What is Docker? Why Is It So Popular?

4 Mins read
 What is Docker? Why Is It So Popular?

In the recent times, when we hear about software containerization platforms, we first hear the name Docker for sure. It is the world’s leading software containerization platform.

Software containerization is a virtualization at server level where the kernel of an operating system allows the existence of multiple virtualized environments. Such instances are termed as software containers.

The automation of application deployment into the software containers is achieved through docker. The application deployed through docker is light-weight, portable and self-sufficient and can run anywhere virtually.

About Docker

Docker was introduced as an open source project by Dot Cloud in 2013. This project became extremely popular to such an extent that Dot Cloud altered its name to Docker Inc. The uniqueness of docker project is that it offers advanced tools which work together and are built on top of Linux Kernel features.

The primary goal is to help developers and system administrators create, deploy and run an application with all the parts it needs, such as dependencies, and get them running across any Linux machine irrespective of any of the customized settings that machine might be having and that could vary from the machine utilized for testing as well as write the code.

An additional advantage of docker is that it is an open source software. It means that anyone can enhance the features of docker if they feel they can add any additional features to the existing software.

A Linux application of any language or framework can run inside a Docker container. There are two ways to get applications into containers. They are manual builds and Dockerfile.

Manual builds

A manual build starts by launching a container with a base OS image. Applications and dependencies can be installed using the package manager offer by the flavor of Linux which is chosen. When installation of the application gets completed, it can be pushed to a registry.


Dockerfile is a script consisting of various instructions and arguments listed in it to automatically perform actions on a base image to create a new one.

Key Benefits

For an infrastructure agnostic CaaS model, Docker offers an integrated suite of capabilities. The IT Operations teams can manage, provision, and secure both base application content and infrastructure resources while developers can develop and deploy their applications in a self-service manner. The following are the key benefits of Docker.

Open Source

One of the key aspects of Docker is that it is an entirely open source. This implies anyone can provide a contribution to the platform as well as adapt and extend it in order to meet their requirements if they need additional features that do not come with Docker. This makes docker an extremely convenient option for system administrators and developers.


As the developers need not provide a virtualized environment down to hardware level, they can cut down the overhead costs by generating only the essential OS components and libraries that make it run.


Docker is developed with simplicity and speed in mind and is one of the reasons why it became so popular. Developers can simply package up any kind of software and its associated dependencies into a container. They can utilize any tooling, version, and language as they are together packaged into a container that standardizes every element without having the need to sacrifice anything.


Docker makes the application containers entirely portable in a completely new way. Developers can now ship applications to production and testing from development without breaking the code. The environmental differences won’t be having any effect on the packaged information inside the container. Also, for an application to operate in production, there is no need to change it. This is now great for teams related to IT operations as they can prevent vendor lock-in by moving applications across the data centers.


Docker offers high control over the applications because they move along the life cycle as the environment is standardized. This makes it easier to answer questions about scale, manageability, and security during the process. IT teams can customize the level of flexibility and control required to keep regulatory and performance compliance, and service levels in line for specific subjects.

Who can use Docker?

Docker is used extensively by both developers and system administrators making it an important part of DevOps. Developers can now write the code without worrying about the system on which the code runs. Because of docker’s small footprint and lower overhead, it gives flexibility and decreases the number of systems needed for operations staff.

Reason for Docker’s craze

  • The main reason for docker’s craze is its lightweight nature combined with the workflow.
  • It is fast, easy to use and developer-centric tool. It is used extensively in DevOps projects.
  • Docker easily packs and ships the code. It makes the code as portable as possible and makes that portability user-friendly and simple.
  • Docker is virtualization at the operating system level. Dissimilar to hypervisor virtualization in which virtual machines operate on physical hardware through hypervisors, containers instead run user space on operating system’s kernel. This makes them very light-weight and very fast.

Future of Docker

Big names in IT industry like Google, IBM, Red Hat are investing in docker project. It has been 3 years since the Docker project has started and it is showing steady growth due to its extensive use in DevOps projects. In 2015, docker and some other companies announced that they are working on OS independent standard for software containers.


Docker is already changing the way how applications get deployed into the software containers and how they run in different environments. It is starting to reshape the way we think about software containerization. Job prospects for professionals with expertise in docker have increased up to 1000 percent. Among the most sought-after IT skills, docker occupies second place and the salaries for docker professionals have risen by 28%. This ultimately determines the craze for docker in the IT industry. Anyone who works with code or servers can take the docker course for a brighter career.

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