Azure Containers vs Docker: The Differences

Azure Containers vs. Docker: What’s the Difference?

In search of an optimal platform for your apps? You've probably discovered Azure Container Service and Docker Cloud data centers. While they may seem rival services, they're indeed synergistic in providing your container-based app. The concept of Azure Containers vs Docker isn’t about competition but complementing each other in app development. Read on to know how.

Understanding Containers

Before we get into the nitty gritty of which of these two virtualization services is best, you need to know what containers are. Often, apps that are coded on-premises don’t react the same way when they’re used elsewhere. This can be due to a different OS, library, or dependencies, among other factors.

To prevent code from running differently on each machine, containerized applications allow DevOps to include everything necessary to run the app. All bins and libraries required to run the app flawlessly are integrated, and the app may be run on any device with a containerization platform set up.

Previously, you would use virtual machines and an API to manage these types of apps. However, they were difficult to use and unwieldy. Now, serverless workflows allow for maximum portability for any web app by using container images, which are lightweight.

What Azure Has to Offer

Azure Container Service is designed to work with Azure and is optimized as such. It’s open source and uses client-side tooling for more flexibility. With Azure’s platform, you can manage several workloads as needed, usually in IaaS, SaaS, or PaaS. It lets you run containers created with other platforms, including those developed by Docker and Kubernetes.

Azure container instances are often praised for stability and simplicity. It’s not difficult to learn to use the container system, and thanks to the compression of data, it can run multiple workloads at once.

There are some downsides, as well. Some feel that Azure isn’t as great as it could be in the area of customisation. It also doesn’t always run well with open source tools, so you may end up frustrated as you try to get it working with these. Serverless Tools

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Is Docker Better?

The Docker hub is an open-source container platform. However, unlike Azure, it is designed to create containers, not run them. It works very well with IronWorker, for batch processing.

On the plus side, a Docker image is very simple to use, offers excellent runtime, and provides consistency across the board. Everyone who uses code in the container, as opposed to a CPU, will have the same experience with their microservices.

Docker has been around for a while and is Linux based, so it’s quite stable. Thanks to the container system, it also reduces the amount of space required to run an application. Container footprints are small enough that they won’t disturb your device as it runs. You can use Docker compose for your apps and then send them to a container service like Azure portal, or another container orchestration option.

Of course, there are some downsides to the Docker container ecosystem and these include the fact that it is constantly changing. Thanks to being open source, there are always updates and new information coming in, which can be challenging to keep up with. It also takes a bit to figure out, particularly for those new to containers.

Azure Containers vs. Docker: What’s the Difference?

Azure Containers vs Docker: Which One to Choose?

When it comes down to it, you’re not looking to use either Docker or Azure container registry. You’ll likely end up using them both. Each serves its own purpose and should be looked at as separate from the other. They’re certainly not in competition.

You could use Docker for application development. To compute on any operating system, you could use Microsoft Azure.

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About Korak Bhaduri

Korak Bhaduri, Director of Operations at, has been on a continuous journey exploring the nuances of serverless solutions. With varied experiences from startups to research and a foundation in management and engineering, Korak brings a thoughtful and balanced perspective to the blog.

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