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Docker vs. Vagrant: Which is Better for Development?

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Docker vs. Vagrant? This is a question that many developers and IT professionals have asked themselves when deciding whether to set up a virtual machine or virtual environment.

If you’re just a solo developer, then you usually won’t have to worry about this. You’ll be using the same machine every day. You’ll be using code that works with your specific development environment, and you’ll be pushing it to the same location.

However, if you’re working with other developers on a project, you can run into some serious problems. It’s highly unlikely that each developer on the team is using the same machine. Some will be using Mac, some Windows, and some Linux. This can create a lot of small inconsistencies in the code that’s pushed.

The Need For a Virtual Development Box

Developers needed a way to create a stable virtual box that their whole team could access. This virtual box would maintain consistency. It’s set up to run on a single operating system, with pre-set features and functionality. When developers are finished coding for the day, they can push their code to the virtual box, integrate it with the other code, and ensure that it’s working smoothly.

Docker and Vagrant are two solutions that operate on the principle of virtual development environments. They offer very different solutions that are proven to work very well. In a minute, we’ll go into the specific differences between the two, but first, we need to understand their methods of operation. Docker uses what’s called a virtual environment, and Vagrant is a virtual machine manager.

Virtual Machine

A virtual machine is essentially a cloud server that runs on your machine. It uses the resources provided by your machine to define its limitations (storage, memory, processing power), but it operates as a completely separate virtual machine. Think of it as a computer within your computer. This virtual machine has its own BIOS, network adaptor capabilities, and has allocated processing power and memory. You can install any operating system and software that you like onto your virtual machine and can log into it and use it with a few simple lines from your command line.

Hypervisors

All virtual machines run on something called a hypervisor. These hypervisors act as digital supervisors for the virtual machine to ensure that it’s running properly and that no significant problems are being encountered. Some popular hypervisors used today are:

  • VM Ware
  • Microsoft Hyper-V
  • Xen Server
  • KVM

These hypervisors are the software, firmware, and hardware responsible for the creation and maintenance of your virtual box. They are the layer between your native computer and your virtual machines and are vital for their continued functionality. Hypervisors provide data and reporting and inform you whenever an update needs to be made, or resource allocation is getting scarce.

Virtual Environment

A virtual environment is similar to a virtual machine in principle. However, it has one very large key difference. The virtual environment container runs on a single kernel based on the host computers operating system and hardware limitation. This allows you to do away with all of the extra layers required by a virtual machine. You create one environment that operates on your device as an image. You can then create, develop, and deploy your code within this environment.

What is Docker?

Now that you have an idea of how the principles work let’s look at how they are applied in Docker. Docker is an open-source container technology that is based on LXC. It operates on the principles of a virtual environment. Once your download Docker onto your computer you set up a virtual container for each specific development project.

After you set up your first container, you will be able to push your code to a site such as DockerHub, which is essentially GitHub for Docker. The best part about Docker containers is that they only use the computing power that they need. There is no need for a hypervisor to manage them, as you aren’t managing several different separate operating systems.

Also, with Docker, you don’t have to preset the limitations of your container, as you would with Vagrant. In Vagrant, you would have to preset the storage, memory, and all of the other properties before launching your virtual machine. It takes up this amount of resources whether you need it or not. Since Docker runs on the same kernel as the host device, it only uses what it needs and nothing more, so you aren’t wasting overhead on unused resources and hypervisor management.

Docker gives users a far more bare-bones approach to virtual box development environments. However, there can be a lack of security. Because the Docker containers aren’t completely separate as they are in Vagrant, they are more vulnerable to hackers. If a hacker were to get access to your device, then they could easily move into your Docker containers and steal vital information about your code. However, this is a far-fetched scenario and is only an important consideration if your team is working on a state-of-the-art project.

