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Docker Containers - What is Cloud Native?


A lot of what we do at Buildly depends on Docker Containers (and other container runtimes) as well as Kubernetes. Though not everyone knows, or probably thinks they need to know, what a container or Docker does and is, and why it's helpful.

Docker Containers, and before that Virtual Machines are virtualized servers or mini-computers that have with them everything a growing application needs to run, build and hopefully expand on it's own in any environment you deploy it in. Docker is a part of the ecosystem of containers that run in the definitive open source project for cloud native applications, Kubernetes.

As defined by theCloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), Cloud native technologies empower organizations to build and run scalable applications in public, private, and hybrid clouds. Features such as containers, service meshes, microservices, immutable infrastructure, and declarative application programming interfaces (APIs) best illustrate this approach.

For the most part to run a cloud native application, is to build an application using Docker containers or the like that isolates a service or microservice insides of it's runtime. That "runtime" usually includes a small but separate Operating System, usually Linux and set of software libraries needed by that part of your application. Docker, and other container services package software into these isolated containers that have everything the software needs to run including libraries, system tools, code, and runtime. Using Docker, you can quickly deploy and scale applications into any environment and know your code will run.

If you have a larger application, or small I guess depending on how you want slice up your services, you can usually isolate business logic in to these separate containers, manage and network them all through a connected system like Kubernetes and a gateway like Buildly's Open Source Core Gateway +. This way you can maximize your cloud resources by own sending computer power to the container that needs it most, and distribute to multiple services providers and build an overall scaleable application.