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Docker is an open-source engine that automates the deployment of any application as a lightweight, portable, self-sufficient container that will run virtually anywhere.
Docker containers can encapsulate any payload, and will run consistently on and between virtually any server. The same container that a developer builds and tests on a laptop will run at scale, in production*, on VMs, bare-metal servers, OpenStack clusters, public instances, or combinations of the above.
Common use cases for Docker include:
• Automating the packaging and deployment of applications
• Creation of lightweight, private PAAS environments
• Automated testing and continuous integration/deployment
• Deploying and scaling web apps, databases and backend services
Docker is available as Community Edition (CE) for free and an Enterprise Edition (EE) subscription with software, support and certification.
Subscription that costs between $750 and $3500. Price may vary depending on commitment and so on.
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Docker is sorta like portable software, but think of it like making your entire development environment (your framework and all dependent libraries, web/database servers, even the OS) portable. Better yet, instead of downloading and unzipping to a folder, you can just run a simple command to get up and running -- it really can't get simpler than that in terms of setting up a development environment. After you "dockerize" for the first time, going back to copying configuration files and what not will feel so archaic. One warning though: Docker consumes memory like it's bottled water after being in the desert for a month. My 8GB system went from 35% memory consumption to over 60% memory consumption by using Docker. I recommend a machine with 16GB RAM if you plan to use Docker full-time.
Great for development on multiple different systems