Benefits of Docker

  • Fewer resources allocated
  • Lightweight footprint
  • Faster speeds
  • Runs on your existing kernel
  • No need for a hypervisor

What is Vagrant

Vagrant is a virtual machine manager. It allows you to create multiple virtual machines each with their own allocated resources and operating systems to allow you to develop, test, and deploy your applications on. Vagrant is the software that talks to your hypervisor and manages the creation and access to each of your virtual machines.

The drawback of Vagrant when compared to Docker is that it takes up more resources. As the operating system and hardware requirements of each virtual machine must be present, they will use this up no matter what. However, virtual machines do have the benefit of security.

Because each virtual machine is technically separate from your device and operates on a different kernel, they aren’t prone to indirect hacking attacks. For a hacker to gain access to your Vagrant virtual machines, they would first have to direct a cyber attack on your device, and then they would have to perform a new attack on each individual virtual machine. The average hacker has a very small window of time to operate, and if they have to hack two separate machines, they’re out of luck.

Benefits of Vagrant

  • Allows you to test on different operating systems
  • Separated boxes make environments more isolated
  • Increased security

Docker Vs. Vagrant For Development

Docker uses fewer resources than Vagrant and is more bare-bones which makes it a little bit faster. However, Vagrant excels in security, as each virtual machine is completely separate from the rest. Here’s a quick Vagrant vs. Docker table to put things into perspective.

 

Software Security Speed Resource Management
Docker + +
Vagrant +

 

Using Docker With Vagrant

Although many people consider Docker and Vagrant to be competitors, the two services can actually compliment each other. In fact, the Vagrant documentation encourages you to use Docker with Vagrant.

Vagrant Docker Provider

In cases like this, Docker can take over the functionality of a service such as Virtual Box. Developers can create a virtual machine using Vagrant. Later on, they may need to make small changes and use a different configuration with the same properties as the base virtual machine. Docker can be used to create these lightweight, minified versions without the developer needing to create an entirely new virtual machine.

Final Thoughts

Docker and Vagrant are both great services. For most software developers, Docker will be a quicker and more lightweight service. However, if you’re developing high-end programs that need extra security and extensive, in-depth testing environments, then Vagrant’s isolated virtual machines can be incredibly useful.

Steven Hansen is a founder of Techeries. He is a specialist in digital security solution business design and development, virtualization and cloud computing R&D projects, establishment and management of software research direction. He also loves writing about data management and cyber security.

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The Lock and Key System and Why You Should Choose the High-Tech Version

Michael Dunne

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Locks and bolts are reliable and simple security systems that can be easily installed in homes and in commercial establishments. These systems have been used for thousands of years since the early beginnings of human civilization.

Modern-day security threats, however, have become increasingly sophisticated. Some thieves are highly skilled in opening locks of various forms, including combination type locks. This is why high-tech security systems are necessary for homes and business establishments for better security and protection.

History of the lock and key system

The most ancient lock and the key device were discovered in an archaeological site in Nineveh, the capital of the ancient Assyrian Empire. The Egyptians developed a wooden pin lock device that had the basic mechanisms of modern pin and tumbler metal locks.

The Egyptian pin lock system had a bolt and door fixture, which could be opened using a customized key. The pins within the lock were lifted out drilled holes within the bolt when the key was inserted. This allowed the bolt to move while the key was inserted.

Meanwhile, the oldest type of lock device in Europe is the warded lock. It was the most common lock design in Europe from the Early Medieval to Renaissance period. Purely metal locks were developed in Europe from around the year 870 to year 900. English craftsmen were credited for developing these locks.

Robert Barron perfected the design of the lever tumbler lock in 1778. The lock had a set of lever mechanisms that prevented the movement of the bolt if the key was not inserted. The double-acting lever mechanism required the lever to be lifted to a specific height by a key specifically customized for the lock.

Jeremiah Chubb made significant improvements on the lever tumbler lock starting in 1818. He designed locks that had multiple levers that needed to be precisely aligned to allow the bolt to move. Later designs involved spring-loaded pins that also prevented the bolt from moving. The keyless combination lock is a modification of this design.

