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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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Technology

Console vs. Mobile vs. PC: Three Kinds of Gaming

Steven Sanders

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Video games have come a long way since Pong, and we now have a variety of different genres to play across a range of platforms. Gamers will always debate amongst themselves about the strengths and weaknesses of each platform, but they will nearly always show some form of bias for their preferred gaming system.

Over the course of this article, we’ll be covering the three primary types of game systems in this day and age. We’ll take a look at highly portable mobile platforms, available game consoles, and powerful gaming PCs, comparing each of them so that you can see exactly how they differ from each other.

PC

PC gaming is often seen as the most cutting-edge way to play your games, and it makes sense. A gaming PC is a lot easier to keep updated than a console since you can replace the components as soon as they come out. Console gamers instead have to wait until the next iteration of their system comes out.

Of course, a PC is also much more versatile than a console, as you can custom-make one that isn’t constrained by whether or not it will be feasible on the market. Keep in mind that gaming PCs pay for their impressive performance and graphics when it comes to stability, with the quality of releases depending on their degree of optimization.

Console

Console gaming is often seen as the more convenient alternative to PC gaming, and there is significant overlap between the games that are available on both types of systems. Console games will typically run at a lower frame rate and a lower resolution than PC games due to the inherent limitations of the systems.

Since a game console has to be reasonably priced, then there is a limit to the performance they can output, and yet they provide immense value for money. You would be hard pressed to find a gaming PC complete with a keyboard, mouse, operating system, and monitor for the price of a console.

Mobile

Finally, mobile gaming takes up a huge percentage of the global gaming market, and that’s what makes it so attractive for game development services. Whenever you have a bit of downtime, you can simply take out your smartphone and start playing a game, and the massive number of ads rakes in a tidy profit.

While there are some games (like Fortnite) that are available on mobile, console, and PC, you’ll find that the majority of mobile games are not available on the other systems due to their simplicity. Mobile games usually have simple control schemes due to the difficulty of adapting them to a touchscreen.

Conclusion

There is no “best” way to play video games, so don’t let anyone discourage you based on your preferred platform. We hope that this guide has summarized the differences between each of these kinds of game systems.

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Technology

The Pros and Cons Behind DevOps as a Service

Steven Sanders

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It seems as though every component of business computing is being used as a service, including DevOps. The advantages of using devops as a service are obvious: You are able to rent computing resources instead of having to buy and manage them on your own.

However, is it possible to outsource each aspect of business operation? Can DevOps as service work for your organization? Does the cloud collaboration between operations and developments help speed up projects, or does it mean that your company will lose control of business-centric applications?

Before discovering the arguments supporting and refuting devops as a service, it’s good to define the meaning behind DevOps?

What is DevOps as a Service?

The term DevOps comes from the creation of operations and development, two different disciplines. Some traditional companies have departmental silos that make it difficult for IT professionals to work on creating business automation software.

DevOps creates an environment needed for the rapid testing and development of custom business software. Making a DevOps-based collaborative environment is easier for security specialists, IT engineers, QA engineers, and other teammates to ensure that there is synchronization, integration, and synergy between workflows.

To ensure that your DevOps environment is successful, your team will need to use agile software methodologies. The more difficult the project, the more enterprise components you’ll need to ensure that your team works properly.

DevOps as a service allows you to relocate those enterprise resources towards the cloud. Rather than using basic software development tools, DevOps as a service collects the development tools towards a platform that’s hosted in the cloud.

Advantages Behind DevOps as a Service

Here are some reasons why companies are starting to use DevOps as a service:

  • DevOps as a service hides the complexity of information and data flow, which means your DevOps team members can focus on their team specific tools without having to know the entire toolchain. For instance, a software developer can conduct tests through source code management tools, and IT operators can make changes with configuration management tools.
  • DevOps allows users to collaborate as it places tools on the cloud. This allows users anywhere to work together and complete projects.
  • Using cloud-based services is a data-driven process where everyone has the same data set. This leads to better quality control and documentation.

Disadvantages Behind DevOps as a Service

Here are the disadvantages that exist when using DevOps for your IT team:

  • Security is always a huge concern. Your security team isn’t always apart of DevOps and the DevOps teams usually choose speed over security when creating software. With DevOps cloud services, you can create unnecessary exposure and risks, especially if its the transport layer that’s left unsecured.
  • Outsourcing DevOps infrastructure will require some level of software development expertise, including having an understanding of orchestrating a workflow, infrastructure, and integration. You’ll need experts and tools of DevOps as a Service in order to be successful.

Conclusion

When you’re using DevOps as a service, you’re increasing your IT teams’ productivity. And if you’re thinking about making a new DevOps strategy, DevOps as a Service will help shorten the time to deploy apps and will give you versatility as you create new business process applications.

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Finance

3 Technologies Revolutionizing Online Business

Steven Sanders

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Modern technology has proven itself disruptive time and again which has allowed businesses to flourish and advance in industries like education, manufacturing, logistics, and finance. Disruptive innovation is also disrupting companies from Google to Microsoft. While in the past the disruptions were unexpected, it has allowed business owners and entrepreneurs to see how the innovative ideas are lucrative opportunities that improve business models significantly. Here are three transformative technologies that are revolutionizing businesses worldwide.

1. API Integration

An application program interface (API) is a software building application tool that determines how API components interact. Partnering with a skilled API Integration company will help companies identify API sets that best connect hardware and software and allow user devices, programs, and data to function and interact with one another. Companies need API integration for many reasons, including to:

  • Connect to cloud apps
  • Develop new APIs
  • Extract data from legacy systems
  • Write new apps
  • Increase productivity
  • Manage APIs in-house
  • New technology integration
  • Develop product or service ideas
  • Generate software solutions for end-users

Some of the most popular APIs utilized by companies include YouTube, Google Maps, Twitter and Amazon. As technology progresses, API integration offers limitless possibilities for companies to expand as growth and revenue do.

2. Artificial Intelligence

Thinking about artificial intelligence (AI) in the past mostly innovative thought process, but today it is a mainstream tool used in daily business operations to improve efficiency and productivity. By 2030, experts predict that AI will contribute $15.7 trillion to the global economy and 26 percent gross domestic product to local economies. As more businesses pop up online, APIs will customize customer experiences and analyze data that interprets consumer buying histories to predict future product or service trends. It will also help companies use predictive AI to target new demographics based on behaviors.

What is clear about AI is that it is set to disrupt more companies in the future because of quantum computing that will be smarter and more complex than how we are using it now. It will solve problems like global warming, poverty, space exploration, and disease all because of AI superhuman quantum computer systems that will dissect and analyze data in seconds without programmers feeding them commands. Popular AI in use today includes Siri, Alexa, Cognito, Netflix, and Amazon. The next generation of AI will include facial recognition, augmented reality, internet of things connectivity, emotional replication, drone delivery, and voice or visual search platforms.

3. Blockchain Cryptocurrencies

For the past few years, blockchain cryptocurrencies have thrown many industries into a disruptive state as it decentralized how companies buy, sell and store data. Blockchain uses transparent ledgers to connect an extensive network of users, so it has a reputation of being a tamper-proof way to make transactions, which is an indispensable tool to e-marketers. Blockchain technology like Smart Contracts will also become mainstream, which will allow businesses to use it to secure financial transactions via cryptocurrency exchanges.

Companies must prepare for the future of AI and blockchain technology by investing in the type of resources that transforms new talent and streamlines information technology departments to win in business.

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