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Docker is a software technology providing operating-system-level virtualization also known as containers, promoted by the company Docker, Inc. Docker provides an additional layer of abstraction and automation of operating-system-level virtualization on Windows and Linux. Docker uses the resource isolation features of the Linux kernel such as cgroups and kernel namespaces, and a union-capable file system such as OverlayFS and others to allow independent "containers" to run within a single Linux instance, avoiding the overhead of starting and maintaining virtual machines (VMs).
|Original author(s)||Solomon Hykes|
|Initial release||13 March 2013|
17.12.0-ce / 26 December 2017
|Operating system||Linux,[a] Windows|
|Platform||x86-64, ARM (experimental) with modern Linux kernel, or x86-64 Windows with Hyper-V capabilities|
|License||Apache License 2.0 / Proprietary|
The Linux kernel's support for namespaces mostly isolates an application's view of the operating environment, including process trees, network, user IDs and mounted file systems, while the kernel's cgroups provide resource limiting, including the CPU, memory, block I/O, and network. Since version 0.9, Docker includes the libcontainer library as its own way to directly use virtualization facilities provided by the Linux kernel, in addition to using abstracted virtualization interfaces via libvirt, LXC (Linux Containers) and systemd-nspawn.
As actions are done to a Docker base image, union file-system layers are created and documented, such that each layer fully describes how to recreate an action. This strategy enables Docker's lightweight images, as only layer updates need to be propagated (compared to full VMs, for example).
According to a Linux.com article,
Docker is a tool that can package an application and its dependencies in a virtual container that can run on any Linux server. This helps enable flexibility and portability on where the application can run, whether on premises, public cloud, private cloud, bare metal, etc.
Building on top of facilities provided by the Linux kernel (primarily cgroups and namespaces), a Docker container, unlike a virtual machine, does not require or include a separate operating system. Instead, it relies on the kernel's functionality and uses resource isolation (CPU, memory, block I/O, network, etc.) and separate namespaces to isolate the application's view of the operating system. Docker accesses the Linux kernel's virtualization features either directly using the libcontainer library, which is available as of Docker 0.9, or indirectly via libvirt, LXC (Linux Containers) or systemd-nspawn.
Because Docker containers are so lightweight, a single server or virtual machine can run several containers simultaneously. A 2016 analysis found that a typical Docker use case involves running five containers per host, but that many organizations run 10 or more.
Using Docker to create and manage containers may simplify the creation of highly distributed systems by allowing multiple applications, worker tasks and other processes to run autonomously on a single physical machine or across multiple virtual machines. This allows the deployment of nodes to be performed as the resources become available or when more nodes are needed, allowing a platform as a service (PaaS)-style of deployment and scaling for systems like Apache Cassandra, MongoDB or Riak. Docker also simplifies the creation and operation of task or workload queues and other distributed systems.
Docker can be integrated into various infrastructure tools, including Amazon Web Services, Ansible, CFEngine, Chef, Google Cloud Platform, IBM Bluemix, HPE Helion Stackato, Jelastic, Jenkins, Kubernetes, Microsoft Azure, OpenStack Nova, OpenSVC, Oracle Container Cloud Service, Puppet, Salt, Vagrant, and VMware vSphere Integrated Containers.
The Tsuru PaaS integrates Docker containers in its product in 2013, the first PaaS to use Docker in a production environment.
Solomon Hykes started Docker in France as an internal project within dotCloud, a platform-as-a-service company, with initial contributions by other dotCloud engineers including Andrea Luzzardi and Francois-Xavier Bourlet. Jeff Lindsay also became involved as an independent collaborator. Docker represents an evolution of dotCloud's proprietary technology, which is itself built on earlier open-source projects such as Cloudlets.[clarification needed]
Docker was released as open source in March 2013. On March 13, 2014, with the release of version 0.9, Docker dropped LXC as the default execution environment and replaced it with its own libcontainer library written in the Go programming language.
- On September 19, 2013, Red Hat and Docker announced a collaboration around Fedora, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and OpenShift.
- On October 15, 2014, Microsoft announced integration of the Docker engine into the next (2016) Windows Server release, and native support for the Docker client role in Windows.
- On November 10, 2014, Docker announced a partnership with Stratoscale.
- On December 4, 2014, IBM announced a strategic partnership with Docker that enables Docker to integrate more closely with the IBM Cloud.
- On June 22, 2015, Docker and several other companies announced that they are working on a new vendor and operating-system-independent standard for software containers.
- On June 8, 2016, Microsoft announced that Docker now could be used natively on Windows 10 with Hyper-V Containers, to build, ship and run containers utilizing the Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 5 Nano Server container OS image.
- On October 4, 2016, Solomon Hykes announced InfraKit as a new self-healing container infrastructure effort for Docker container environments.
Docker Compose is a tool for defining and running multi-container Docker applications. It uses YAML files to configure the application's services and performs the creation and start-up process of all the containers with a single command.
In Docker 1.12 and higher, Swarm mode is integrated with Docker Engine.
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Nanobox uses Docker under the hood for container implementation
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The tight integration with Docker native solutions reduce the deployment barriers for developers and opens up new business opportunities for hosting providers by redefining economic at scale in hybrid and multi-cloud environments
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