Docker data container protection methods: Pros and cons

17 Feb-2016:   Docker is a wildly successful Linux-based open source project. It virtualizes applications within the Linux operating system without requiring the addition of a hypervisor. The application is abstracted and fooled into believing it is the only application on the operating system (OS) using the Linux kernel resource isolation function. In other words, the Linux application is placed in a Docker data container that utilizes all the capabilities of the Linux OS and isolates that application.


Docker containers offer the mobility and isolation of virtual machines (VMs), but operate at a tiny fraction of their overhead. Before delving deeper into Docker data protection issues, it is necessary to clarify the differences between a Docker image and a Docker data container. A Docker image includes the OS with one or more applications. The Docker container, which is the focus of this tip, is a running instance derived from an image.


Docker data container protection is simply not as mature or sophisticated today as hypervisor VM data protection. There is no equivalent to VMware vSphere Storage APIs-Data Protection, Microsoft Hyper-V Volume Shadow Copy Service or even the kernel-based VM snapshot API. This makes Docker container protection a bit more challenging. The good news is that there are several methods available to accomplish it.


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