This is a clash of virtualization titans: one virtual machine, the other a containerization technology. In reality, both are complementary technologies—as hardware virtualization and containerization each have their distinct qualities and can be used in tandem for combinatorial benefits. Let’s take a look at each to find out how they stack up against each other, as well as how the two can be used in tandem for achieving maximum agility.
Docker Containers vs. Virtual Machines
Virtual machines have a full OS with its own memory management installed with the associated overhead of virtual device drivers. In a virtual machine, valuable resources are emulated for the guest OS and hypervisor, which makes it possible to run many instances of one or more operating systems in parallel on a single machine (or host). Every guest OS runs as an individual entity from the host system.
On the other hand Docker containers are executed with the Docker engine rather than the hypervisor. Containers are therefore smaller than Virtual Machines and enable faster start up with better performance, less isolation and greater compatibility possible due to sharing of the host’s kernel
Hybrid with VM and docker:better together
You can sometimes use a hybrid approach which uses both VM and Docker. There are also workloads which are best suited for physical hardware. If both are placed in a hybrid approach, it might lead to a better and efficient scenario. With this Hybrid setup, users can benefit from the advantages if they have workloads that fit the model.
Docker Containers are transforming the DevOps (developer operations) landscape as an important tool in DevOps arsenal. The use cases for Docker Containers within the realm of DevOps are plenty. Running apps over Docker Containers and then deploying anywhere (Cloud or on-premise or any flavor of linux) is a reality now.
Working in heterogeneous environment, Virtual Machines provide high flexibility whereas Docker containers’ prime focus is on applications and their dependencies. The prime goal of the article is to compare the both on the basis of performance. Docker Containers promise to port application stacks across cloud easily by using each cloud’s Virtual Machine environment to deal with the cloud. This represents a useful capability that has to be implemented in a more complex and tedious way today without Docker Containers. Its not about abandoning Virtual Machines but to advocate in favor and design for the use of Docker Containers in addition to Virtual Machines when necessary. We don’t think Docker Containers could completely wipe out Virtual Machines.
For both developers and operators, Docker offers the following high-level benefits, among others:
- Deployment Speed/Agility – Docker containers house the minimal requirements for running the application, enabling quick and lightweight deployment.
- Portability – Because containers are essentially independent self-sufficient application bundles, they can be run across machines without compatibility issues.
- Reuse – Containers can be versioned, archived, shared, and used for rolling back previous versions of an application. Platform configurations can essentially be managed as code.