What are Cloud Containers and how do they work?

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What are Cloud Containers and how do they work?

Last updated February 9th, 2016

Cloud Containers are a completely new product that we built from the ground up and launched in early 2016. As you can probably guess from the name, the key feature of this product is the container architecture, specifically Docker, and the tools/systems we’ve built on top of it.

There’s some huge benefits to containers, the biggest being the ability to run completely independent environments on one server. When you create a container you can select which ‘image’ you would like to use for that specific website/application. An image can be Apache + PHP 7, Nginx + PHP 5.5, MongoDB, Apache + Python 3 or many other things.

This means you don’t need to worry about running different versions of PHP or even running an entirely different language like Python or Ruby. Each website/application lives in its own container, giving you more flexibility than ever before.

There’s other benefits too. Each container can have its own settings for things like Apache, without impacting other containers. Each container has its own logs, backups and cron-jobs. You can even switch the image that a container is running with a couple of clicks. Switching to a newer version of PHP now just takes a couple of minutes.

But how does it work?

There’s plenty of great information out there explaining exactly how Docker and containers work so we won’t repeat all of that.

When it comes to Cloud Containers, you get your own private server which you can then add your containers to. Each container will be the environment for one thing, be it a website, an application, or a tool, like Redis.

You can add whatever you like to your server using these containers, and because they each run their own image/environment, you’re no longer limited by what your server is setup for.

We could go on for a long time about how many cool things containers allow you to do, but the best thing to do is try it out yourself. It completely changes how you think about hosting.

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