Convesio Makes Enterprise-level Web Hosting Easier with Docker Containers

One the goals of software developers is to keep apps running on the same host or cluster isolated from one another so that one app doesn’t interfere with the other’s operation or maintenance. Given the packages, libraries, and other software components required to turn this into a reality, this can be tricky. Virtual machines are one answer to this problem. They keep applications on the same hardware completely distinct, reducing conflicts between software components and keeping rivalry for hardware resources to a minimum. On the other hand, virtual machines are large (since each requires its own operating system, they’re generally terabytes in size) and challenging to manage and upgrade. 

On the other hand, containers separate the execution environments of applications while sharing the underlying OS kernel. They’re usually measured in megabytes, utilize a fraction of the resources of virtual machines, and boot up almost instantly. They can be packed much closer together on the same hardware and whirled up and down in mass with significantly less effort and overhead. Containers offer a very efficient and granular mechanism for merging software components into the types of application and service stacks required today. What’s more, they do this while keeping those software components updated and maintained.

On a more specific note, Docker container technology comprises existing computing concepts such as containers and, more specifically, cgroups and namespaces in the Linux environment. Docker technology is unusual because it focuses on developers’ and systems administrators’ needs to isolate application dependencies from infrastructure. The virtual machine has become the go-to standard for the many benefits of cloud computing, but Docker containers have become the lighter, more cost-effective, and scalable alternative. Docker and virtual machines are both critical to the success of many businesses today. In fact, many companies report spending billions of dollars on the search for the ideal containerization platform and virtual machine. As a result, it’s vital to understand the differences between Docker Containers and Virtual Machines.

Over time, as server computing power and capability increased, bare-metal apps could not take advantage of the more significant resources. This inspired the development of Virtual machines (VMs) which solved several of the computing issues. A virtual machine is a program or piece of software that simulates physical resources or a computer system. In simple words, virtualization allows a user to run several machines on a single computer’s hardware. It can be used to examine other operating systems, such as beta upgrades, create OS backups, and run software programs as if they were a particular device. A host may have many virtual machines running at any moment. Configuration and virtual disc files, log files, and NVRAM are all essential files in a virtual machine. There are four main components to a virtual machine’s architecture: the underlying host hardware system including the service or the machine and the operating system; a middleman software called hypervisor that comes between the machine infrastructure and hardware, other virtual machines on the same host machine that share the resources of the host and communicate with the hypervisor; and all the software and processes that work inside each of the VM or guest OS.

As mentioned previously, the advantages of virtual machines include:

⦁ The ability to use more than one operating system inside the same physical server or host infrastructure.
⦁ The possibility to improve the reliability of the host systems and prevent crashes.
⦁ The tools to test the tapped software or any other suspected piece of code inside the VM, providing another layer of security.

Along with advantages, there are also disadvantages of virtual machines. First of all, they can be very slow, less efficient, and utilize many resources. Second, if the underlying host OS is weak and has a common configuration, the performance of a virtual machine will be significantly affected. Finally, if people try to run several VMs on a single host OS, it might lead to inconsistent results. 

Today’s entrepreneurs want to transform their organizations digitally. Unfortunately, they’re constrained by their decisions to use software, cloud-based technologies, and on-premises infrastructure. Docker, a container-based platform that integrates and secures traditional apps and microservices architectures created on several servers, eliminates this challenge. It is also a virtualization and software development platform that employs containers to make it easy to create, deploy, and test applications. Containers are small, platform-agnostic, and executable files that contain all of the libraries, binaries, configurations, dependencies, and other files needed to run an application. Interestingly, apps execute the same no matter where they are or what platform they are on. The container provides an isolated packed environment for the application throughout its development life cycle. Since containers are segregated, they are secure and stable, allowing multiple containers to run on the same host simultaneously. Containers are also lightweight since they do not require the installation of a hypervisor. Instead of using a hypervisor like VMWare or VirtualBox, containers run directly within the host’s computer kernel.

A container needs an underlying OS that can support packages, binaries, and libraries, and a few of the underlying host’s system resources to run a program. Users can generate several reusable containers from the same Docker image by creating a template of a customized environment using Docker images that are a blueprint of their application’s requirements. The container is essentially a snapshot of the underlying host at a certain point that ensures a program functions consistently. The container leverages the host’s kernel to run all the various apps inside it.

Docker containers offer plenty of advantages. First of all, they are small in size, usually a few megabytes, and users can limit the CPU usage and memory usage of containers. Thanks to their small size, Docker containers are highly scalable and can boot up a lot faster. Additionally, they are also an integral factor in CI/CD processes in agile development. There is also a reduction of resources when it comes to IT management, and updates for security happen in just a matter of seconds with only a few commands.

Finally, the sharing of codes and apps with the team becomes a lot easier. There are also disadvantages to Docker containers, of course. These include the fact that they run on top of the underlying host’s machine’s operating system and rely on them heavily. Moreover, users need to configure them to provide absolute security and the perfect environment to run applications. Finally, users will need persistent data storage solutions like volumes, mounts, and others to backup data if the containers are deleted. 

In the hopes of making enterprise-level website hosting through WordPress available for everyone, Convesio has created a platform that represents a significant milestone from a functionality point of view. This is a first in the web hosting industry, as no other providers offer “Managed WordPress Scaling.” With Convesio’s Docker-based architecture and easy-to-use dashboard, customers can quickly set up a highly scalable WordPress website in minutes, unlike the typical timeframe of a complex VPS setup. Getting started is quite simple: customers can configure Auto Scaling by setting the minimum and the maximum number of Docker containers for their website to run on. Convesio will automatically deploy and remove additional containers depending on the required resources, with a load balancer sharing traffic evenly across each.Furthermore, more advanced users can set custom threshold values that trigger scaling events based on different combinations of CPU, Memory, and PHP Worker usage. 

Originally launched in 2019, the third iteration of this platform introduces several other essential updates, including environment selection, database options, more granular performance metrics and logs via the dashboard, and performance improvements. Convesio uses Docker technology to package a highly performant WordPress stack that can be deployed in a matter of seconds, the moment a customer clicks to create a new site. The auto-scaling functionality clones containers to match the number of instances required to handle the increase in load.

The platform was built to deliver a consistently fast experience whatever the load on the server. Convesio works particularly well for the following use cases: eCommerce, eLearning, and online events, online publications, and agencies. Convesio has eliminated the need for complex and costly solutions by offering Enterprise-grade availability and scalability at the click of a button. Customers only pay for extra resources when they are needed resulting in a significant cost saving.

Are you interested in learning more about how Convesio works? You can find out more on LinkedIn.

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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