Docker is sweeping across startups and enterprises alike, changing the way we build and ship applications. It’s the most prominent and widely known software container platform, and it’s particularly useful for eliminating common challenges when collaborating on code (like the “it works on my machine” phenomenon that most devs know all too well). With Docker, you can run and manage apps side-by-side – in isolated containers – resulting in better compute density. It’s something that many developers don’t think about, but you can even user Docker with asp.net.
You probably don’t need to be sold on the many appealing Docker capabilities, but you might not be familiar with the wide range of third-party tools that integrate seamlessly with Docker, from logging tools to database tools, CI tools, and more. Docker, of course, has its own tools for managing containers, but in this post, we’re going to look at third-party tools that are essential to enabling a great container experience in your organization. We’ll walk through 50 of the user-friendly, functional Docker tools you can use to transform your software development at every stage, including:
- Orchestration Tools
- Kubernetes as a Service
- Web Server
- Database Tools
- Operating Systems
- Infrastructure & Management
- Configuration Management
- CI Tools
- Container Lifecycle Management
- Monitoring Tools
Read on to find out how you can leverage these tools to create a better container experience. And when you’re ready to discover more tools to manage and improve your code, download our Ultimate Dev Toolbox – it’s free!
A minimalist OS, RancherOS is closely integrated with Docker Compose which it uses to define system services.
- Simplifies running containers at any scale
- Eliminates the need for unnecessary libraries and services
- Decreases boot time and complexities
Kubernetes is, without a doubt, the leading container orchestrator available today. It groups containers into clusters and decouples your apps from the underlying infrastructure that powers them.
- Scale your infrastructure effortlessly, without growing your Ops team
- Open source tool allows you to extend for your custom needs
- Battle-tested by Google, where it was developed, and able to scale to more than 5,000 nodes
Mesosphere makes building and deploying web-scale applications fast and reliable. Used at Twitter, AirBnB, and a host of other large-scale organizations, Mesosphere is one of the early container orchestrators to make it big.
- Based on the open source Apache Mesos cluster manager
- Treats the entire datacenter as a single super computer
- New data services available: Alluxio, Elastic Shark, Redis Labs, Datastax Enterprise and Couchbase Server
Cost: Contact for cost information (pricing based on number of nodes/environment)
Cloudify orchestrates not just containers, but VMs and OpenStack as well. It brings Dev and Ops on a single platform to work collaboratively.
- Built to seamlessly work with containers, VMs, and OpenStack
- Provides a built-in plugin for AWS, Apache Cloudstack, and SoftLayer
- Orchestration managed right from the dashboard
Cost: Free evaluation; contact for cost details
From running a single container to running thousands of them, this tools allows you to run up to 1 million containers on 5,000 hosts in a meager 5 minutes.
- Supports Linux, Windows, BSD, and OSX to run any workload
- Provides multi-datacenter support to enable you to run applications from any cloud
- Increases density and reduces costs by efficiently packing applications on the server
Easily automate your infrastructure and applications, and access it from any location through any cloud provider, with this tool.
- Smooth builds from Git repo to Dockerfile with the click of a button
- Choose from 11 cloud providers when hosting your app
- Developer: $10/month (up to 3 applications)
- Startup: $250/month (up to 10 apps)
- Growth: $1,000/month (up to 25 apps)
- Business: $5,000/month (unlimited apps)
Kubernetes as a Service
Kubernetes can be hard to setup and maintain on your own. Tectonic provides Kubernetes as a service so you can focus on building and shipping your app, not maintaining Kubernetes.
- Provides updates keeping with the Kubernetes release cycle
- Includes a built-in installer to get you up and running
- Backed by the capable CoreOS team which makes up a large contributor base of the Kubernetes open source project
Cost: Free for use up to 10 nodes; contact for cost for 10+ nodes
Platform9 initially focussed on OpenStack, but now is shifting focus to Kubernetes. It manages the entire container lifecycle from provisioning and deployment to monitoring and access control.
- Requires no maintenance and easily mergers with your infrastructure
- Provides 24×7 monitoring capabilities to keep the user aware
- Completely integrated with OpenStack and Kubernetes
Cost: Contact for pricing (cost based on CPU socket per year; minimum 20 sockets and a 1-year commitment)
Acquired by Apprenda last year, Kismatic automates the deployment of Kubernetes clusters in production.
- Provides easy and manageable cluster upgrades, and updates
- Builds on Kubernetes’ strengths by adding advanced features like IAM
Cost: Contact for pricing
A hosted Kubernetes service from the company that created Kubernetes.
