why is docker so popular

Docker has re-shaped the IT world today. It is used to build, ship, and run applications anywhere in the world. Also, it is used for packaging the app’s libraries, binaries, and other essentials into a single image. You can build and run this image into a container on any machine. A container is an isolated environment for running that application. 

Docker is everywhere now. 

Before, we discussed an overview of Docker earlier, here we are going to talk how big internet giants are using it. 

How Docker is making developers’ life easy, let’s find out. 

1. Docker— The Choice of every Firm


Docker is the worldwide choice for containers. You can run a CentOS container on Ubuntu, or a Debian container on Alpine Linux. These containers are fast to build and easy to deploy.  Docker has two core components, the Docker Engine and the Docker containers communicating with each other for smooth app deployments. Today it is used by top companies like JP Morgan Chase, PayPal, New York Times, AWS, and Google. 

Other major companies that deploy their applications on Docker include Business Insider, Spotify, Yelp, ADP, eBay, Expedia, Groupon, ING, New Relic, Oxford University Press, Sage, Shopify, The Washington Post, and Uber.

why should we use docker
Source: Spec-India.com

2. How Applications were Deployed Before?

It was one of the hardest stages for developers to deploy their app on production servers. There was no such concept of Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery/Deployment. I was talking to one of my friends who was a Java Developer at a small firm back in 2012. Docker was not there at that time. He told me that their application deployment was a slow and time-taking process. 

Additionally, he told the fact that more servers were required to deploy the application. There was a separate server needed for testing and staging environments before it was pushed to production. Also, if the server has a Java environment, we needed a separate server for our Node application. That’s how there were big infrastructure costs. 

The concept of containerization was there too at that time. But none of the companies were using Linux containers. 

Docker debuted to the public officially in 2013. At that time, LXC was its default execution environment. Since that day, it has helped to promote the trends towards microservices and containerization in software development. The old methods to deploy applications are dead now. Therefore, dockerizing the applications saved companies millions of dollars in infrastructure costs.

In short, now we can deploy Node, Java, or React applications at the same time on a single server with isolated containers. 

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3. The Use of Docker Today

Every firm now whether it is small or large, dockerizing their applications. Running processes on containers makes it easier to run multiple applications on the same server in different versions and configurations. 

The top companies use Docker as one of the core components to manage huge system infrastructure. 

Let me share 3 major examples of how it is being used in the most popular tech companies in the world. 

i. PayPal

Talking about big internet giants, I would like to share the case study of PayPal’s 2 Year Journey to 150,000 Containers with Docker

PayPal is a pioneer and global leader in online payment solutions. It has more than 200 million accounts in over 200 markets. PayPal supports 25 currencies worldwide. More importantly, the platform facilitates global eCommerce by making smooth payments across different countries, and languages.

how docker is used in PayPal
Source: Slideshare

PayPal processes 8 Billion transactions per year. Though these stats are old, still you can see how PayPal has dockerized its infrastructure. Now PayPal processes the transactions via using microservices running on 150K+ containers. 

ii. Uber

Uber runs on more than 1,000 clusters containing more than 4,000 database servers. The company expanded its infrastructure at a very large scale. Since Uber uses MySQL, the engineering team was looking for the following solutions. 

  • Run multiple database processes on each node
  • Automate everything
  • Have a single entry point to manage and monitor all clusters across all data centers

The solution they ended up with was running MySQL on Docker containers

Now Uber can better utilize their hosts by running multiple containers on each host. Also, Docker helps them to do fleet-wide upgrades in a controlled fashion. Additionally, dockerizing allowed Uber to run a full cluster setup locally in a test environment and try out all the operational procedures. 

Uber started the migration to Docker back in 2016. By now, Uber runs more than 1500 production servers for MySQL and provisioned 2K+ MySQL databases.

Next time you take an Uber ride, remember your data is processed in a container. 

iii. BBC News

BBC News is a division of BBC which delivers the latest news to billions of people around the world. The news giant posts more than 80,000 items online daily. I am talking about English here only. If we talk about global scale reporting, BBC News covers news and stories in 28 more languages.

According to Simon Thulbourn who is a Senior Software Engineer at BBC News:

Docker is a natural fit for us. We wanted testing environments that we could change easily and Docker handles this for us.

Surprisingly, the BBC News website alone receives over 500 million unique visitors a month from all around the world. BBC is running more jobs super-fast due to containerization.

With the addition of super-fast containers, the British news company eliminated the 30 minute wait time for scheduling. They can run multiple jobs in parallel without any risk.

4. A Quick Summary

It’s not about the size of the firm, Docker is used everywhere. Each company prefers to dockerize its applications. I have shared examples of the large tech companies that are using it as their core infrastructure component.

Well, the story does not end here. 

Visit a couple of company websites you know and find their job portals. For any kind of technical position, you’ll find Docker as one of the major skills demanded.

That’s why we need to get started with Docker and together we will.

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