January 15, 2016

Docker : Why Bigger is better?

BY :     January 15, 2016

Bigger is better, would probably remind you about a lot of good or bad jokes. During my two last meetings in 2015, I had two interesting discussions, one was about offshore and the other one about Docker.

Modern web network and internet telecommunication technology, big data storage and cloud computing computer service business concept: server room interior in datacenter in blue light

I am not going to spend time on the offshore topic, I already wrote about that few months ago, so I will just complement the previous topic by saying that Bigger is better when it comes to offshore. The initial offset or effort of leveraging offshore is usually hard to explain or show case when you are only working with one or couple of resources offshore, so the bigger you go the better and the faster you will see return on investment. The questions are always:  where is the starting point and is there a limit? There isn’t a unique preformatted answer. It would depend on the type of services, the level of complexity, maturity, industrialization and normalization of your IT.

On the Docker discussion. It all started by a comparison between Virtual Machine and Docker. We went through all the pros and cons of each technology  and it’s approach, spent some time on the security of each solution and the eternal discussion on the shared host kernel between Dockers. You never want technology for its own sake, you want it to deliver value for your own good. All people being part of the discussion had done some testing with Docker, meaning that we at least created a Docker file, and run a piece of our code to see the complexity. The test outcome depended on everyone’s OS and scripting skills.  Some of us had to update their code a bit to make it work. Nothing dramatic.

We all came to the conclusion that Docker is adding a complexity layer compare to a virtual machine approach, and this complexity will be for the deployment, development and build.

Also, We all agree that using Docker for only a small project with few nodes doesn’t make sense, as it will have a lot of complexity for not a lot of benefit, so basically coming to the conclusion that bigger is better.

But let’s park it there. This comment was also true for Virtual machine, probably 10 years ago. And isn’t it the purpose of a cloud provider to be bigger for you in order to bring the volume benefit and manage your infra (Docker, Virtual Machine) with complex, efficient and scalable tools? So yes, bigger is better with Docker if you do it on your own, but if you leverage PaaS provider with their technology and people with correct knowledge, big or small should not make any difference. It is all about bringing value.

If any of your processes using Docker can improve and bring value, go for it. If  it doesn’t, may be you are already very well organized and industrialized, so don’t bother. Bigger value is always better.

 

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    *Opinions expressed on this blog reflect the writer’s views and not the position of the Sogeti Group