High-tech modern locks

Classic lock designs are still used today with some modifications.

Many types of high-tech modern locks are actually a result of the convergence among the mechanical, electronic and digital types. The basic lock and bolt design are maintained but some electronic and digital components have been added. For instance, some high-tech locks require biometric keys like fingerprints to be opened.

High-tech locks can range from small padlocks to complex vault locks or blast door locks. The key components are modified to have multiple authentication requirements. These are also programmable and customizable depending on the user.

One of the simplest forms of electronic lock system is the PIN number system that requires the user to enter a pre-programmed PIN on a keypad. This system is also oftentimes integrated with an alarm system that will be triggered if the PIN is entered incorrectly in three successive attempts.

Electronic locks and alarm systems may also be connected to a phone line that can alert the local police. You may also be alerted via your mobile devices through SMS or the internet.

Here are some of the reasons why you should choose electronic and digital lock systems:

1. Added layers of protection

Using digital lock systems will provide your house or establishment additional protection.

Unlike ordinary mechanical locks that can be opened by skilled lock pickers using simple DIY tools, electronic or digital locks are more sophisticated. They require higher skills and more sophisticated instruments to hack.

If the electronic lock system has an alarm, it would provide another layer of protection that could deter would-be thieves.

A simple 4-digit PIN-enabled lock system has thousands of permutations/combinations, 10,000 possibilities to be exact. Most systems are programmed to allow only a maximum of three attempts before the alarm is activated.

2. Convenience of use

Simple mechanical locks need exact key configurations to be opened. The key to a lock needs to be duplicated to allow other members of a family or an establishment to have access. So if you have multiple doors in your house or workplace, you will need multiple keys and multiple duplicates.

Electronic lock systems may only need one master PIN code that can be memorized by authorized persons. On the other hand, the individual fingerprints of authorized persons can be used as keys. Biometric keys are more convenient than physical keys which can be easily duplicated or lost.

3. Flexibility of access

PIN codes, passwords, and biometric parameters can be programmed into the digital lock and key systems. Multiple users can be granted access without needing to bring physical keys. On the other hand, electronic key cards may also be required for employees to serve as their IDs and monitor their attendance.

Digital lock systems may also be programmed to provide multi-tiered security authorization. For instance, some employees of a bank may only have limited access to the bank vault.

4. Easy integration with other systems

You may easily integrate a digital lock and key system with existing systems. In many instances, you do not even need to remove the standard mechanical locks. Alarms, biometric sensors, cameras, apps, and mobile devices can be connected to electronic or digital locks.

It would be possible to remotely lock or unlock doors using your mobile device even if you are hundreds of kilometers away. Depending on your security provider, you may use a special app for this purpose. This way, you can allow guests to enter your house or establishment even if you have not yet arrived. You may simply need to enter the necessary PIN codes via your mobile smartphone.

5. Long-term cost-effectiveness

Considering the various features and benefits of using an electronic lock and key systems, you will be able to save money in the long run.

One common problem with the purely mechanical lock and key system is losing the key. This can be avoided by eliminating the need for physical keys. You will not need to have multiple duplicates of keys for various rooms in a house or work establishment.

The advantages of using an electronic lock and key system truly outweigh those of older lock and key versions and types. Hence, it is the better choice when it comes to ensuring the safety and security of your home and/or business establishment.

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Network Olympus: Why Use It?

Steven Sanders

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IT Staff in Different Offices Can Monitor

If your IT team is spread out through multiple locations, who are responsible for helping monitor the network performance, the remote access enables for the staff in other cities, branches, countries, or offices to check the network performance – even if the software is installed on the headquarters.

This means that if the device is down at a remote location, a network expert can help you troubleshoot the issue without getting involved. And, he doesn’t have to ask you what you’re viewing on your end – he can see updated metrics and network maps himself.

Remain Mobile Without Neglect

Having the ability to access the network remotely means that your team doesn’t have to be on the site constantly. If you have to work from the local coffee shop or home, the remote access allows you to see the device status on your mobile device or laptop.

