If you are Dockerizing your apps and sites in an attempt to make them more universally compatible and streamlined, you are definitely on the right track. Docker is a great way to compartmentalize everything without actually stopping different parts of the application from communicating with each other. Docker also makes it easy to switch to a live deployment environment, even when the server is using a completely different operating system than your testing server. To make it even better, there are several things you can do to improve the performance of your Docker containers with the right hosting service.
Scalable Docker Hosting
The key to maintaining superb Docker performance is choosing the right Docker hosting in the first place. There are plenty of options out there. You can set up a VPS hosting account with sufficient number of cores and the right amount of RAM to support your apps. Forget about storage and monthly bandwidth; you will most likely get plenty of them with your account.
Next, pay close attention to server resource usage as you deploy your apps. Be aware of peaks and keep the average server resource usage in check. This way, you can add more server resources as the app grows – and at the right time too for maximum cost efficiency.
If you run out of upgrade options, you can always move to a more capable Docker hosting option without hassle. In fact, you can move entire containers in a matter of minutes without having to worry about compatibility issues and other common problems of migrating to a new server.
Containers and No Containers
Here’s a common mistake many Docker developers still make: everything is Dockerized. This is definitely not the right approach to take; not in every situation at least. The best approach is to look at the web application you have developed, analyze its needs and arrange parts of the setup into containers if necessary.
For example, you don’t always have to separate MySQL and other database frameworks into their own container. When the application is relatively small and lean, keeping the entire setup in one container is actually much more efficient. Instead of running multiple containers, you can direct valuable server resources to support the app entirely.
On the other hand, separating different parts of the application can be set up within different containers. You can then choose to host them on the same server or host – using the Docker daemon command – or use different hosts entirely. This type of application is good for disbursing loads and isolating issues.
Don’t Test and Update on the Main Docker Containers
I used to do this all the time. Whenever there’s a new update to implement or try, I immediately edit the main deployment container. Most of the time, the process of testing or updating your Docker containers have a big impact on their performance. You may even have to take your web application offline during the update or testing.
I then realized that I was completely missing the point of using Docker. You can actually clone an entire container and do the update or testing there. Most Docker hosting services can comfortably run multiple Docker containers and still maintain a high level of performance. Once the update is completed, you can either point traffic to the new container or have the update transferred quickly to the main one.
Extend Existing Containers
Sometimes, setting everything up from scratch can lead to bad performance. There is nothing wrong with that; you may miss a few optimization steps that can save a lot of resources along the way. Instead of building everything from the ground up, why not use existing Docker containers for your projects?
There is an amazing hub and a great developers’ community behind Docker. Finding a container that suits your needs perfectly – an optimized one nonetheless – is not difficult a tall. With a container selected, it is easy to make small changes and tweaks. You can extend any existing container and push it to registry.
Some ready-made Docker containers available on the Docker Hub are available for free. There are even more than 100,000 free apps that you can use for various purposes. Modules, add-ons and setups are just as easy to find or imitate. The whole ecosystem is what makes Docker so versatile and beautiful.
All you need now is a Docker hosting good enough to maximize the performance of your Docker containers and apps. Start your search today and you will be able to deploy your Docker containers – and have your web applications running – in no time at all.