Chapter 9. Deploying Containers

Now it’s time to start getting to the business end of things and thinking about how to actually run Docker in production. At the time of writing, everybody is talking about Docker, and many are experimenting with Docker, but comparatively few run Docker in production. While detractors sometimes point to this as a failing of Docker, they seem to miss a couple of key points. Given the relative youth of Docker, it is very encouraging that so many people are using it in production (including Spotify, Yelp, and Baidu) and that those who only use it in development and testing are still gaining many advantages.

That being said, it is perfectly possible and reasonable to use containers in production today. Larger projects and organizations may want to start small and build up over time, but it is already a feasible and straightforward solution for the majority of projects.

As things currently stand, the most common way of deploying containers is by first provisioning VMs and then starting containers on the VMs. This isn’t an ideal solution—it creates a lot of overhead, slows down scaling, and forces users to provision on a multicontainer granularity. The main reason for running containers inside VMs is simply security. It’s essential that customers cannot access other customers’ data or network traffic, and containers by themselves only provide weak guarantees of isolation at the moment. Further, if one container monopolizes kernel resources, ...

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