Docker is popular among developers for one particular reason: you can easily create and deploy application inside environment-independent containers. This makes Docker very flexible, since you can easily use a wide range of Docker hosting solutions to deploy your apps. Although Docker containers are independent and can be run from any server regardless of the operating system, not all Docker hosting solutions are created equal. In this part, we are going to take a look at different solutions and how each can benefit your app. Let’s get started, shall we?
Let me start this part with a good news: there are free Docker hosting solutions out there. Yes, you can actually build, test and run Docker containers in the cloud without spending any money in the process. Tutum, for example, offers Docker hosting as service and allows users to use their hosting solution for free.
The same goes for Dockerhub, which gives you free (and unlimited) private repository for your Docker containers. You may not be able to use Dockerhub to run live apps, but you can definitely set up a development environment in the cloud with it.
When it comes to cost efficiency, Amazon Web Service or AWS is still the best solution out there. You get the most for your money and the ecosystem is set to work with Docker containers natively. The EC2 environment from Amazon can be configured to run Docker containers without hassle.
You can even set up private networks with Amazon AWS and EC2. For example, you can host static files on AWS and have your Docker container running smoothly on the EC2 environment. Both instances can communicate with each other, creating a very optimized deployment setup without breaking your bank.
Most Docker hosting solutions such as this one from HostPresto! are available on a pay-as-you-go basis, so there is no setup cost or other charges to worry about. All you have to do is prep your containers and you will be able to deploy your apps in just a few clicks.
When it comes to performance, SSD-based hosting or VPS is the best option to look into. SSD is much faster than conventional hard drives, so you can expect a nice boost in performance from the start. Most cloud VPS services that support SSD can be customized to your liking, so squeezing maximum performance will be very easy to do as well.
DigitalOcean, for example, has been supporting Docker containers for a while now. There are even a wealth of tutorials and how-tos on how to set up your Docker container for deployment on DigitalOcean’s droplets. Since you can customize every part of the cloud VPS service, you can also allocate server resources according to the needs and requirements of your containers.
Many believe that creating different containers for different services is the best approach to take when it comes to performance, but this is not always true. When you are running a relatively small web application with database, for instance, combining them into one container will actually make the whole setup more streamlined and optimized.
Security is always an important aspect to consider when choosing a Docker hosting. You can basically secure most Docker hosting servers available as long as you know what you are doing, but this isn’t always the case. Luckily, Docker now supports a modified version of REST API, which allows you to take advantage of the standard UNIX permissions to govern access.
Depending on the kind of hosting you use, you can also opt for Red Hat as the base operating system. Red Hat-based Docker hosting can take advantage of the new SELINUX security features, allowing each container to be secured from the outside. Each Docker container will have to be configured for maximum security as well.
Standard server security applies to your Docker containers as well. You need a correctly configured firewall and a properly secured server in order to achieve that heighest level of security. The Docker hosting you choose is the foundation for your apps, so choose carefully and double-check the configurations before you go live.
Which package is right for me?
The answer to this question depends highly on your focus. You can save on Docker hosting, get the most performance out of the server or focus more on flexibility and security. Luckily, there are plenty of options to choose from. Even top brands such as Microsoft and IBM now supports Docker natively.
One last thing I need to remind you regarding Docker hosting is the fact that not everything needs to be Dockerized. Sometimes, sticking to standard infrastructure can be more efficient. When you find Docker as the right solution for you, however, you can focus more on optimizing the container for your apps and choosing the right environment for them to run optimally.