- Simple Kubernetes cluster management
- Reduces time to set up clusters from hours to minutes
- Control who has access to your Kubernetes clusters with Google accounts
- Free for 0-5 nodes
- 6+ nodes: $0.15 per cluster
A company started by Kubernetes founders that bridges the gap between cloud-native support and IT.
- Fades infrastructure and operation in the background so that you can work more focused
- Moves operations driven by tickets to operations driven by API
- Recently announced a Quick Start for Kubernetes on AWS with an aim of getting more AWS users to use Kubernetes
Cost: Free; paid support options available
Recently acquired by Microsoft, this tool provides its users with assistance to start their containerized journey.
- Consists of three products – Workflow, Helm, and Steward – which together manage the entire Kubernetes lifecycle
- Sets up a customized cluster environment on the user’s preferred host
- Provides support services in getting your team up and running with containers
As you work with Docker, you need a good repository to store and share container images and repositories. Quay from CoreOS assists you with that.
- Images marked important stay on top of the home screen
- Easy conversion of Dockerfile to repository images
- Built-in security scanning of public container repositories
- Personal: $12/month (5 private repositories)
- Skiff: $25/month (10 private repositories)
- Yacht: $50/month (20 private repositories)
- Enterprise pricing available, based on # of repos
Artifactory is a repository manager for pretty much any platform you use and is now extending support for Docker containers.
- Provides real-time monitoring for all repositories
- Upload and manage your repositories from your cloud platform
- Pro: $2,950/Year
- Pro Plus: $7,900/Year
- Pro X: $14,400/Year
- Enterprise: $29,500/Year (3-license pack)
Nginx is a load balancer and web server that helps keep your app highly available and gives you control over the flow of traffic across your network.
- Enables blue-green deployments by switching traffic from one environment to another easily
- Supports microservices architecture by providing control and monitoring for application services
- Nginx OSS: Free
- Instance 1-4: $2,500 / year and up
- Volume 5+: Contact for pricing information
Elasticsearch is a data storage and analytics tool capable of solving a growing number of use cases. It’s the heart of the Elastic Stack, storing your data centrally for deeper insights and analysis.
- Identifies unusual activity in applications functions
- Can be easily integrated into any existing Docker monitoring system
- Machine learning (available as an add-on feature as part of the X-Pack subscription offering)
Cost: Free (Open Source)
An open source visualization tool for viewing large scale data with beautiful and powerful charts.
- Provides quick and powerful visual representation of data
- Has a wide variety of charts including histograms, line graphs, and pie charts
Docker containers are ephemeral, which means as you delete a container, its storage is lost. To store data persistently, leverage Flocker, which migrates data as your containers are migrated across your infrastructure.
- Easily manage your storage for containers
- Moves data between databases, and databases between servers
- Support various storage environments including AWS EBS, Google Persistent Disk, Pure Storage, etc.
A tool that helps store Docker container data persistently.
- Rebalances data in cases of data loss
- Doesn’t require manual intervention to sort and fix data
This tool from CoreOS solves the problem you have when creating subnets for your organization by creating an overlay mesh network.
- Handles virtual networking for Kubernetes
- Creates and manages a series of subnets
- It reduces the complexity that comes with port mapping
If you are having a hard time with your SDNs because of them being centrally managed and traditional, this tool simplifies it for you with a distributed networking layer.
- Provides a simplified network model design
- Easily scales from a single laptop to an enterprise deployment
- Customize and define which connections are allowed and which are not
resinOS is a lightweight container operating system built with embedded devices in mind.
- Well-suited for IoT applications with many device types and complex networking needs
- Allows to build your own custom OS
If you like working on Ubuntu, you’ll like this container-optimized OS that is a minimalist version of Ubuntu for Docker.
- A familiar interface that many IT users love and have used for more than a decade
- Provides a vast list of supported apps
- Is lightweight as a container OS should be, and is still powerful
Infrastructure & Management
EC2 container service (ECS) relieves you of the stress of scheduling and deploying multiple containers, by doing them itself. If you’ve got infrastructure on AWS already, ECS is your fastest route to containerization.
- Based on the leading cloud vendor, AWS, it is highly stable, scalable, and easy to use
- Monitors clusters and shows the resources used and resources available
- Easily deploy, upgrade and rollback thousands of containers without lags
Cost: Pay only for AWS services you create to store and run your application.
Microsoft’s response to Amazon’s ECS, ACS lets you run containers on the Azure cloud platform.
