Containers versus VMs, Docker Tools and Orchestration

Key Aspects of Containers

  • Just as VMs are hardware level (server level) virtualization, containers are OS level virtualization.
  • VM – Primary Use Case – Multiple OSes can be supported on a single hypervisor (Virtualization Platform on hardware)
  • Container  – Primary Use Case – Multiple Apps to be supported on a single platform (Docker Engine)

Containers enable quick, agile development, since they are:

  1. Transitory
  2. Disposable
  3. Can live alongside persistent storage
  4. Can complement existing virtualization

Docker Orchestration

Additional tooling to coordinate containers across multiple machines is known as container orchestration.

  1. Marathon on Apache Mesos – first to support Docker orchestration (the gold standard for production clusters).
  2. Kubernetes 
  3. Docker Swarm (now part of Docker Engine)
  4. Nomad

Docker Tools

  • Docker hub for public storage of Docker images
  • Docker registry on-premise storage of Docker Images
  • Docker cloud  – a managed service for building and running containers
  • Docker datacenter –  a commercial offering embodying many Docker technologies

Docker Competitors

  • Kubernetes and Kubernetes Engine
  • Apache Mesos and Mesosphere
  • Cloud Foundry
  • Azure Container Services
  • Open Container Initiative (OCI)
  • CoreOS and rkt
  • Canonical and LXD

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Specializing in high volume web and cloud application architecture, Anuj Varma’s customer base includes Fortune 100 companies (, British Petroleum, Schlumberger).

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Anuj Varma – who has written posts on Anuj Varma, Technology Architect.

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