Mobile network monitoring helps users keep their network data, so they don’t have to risk outages due to lack of access.

Access Levels Are Managed For Better Security

Some network administrators might not like the idea of remote access due to the remote security threats lying behind it. One way to keep the network secure is through encrypted authentication and by making sure each user logs in with the same method.

Another form of protection against security issues is its ability to customize your user access. Most of Network Olympus remote monitoring tools will help you give access to the user or admin level to certain dashboards or maps. Managing the access to your users will help you keep the connection fully secure.

Also, get a tool that will consistently update and give patches to any security holes that surface. Although security threats are common, having good tools to notify your users once a patch has been released. This allows you to take advantage of improved security measures as much as possible.

With The Right Connectivity, You’ll Always Find Access

Network Olympus gives users more access due to its remote capabilities. As long as you’re on the network due to a point to point or VPN connectivity, you’ll be able to utilize and manage the connected devices within the network. Regardless of where they or you are located.

By giving more remote monitoring capabilities for you and your IT team, you’ll have enough flexibility to handle what the modern work world requires. And you can gain peace of mind that no matter where you’re at, you can see the network at a glance, whether it spans from a country, world, or city.

Conclusion

Basically, Network Olympus can be used to help you utilize your network. Not only does it have multiple features to help monitor your goods, but also helps keep your team on track. Thus, try to utilize it so you can keep your IT team running efficiently.

Need to learn more about Network Olympus?

Tell us in the comments below!

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For-Profit Or Fun: Why Some A Crypto Trading Bot

Steven Sanders

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Wall Street is in an uproar. Papers are flying; curse words are being hurled, financial portfolios are in disarray and have been for the past year because of one word: crypto.

What has happened? What changed?

Well, in the past year, a lot.  I’m not talking just the earth-shattering, meteoric rise and fall of bitcoin as a $20,000+ asset that has made billionaires. I’m not talking about the billions in ICO fundraising that has left some in the blockchain in the community very wealthy, nor the assets lost by foolish investors.

I’m talking about the perplexing case of what exactly cryptocurrency can do for the average layman.  For those without thousands laying around who got in late or those that were too afraid to take the leap, it begs the question: What is the opportunity that remains?

There is a market for cryptocurrency development services. There is also a market for marketing for blockchain companies. Within cryptocurrency as subject, there are dozens upon dozens of opportunities to still profit even as it falls harder than ever before.  

One that has many’s attention is that of the cryptocurrency trading bot.  

Much like forex, stocks, and a flurry of other bots that have been developed to isolate and profit from signals that exist in the market, cryptocurrency has proven no different.

Cryptocurrency bots operate on a trading algorithm set by its developer whom should be or is working with a trader.  These traders often boast about their profits, and that they have systemized some form of reliability by isolating trends/criteria that lead to profitable trades.

The Market & its Infancy

While there are definitely plenty of bots that are successful, there is one drawback to creating a cryptocurrency bot that trades.  The market even with its current fervor is still in its infancy. It is totally new to the manipulations that we have seen happen by governments, social influence, and random freak occurrences.  

There are so many factors that tie into pricing that its hard to predict what will make a bot trade successfully. One one hand, a bot that trades based on analyzing or at least compiling news/trend data, and then offering the ability to select what to trade based on could potentially work.  The difficulty is in sifting through the fake news and what is actually relevant.

News sources naturally sensationalize, but the problem doesn’t only lie there.  Communities like Reddit and telegram are usually far ahead of any development within cryptocurrency.

So unless a bot takes into consideration mentions of particular cryptocurrencies and any words that can help it judge the context, it’d be harder for it to adapt to little more than buying and sell order fluctuations.

Technical analysis is still being worked out, but some have made strides and are certainly profiting regularly, such as Ian Balina and other associates.

That said, a systemized approach of any kind will need to have its kinks worked out, so only time will tell how successful it would be to create a crypto trading bot.  

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