If you are a modern-day developer or cloud engineer, searching for tools and solutions, chances are you already came across Docker. In the current technological landscape, the advantages of Docker go beyond development. Many are already embracing it as one of the key technologies, primarily in IT, but also in fin-tech, financial services. The tech is being hailed as a real game-changer when migrating to the cloud.
Major industry companies are employing application containerization (specifically Docker), including Microsoft, Google, Facebook. In fact, Docker containers have been used more and more in different types of production environments. Time and again they’ve proved as one of the most efficient ways of establishing and implementing specific infrastructure requirements, easily and securely.
What is Docker?
Docker is commonly utilized as an open-source containerization platform. The platform helps developers package applications into containers — standardized executable components that merge application source code with relevant OS libraries and dependencies needed to run the code (regardless of environment). There is a reason why Docker has turned into one of the most sought-after open-source techs today. The shortest version would be that Docker basically allows you to build, ship, run an application, anywhere. The traditional process of running applications is to run them on Virtual Machines (or VMs). However, running them in containers instead of VMs is becoming significantly popular. So, a developer can package up an application with the essential dependencies, and then ship it all out as a single package.
Cloud-Agnostic Strategy, and the Power of Mobility
Docker lays the groundwork for a powerful cloud-agnostic strategy. This means you can switch cloud providers with no headaches (should the demand, pricing or performance change). The best part is setting up the multi-cloud approach, so you’ll have workloads split between providers. In addition, with application containerization you’ll also enhance cloud mobility. In other words, you are balancing resources and costs between public cloud services, and this gives you the power to adapt to any sudden changes in markets, or tech.
How Docker Helps Financial Services
Let’s say that a large banking and financial services company has separate instances for individual partners (clients). Traditionally, as a soon as a new partner needs on-boarding, a separate instance must be set up, followed by the necessary installation. Admittedly, quite a lot of financial services see it as a time-consuming process. When all the vital components for this new partner are moved to Docker containers, the situation improves dramatically. How so? Well, with Docker, when building a partner instance, all you need are the containers to be pulled from the repository, and that’s it: the application starts straight away. Application containerization also features time reduction factor, so, for example, deployment time decreases significantly. Upgrading each component is carried out swiftly and effortlessly. Docker containers also feature high portability and modularity. Utilizing Docker containerization, you can take down part of an application to modernize it and repair.
Top Application Containerization Service Providers
While docker helped simplify the developer experience. It’s important to emphasize that when we’re talking about application containerization, this is a relatively fresh approach in IT. Even so, it is a fast-growing trend. So, let’s highlight some of the leading application containerization services. Three are currently dominating the market: Docker Platform, Kubernetes Engine and Amazon Elastic Container Service.
Officially launched back in the year 2013, as an open-source technology under the name, Docker Engine. The docker container is actually a bundle of code that contains an application and its necessary elements. The container image is a lightweight package of executables that includes all of the code, runtime, system tools, libraries and configuration files needed to run an application. Container images become containers at runtime, isolating the software instance from its environment and ensuring that it performs uniformly regardless of differences between the development and staging environments.
The Google Kubernetes Engine
The Google Kubernetes Engine allows you to deploy, manage and scaling containerized applications utilizing the Google Cloud infrastructure. Kubernetes (also referred to as K8s) initially launched as an open-source containerization management system. Later it evolved and is packed with additional features and functionality with the Google Cloud Platform. Some of these features denote load-balancing for compute engine instances, automatic scaling of node instances, automatic software upgrades, auto-repair feature which helps to maintain node health and more.
Amazon’s Elastic Container Service (or ECS)
ECS is another powerful container orchestration platform. It offers AWS customers the opportunity to run containerized applications, and naturally it supports Docker containers. The fully managed container orchestration service allows its users to implement API calls to launch or stop dockerized applications. ECS is also utilized within Amazon to power services such as Amazon SageMaker, AWS Batch, Amazon Lex, and Amazon.com’s recommendation engine. In addition, you can use it to access other AWS features such as AWS CloudTrail event logs, Amazon CloudWatch Events, IAM roles, and so on.
Results and Benefits
Any CD pipeline running in Docker containers can really move a lot faster. Some of the key areas can be provisioning build servers, testing, deployment automation and so on. With the increase of automation, you are straining infrastructure resources, and that’s where Docker comes in. It easily reduces these strains and ultimately the costs. This especially goes for larger development efforts.
We’ve only just scratched the surface here. Docker has a huge number of benefits, such as being able to run additional workloads on the same hardware; plus it’s lightweight and fast. It is also a solid and cost-effective alternative to VMs, which means more computing capacity becomes available for your business operations.
Stay tuned, for to learn more about the biggest benefits of Docker.