- Lets you use Kubernetes, DC/OS, or Swarm for orchestration
- Merges with your existing management system and tools, and makes it easier to migrate apps from traditional infrastructure
Cost: Pay only for the VMs and associated storage and networking resources consumed.
An economical alternative to the major cloud providers, DigitalOcean is a reliable cloud platform with support for Docker.
- Quickly start deploying Docker, using their built-in apps
- Network provides high speeds up to 40 Gbps
- Load balancing service sorts the incoming traffic to provide better user experience
Cost: Standard droplet pricing starting at $5/month based on memory, SSD, processor, and transfer resources.
Chef is the leading configuration management tool that is evolving to support container workloads.
- Automate the creation and configuration of nodes and containers
- Manage all on-premise and cloud servers
- Chef Automate: $137/node/annual
- AWS OpsWorks with Chef Automate: Starts at $0.0155node/hour
- Hosted Chef: $72node/annual
Another popular configuration management tool that
- Simplifies operations by treating infrastructure as code
- Manages the creation of Docker infrastructure
- Automates every stage of your data center to provide more control
Cost: $3,000/year for up to 500 nodes
Automate your infrastructure and connect different teams together to help your IT teams work faster and more efficiently.
- Relieves IT of repetitive work by automating it for them
- Integrates with Docker to automate common infrastructure tasks
- 2,400 contributors submit new modules regularly
Cost: Contact for pricing information
Based on the open source Salt project, SaltStack is an intelligent orchestration and automation tool for infrastructure.
- Orchestrates and automates any cloud or non-cloud application
- Built to manage every angle of the business’ infrastructure and application
- Provides user with consultations and service support
Cost: Contact for pricing information
Enables you to treat infrastructure as code. Create, upgrade your applications to newer versions and deploy it efficiently and quickly using this tool.
- Provides a preview of your execution plan before you press apply
- Builds infrastructures efficiently and shows the number of dependencies on it
- Show the change and the order of change after execution to decrease errors
Automate the creation of development environments with this tool. It uses containers instead of VMs and has a small footprint.
- The Azkfile.js provides parity between development environments
- Azkfile.js can be reused completely or partly according to you
- Executes short and simple recipe files
InSpec, from Chef, is an infrastructure testing and compliance testing tool. It works with Chef to not just create new instances, but ensure they are compliant.
- Tests the infrastructure and provides results in easy to understand language
- Enforce your security rules with any application under development
- Provides remote testing and a local testing agent if needed
A leading continuous integration (CI) tool that helps to automate build and test cycles for any application, Jenkins is an essential tool for many DevOps teams.
- Provides hundreds of plugins to integrate with other tools across the stack
- A self-contained Java based program, Jenkins runs right out of the box
A tool that helps you start integrating as soon as you install it, CircleCI makes your CI process faster and simpler.
- Allows immediate building and deploying as soon as you sign up
- Provides compilers for Java, Scala, CoffeeScript, Less, Haskell and many more
- Provides support for Nose, Django, Cucumber, RSpec and other test runners
Cost: First container is free; additional containers $50/month (per container)
Starting out with Git repository management, GitLab now combines CI, CD and code review together to handle the entire application lifecycle.
- Includes an IDE, code review, activity streams, issue tracking and repository management as well
- Built-in container registry to store and scan Docker repositories
- Community Edition: Free, unlimited users
- Enterprise Edition Starter: $3.25/user/month
- Enterprise Edition Premium: $16.59/user/month
A CI tool that lets you build, test, and deploy applications with easy and speed.
- Lets you build Docker images from code repositories
- Integrates with all popular Docker registries
- Integrates with powerful orchestration tools like Kubernetes to deploy Docker containers
- Free: c4.large node, 1 concurrent job
- $25/75/150 /month: c4 large/xlarge/2xlarge nodes, each concurrent job
- Enterprise Support Add-on: Starts at $500/month
A fully customizable CI tool that features native support for Docker.
- Docker support allows you complete control over the environment you create
- Works across many cloud platforms and orchestration tools
- Offers dedicated instances to host your code
- CodeShip Basic: Free for 100 builds/month, pricing starts at $49/month
- CodeShip Pro: Starts at $75/month
CodeFresh is a tool that provides continuous integration and oversees the entire container process from start to end.
- Creates a Docker image after every change made to the file
- Test each build, whether standalone or part of a composition
- Open Source: Free (public repos only)
- Basic: Starts at $99/month (public & private repos)
- Pro: $299/month, dedicated nodes with SSH
Container Lifecycle Management
Cloud66 is a container manager that helps you build, deploy and manage Docker containers in production.
