The complete rundown on Docker data storage and containers

Last updated:August 2016

Editor's note

Products like Docker data storage containers are causing quite a buzz thanks to their efficiency, better use of resources and lower storage requirements. With containers rapidly making their way into the data storage market, could the technology unseat virtual machines as the next big thing? Experts seem to think so.

Originally an open source project, Docker is often credited with reviving interest in storage containers. Applications in containers used to have to share the same operating system (OS) to share an operating kernel -- but Docker's approach makes applications more portable. Docker storage containers running on one machine share the same OS and have a layered structure rather than virtual hard disks. Containers can run independent processes in a shared user space and are capable of running on different environments.

Mainly used in application testing and development environments, Docker could soon be used in primary storage. Sometimes considered a lightweight version of virtual machines (VMs), storage containers offer a number of advantages for primary storage. Docker data storage containers seem to be following the same trajectory as server virtualization software, gradually adding features to become more suited to primary storage. That may not happen soon, but with the thriving interest around Docker containers, vendors are certainly getting prepared.

Although it started as a Linux-only platform, Docker is gaining vendor support across the market. Microsoft has included it in Windows Server 2016, and VMware and EMC have collaborated with a container management startup to provide support for Docker data storage containers. While data protection and other issues have so far prevented widespread adoption, Docker containers are on their way to becoming a significant presence in the storage market.

This essential guide dives into the benefits of using containers, the significance of Docker containers in the market and which vendors are using container technology.

1Optimizing storage for a containerized environment

Not sure where to begin with container technology? This section contains tips for working with storage containers, Docker storage and backups.

2Storage companies add container support

Docker storage containers are quickly gaining vendor support. The following articles outline current vendor support for containers and how individual vendors approach the technology.