockerfile and rebuild the image, only those layers which have changed are rebuilt. This is part of what makes images so lightweight, small, and fast, when compared to other virtualization technologies.

Containers

A container is a runnable instance of an image. You can create, run, stop, move, or delete a container using the Docker API or CLI. You can connect a container to one or more networks, attach storage to it, or even create a new image based on its current state.

By default, a container is relatively well isolated from other containers and its host machine. You can control how isolated a container’s network, storage, or other underlying subsystems are from other containers or from the host machine.

A container is defined by its image as well as any configuration options you provide to it when you create or run it. When a container stops, any changes to its state that are not stored in persistent storage disappears.

Example docker run command

The following command runs an ubuntu container, attaches interactively to your local command-line session, and runs /bin/bash

Services

Services allow you to scale containers across multiple Docker daemons, which all work together as a swarm with multiple managers and workers. Each member of a swarm is a Docker daemon, and the daemons all communicate using the Docker API. A service allows you to define the desired state, such as the number of replicas of the service that must be available at any given time. By default, the service is load-balanced across all worker nodes. To the consumer, the Docker service appears to be a single application. Docker Engine supports swarm mode in Docker 1.12 and higher.

Summary

An image is a lightweight, stand-alone, executable package that includes everything needed to run a piece of software, including the code, a runtime, libraries, environment variables, and config files.

container is a runtime instance of an image—what the image becomes in memory when actually executed. It runs completely isolated from the host environment by default, only accessing host files and ports if configured to do so.

We will learn how to install Docker, and how to use it to develop amazing software’s along the way as we proceed with this tutorial series. Remember to subscribe to get updates instantly! Feel free to drop a comment, suggestion or a remark and I will be happy get back to you.

Happy Coding!

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Juma Allan

In this blog, I write tutorials and articles related to Android and Node Js coding. I am an Open Source Enthusiast and have been programming Android for three years now. I love sharing my knowledge with others, and learning new languages everyday. I write on this blog to share what I've gained by learning from the web and friends.