Data Centers

What is Docker, and why does it matter for the enterprise?

If you work in IT but you're unsure what Docker is, don't worry. This video gives a quick explanation of the technology and its usefulness.

Chances are, you've heard of Docker. And if you're an IT pro, you probably have a good idea of what Docker can do. But just in case you're not perfectly sure what this technology is, let me hip you to Docker and what it can do.

To understand Docker, you first have to understand what a container is. Effectively, a container is way to roll software into small, self-contained package that contains all of the libraries and settings required for the package to work. Unlike a virtual machine, a container doesn't require a full-blown operating system to make it run. To make containers even more appealing, they always run the same way, regardless of what platform they are deployed on.

SEE: Research: Cloud vs. data center adoption rates, usage, and migration plans (Tech Pro Research)

That's where the likes of Docker comes in. Docker is one of a few systems capable of deploying containers. But not only is Docker able to deploy containers, it's one of the easiest means to do so. Once installed, Docker can pull down images from the official Docker Hub and then create and deploy containers based on those images and even create a cluster of nodes, called a Docker Swarm, that can enable you to scale out your clusters to considerable size.

Docker is being adopted by companies at an astounding rate. According to 451 Research, container technology generated $762 million in revenue by 2016. Most of those containers were deployed by Docker. So if your company is looking to expand, and wants to do so without having to suffer the hardware and budgetary resources associated with bare metal servers and virtual machines, your best bet is containers. And guess what your best bet is for deploying those containers? That's right, Docker.

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Image: Jack Wallen

About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.

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