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Docker and hosting

Docker and hosting

There's an aweful lot of talk going around about Docker and I'm considering setting up environment to replace our current VMware setup. Is there anyone that can help point me to good resources for a Magento-centric way to make Docker help in a hosting environment?  It seems from an outsider's perspective that there really are not that many tools to make it easy to manage yet without being a command line junkie. So I guess I'm interested in know:


  1. Are there any tools you'd recommend that can help help with GUI management of Docker similar to VMware vCenter?
  2. Are there any backup solutions that are specifically geared toward Docker?
  3. What would be good to keep in mind for Docker when Magento is the primary use or is it really agnostic to the software?
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Re: Docker and hosting

Matt, you pose a couple of really good questions, each of which might be a long topic on its own right...


Before I get too deep on answering your questions, I should note that VMWare is focused on managing virtual machines and Docker is about containers.  They're similar, but not the same.  Docker lets you provision multiple copies of apps or multiple apps on a single host, but that host can be a physical machine or a virtual machine.


VMWare is probably more similar to the Vagrant / Virtual Box combination than Docker.  You can find a pretty good discussion of this topic over at StackOverlow.


Also, Docker Containers are configured via Docker Files - basically just text files specifying the options you want configured.  You can edit them from any text editor and there's a LOT of ready to use avialable online @ Docker Hub.


You may find that you don't really need a GUI if you're using pre-built configs or perhaps just taking an existing DockerFile and modifying it for your particular use.


Now, to address your specific questons....


GUI / Docker Management


  1. We mostly use Docker for local development environments so GUI Management isn't a high priority for those cases.  I have tried out the Open Source Panamax product and it works well for my development needs.  It is designed to manage both production and development environments so it may be a good (and free) option to replace your vCenter setups.  It has pretty slick UI's & Monitoring / Charts though I'm not sure how it compares to your current VMWare Environrment.
  2. Another Open Source Option - Ship Yard - I haven't used this option myself, but it's got a pretty strong GitHub history and appears to have a strong base of community supporters.
  3. Commercial Option : Stack Engine - This is one of the leading "Enterprise" Docker Management solutions.  it may be a bit more complex than you need, depending on the size of your IT / Development organizations.


Backup Solutions


When you're running a Docker infrastructure, you're going to be managing the Host System (potentially a VM or Physical Server).  Typically, you'll already be using some sort of Backup Solution at this level.  You may want to seperate the backup of your Host / VM level from the backup of your Docker Containers and whatever applications and data they contain.


Docker Images are the basis of the containers you run.  In addition, containers can use Data Volumes which are independant to the container itself.  The Docker team provides a utility for backup and restoration of Data Volumes on GitHub.  


For a commercially supported sytem for backup management of Docker Containers, you may want to consider Asigra's Solution.  It may be more targeted towards business with larger IT & Development organiztions than your current needs.



Magento & Docker


For the most part, you're correct in assuming that Docker is agnostic to the applicaitons you're running in its containers.  I've used Docker to create a Magento Developer Environment that closely matches our Amazon Web Services production systems by configuring Apache, Zend Server, MySQL, Varnish, Memcached as seperate containers even with multiple instances for load balancing at the web & db layers.  It's a great way to test if your code is going to work in the cloud without having to incur the costs of testing it on the live environments.


That being said, I've recently been doing some research on Magento focused Docker considerations and I've shared my bookmarks online in my Evernote Notebook : Magento & Docker


Hope this helped!

Bryan "BJ" Hoffpauir - Contact me on my Blog!

Contact me at work via AOE - the open web company online!

Tags (1)

Re: Docker and hosting

Matt, I just wanted to check and see if you found my response answered your question.  I tried to keep it narrowly focused but iwth a pretty broad question that can be challenging.


If you thought it was a good enough answer, please mark the response as an accepted answer.  That will help guide others who may have the same type of question to your post and also raise the approved answer to the top of the discussion to help newer members identify the topic you thought best addressed your question.


If there's anything you think I left out, please let me know via message and I'll do my best to update it and address any concerns you have as quickly as I can.  I hope you've been able to work through your previous issue in the last few months and have been able to make traction on a solution more in line with your needs than vCenter was...


Let me know if there is anytihng I can do to assist!




Bryan “BJ” Hoffpauir


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Bryan "BJ" Hoffpauir - Contact me on my Blog!

Contact me at work via AOE - the open web company online!

Re: Docker and hosting

It is my job to be created Beej Thanks

Re: Docker and hosting

Hi Brian,


I stumbled upon this thread and I have a similar situation.


I am using AWS and would like to explore the option of using Docker for production for my Magento website, is this recommened or just recommended for developement sites?


Reason being why I want to move from EC2 instance to Docker is that I thought I might be able to easily scale upwards and downwards with Docker?


I tried cloud formation with AWS and it is too invloved for my website and the resources can be expensive.


I just wanted an easier and more affordable solution.


Your insight would be highly appreciated.