Top 3 Docker Alternatives for System Administrators

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When you think of containers, Docker probably is the first technology which comes to mind. Although Docker is a capable technology as shown by it’s popularity, it isn’t the only platform you should consider.

Top 3 Docker Alternatives for System Administrators

As discussed earlier, companies are now dealing with troves of data which causing system administrators to overhaul their networks to handle the astronomical amounts of information in their networks. This makes containers essential for project success.

Docker has been the go-to choice of many professionals due to its popularity, but in the long run choosing a technology based only on adoption can lead to long-term issues. By exploring all your options before embracing containers, you can ensure maximum reliability and performance during the lifecycle of your projects.

Below are a handful of Docker alternatives to help you tackle even the most complex projects. Also, if you are already using Docker; don’t forget to checkout Site24x7’s support for Docker Monitoring.

Rocket

CoreOS includes a container technology called Rocket. Rather than being a direct competitor to Docker, this solution serves different use cases. Rather than focusing on hosting entire applications, CoreOS handles libcontainers which specify the configuration options for each specific segment. System administrators and devOps professionals benefit from libcontainers due to increased portability. For enterprise companies Rocket is more appropriate than Docker because it allows for more customization. For companies with smaller teams, Docker often is a better choice as it provides more functionality out of the box.

Drawbridge

For companies which rely on Windows servers, Drawbridge is worth exploring as it is a Microsoft offering. Although Microsoft recently announced support for Docker on their Azure PaaS platform, one of the biggest limitations has been lack of native Windows support. To get around Docker’s lack of Windows support, Microsoft is entering the container arena with Drawbridge – a new form of virtualization designed for application sandboxing without the overhead of traditional VM’s. ​

Just like virtual machines, Drawbridge provides users with a high level of abstraction which allows devOps professionals and system administrators to focus on their applications without worrying about the impact on hardware. The most important component of Drawbridge is the integration of library OS’s. which is an instance of Windows optimized for container style architectures. By using a Windows NT kernel, system professionals are able to access most DLL’s from from Windows.

LXD

For professionals running Ubuntu or OpenStack, Canonical recently released LXD (pronounced “lex-dee”) – a hypervisor optimized for the previously mentioned platforms. Unlike Docker, LXD containers don’t share processes providing full operating system isolation between instances.

One of the most notable advantages of LXD is native support for user namespaces. This provides additional flexibility for system administrators and DevOps professionals by allowing non-privileged users to create containers without sacrificing security. If your company or clients use private clouds, the OpenStack integration built into LXD can provide you with easily customizable cost effective solution.

Ensuring System Performance

While many containers include tools for internal monitoring, they’re often limited to internal metrics. In today’s global economy, performance monitoring internally and externally can be overwhelming even for experienced system administrators.

By using server monitoring solutions such as Site24x7, you can run tests from across the globe to ensure that customers and employees are always having the intended experience when accessing your website or services. Aside from external monitoring, the ability to manage a server cluster from a central location makes it possible for you to scale your infrastructure to handle increased demands from users while keeping complexity to a minimum.

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