Containers like Docker are hugely helpful for improving security, reproducibility, and scalability in software development and data science. Their rise is one of the most important trends in technology today. So, let’s see some of Docker’s main terms explained.
Docker is a platform to develop, deploy, and run applications inside containers. Docker is essentially synonymous with containerization. If you’re a current or aspiring software developer or data scientist, Docker is in your future.
- Metaphors help us make sense of new things. For example, the metaphor of a physical container helps us quickly grasp the essence of a virtual container.
Like a physical plastic container, a Docker container:
- Holds things — Something is either inside the container or outside the container.
- Is portable — It can be used on your local machine, your coworker’s machine, or a cloud provider’s servers (e.g. AWS). Sort of like that box of childhood knickknacks you keep moving with you from home to home.
- Has clear interfaces for access — Our physical container has a lid for opening and putting things in and taking things out.
- Can be obtained from a remote location — You can get another empty plastic container from Amazon.com when you need it.
- In addition to the container metaphor and the living instance metaphor, you can think of a Docker container as a software program.
- Virtual machines are the precursors to Docker containers. Virtual machines also isolate an application and its dependencies.
Explore more terms here.