What Will Docker do for Enterprise Virtualization?

Docker is tackling enterprise virtualization. The company recently released what they are categorizing as a smarter, more sophisticated solution for server and storage virtualization, as well as a subsequent version of the program, simply referred to as Docker 0.8. This version places more emphasis on quality than it does features—the primary focus centered on meeting the requirements of enterprise.

According, to the development team at Docker, there are a significant number of companies currently using the program, and they are using it for some highly critical functions; therefore, the aim of this latest version was to provide enterprises with a top-quality computing solution that will have the capacity to improve performance and efficiency.

What is Docker?

Docker is a highly specialized open source technology designed to deliver a number of virtualization solutions via the Linux OS. This new technology is essentially a modernized version of Linux containers or LXC. This software is still in its infancy stages, as the company continues to develop it to be more responsive to the needs of businesses. The program was initially created by Solomon Hykes as a part of an internal project for PaaS enterprise known as dotCloud.

When the initial Docker software program was released to the enterprise world, it did surprisingly well. In fact, the software performance was so impressive that it opened the door for the company to rebrand itself as Docker Inc., and it also opened the door to $15 million in investments. Since its original release, more than 400,000 users have downloaded Docker’s virtualization software.

What Does this Mean for Enterprises?

The fact Docker 0.8 focuses on providing high-quality virtual services to businesses means that companies will be able to take advantage of virtualization software specifically designed to offer solutions that effectively meet the needs of their organization. Although the current version of the software is light on features, it offers exceptional quality.

Linux Containers versus Full Virtual Machines

There are some who wonder why not simply use a full virtual machine instead of using a Docker 0.8 driven Linux container. The simple answer is that these machines provide a higher level of flexibility, and they facilitate more customization. Linux containers have the capacity to hold multiple processes and applications in the same manner a virtual machine does; however, containers don’t require that the entire system to be virtualized. This type of hybrid functionality offers the efficiency of virtualization while sustaining the positive aspects of a real, localized server.

Actually, this concept is not new when it comes to Linux; it has been available for a number of years. The pioneering software for the concept was Solaris Zones, and it was introduced more than 10 years ago. However, Docker takes the container concept a bit further in its modernized version of the software. Unlike full virtual machines, Docker is not equipped with a complete OS. Instead, it shares the host OS, which is Linux. This software presents a simplified deployment process for its users, while offering tailored virtualization technology in order to meet the requirements of PaaS solutions.

The benefit to this approach is that containers are more efficient and less resource hungry than virtual machines. Additionally, while it can take full virtual machines minutes to launch, containers can be launched in seconds. Virtual machines also require a hypervisor, but containers do not.

New Improvements in Version 0.8

The new version sports a number of improvements, and it has undergone significant debugging since the last release. The focus on this latest version was to improve the overall and performance of the program. The team that was responsible for the fixes and upgrades was more than 120 people deep. They focused on bug fixes, streamlining the code, improving stability, boosting the performance and updating documentation. As future versions are developed, the focus will remain on quality and sustaining improvements.

One of the first improvements that previous users will notice is that the Docker daemon is significantly quicker. Also, memory footprints are much smaller, and packaging easily facilitates portability for tar implementation.

More than anything else, the system is extremely simple and intuitive, which is the primary reason that Docker has gained such a favorable position in the market. For the company that is looking for optimum efficiency with a high level of performance, Dockers is not a bad place to start.

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