- Provides various services like image building, repository, load balancing, and more
- Reduces the need for Chef and Puppet by assisting in configuring containers
- Easily scale to any server or cloud of your preference
Weave extends container orchestrators like Kubernetes and Swarm and eases the management of containers in production.
- Provides a live map of your applications to help visualize and troubleshoot issues
- Continuous integration pipelines help convert code into Docker images
- Provides high-level security and encryption by default
- Standard: $30/node/month
- Enterprise: $150/node/month
Retrace is the only developer tool that combines APM, logs, errors, monitoring, and metrics in a fully-integrated, multi-environment suite with powerful monitoring and logging capabilities. Plus, it works out of the box with your existing stack.
- Centralized repository
- Real-time alerts for new errors
- Automatic error collection
- Identify top errors
- Ignore specific errors
- Quickly identify spikes in error rates
- Find the root cause of issues much faster
- Track application errors without logging them
- View web request details
- Identify unique errors
- View related log messages
- Analyze errors in several ways
- $10/month for QA/Pre-prod Servers
- $25 to $50/month for Production Servers
- Try it free for 14 days
A log analysis tool that features advanced analysis, visualization, and alerting options.
- Diagnose and troubleshoot your application and infrastructure problems
- Provides machine learning analytics to predict threats and anomalies before they become an issue and affect users
- Provides real-time security and operational information
- Free: Up to 500MB/day
- Professional – Logs & Metrics: $90/month, 1GB/day
- Enterprise – Logs & Metrics: $150/month, 1GB/day
Monitor your applications and infrastructures as they grow, with this modern and easy to understand monitoring tool.
- Customize the dashboard according to your preference
- Provides in-depth monitoring for Docker containers
- Provides automatic system alert on critical issues
- Free: up to 5 hosts
- Pro: $15/host/month
- Enterprise: $23/host/month
Logstash aggregates, transforms, structures, and pushes logs and other data from a variety of sources and is part of the Elastic Stack.
- Accepts data of different formats, and stores and processes them
- Logstash collects and sorts files according to name size and other labels
- Provides a variety of outputs to choose as file destinations
The leading incident management tool, Pagerduty provides a mature routing system for alerts and alarms when things go wrong with you app.
- Is an essential tool for Dockerized apps as they are complex, and errors occur at every level
- Avoids alert fatigue by ensuring the right alert reaches the right person
- Allows you to set complex routing rules to notify different people and different teams about errors and issues
- Lite: $9/month
- Basic: $29/month
- Standard: $49/month
- Enterprise: $99/month
From Red Hat, OpenShift is a PaaS platform with a focus on Docker and Kubernetes.
- Open, edit and manage your applications and containers from your cloud/data center
- Leverage Kubernetes to orchestrate containers at scale
Cost: Free Starter package; contact for Pro pricing (coming soon)
Heroku is the leading Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) that comes with more than 150 add-ons and more than 3000 ready-to-deploy buttons to increase your production time and decrease the time you take to solve issues.
- Provides complete assistance with failovers, patching, upgrading, and system builds
- Sets up, operates and maintains your work so that you can focus on creating more useful applications
- Is now evolving to support Docker workflows
- Free: 1 web, 1 worker
- Hobby: $7 per dyno/month
- Standard and Performance Plans: $25 to $500 per dyno/month
A PaaS platform that does all the heavy lifting so you can focus on building your app.
- Lets you host your apps with any cloud vendor and provides cloud portability
- Enables you to migrate your codebase to the platform without any changes to the code
- Even supports legacy applications
- Public Cloud: Starts at $10/month
- Private Cloud: $150/server/month, plus $200 – $1,000 one-time setup fee
- Partnership: Revenue sharing, discounted hardware, and professional services for free
Based on an open source tool, Flynn is a PaaS platform to create, deploy, and host applications.
- Being open source this tool provides many plugins and extensions
- Integrates with Docker for deployment
- Automatically scans your application for errors before deploying it
Cost: $3,499/month billed annually, up to 5 users; $399 each additional user per month
An open source PaaS tool helping you in every step of your application, offering a fast and safe deploy process with a simple Git push, optimizing your resource utilization, rebalancing resources, and recovering failed units and nodes automatically.
- Runs applications written in any language easily
- Lets you deploy Docker images with ease
- Customize the resource allocation for your application
These are 50 tools that help you work on Docker, but they’re certainly not the only ones. Theses tools play various roles in your process of creating applications, containerizing them, and deploying them in distributed clusters.