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Monitoring Docker Containers

ebernsen's picture

From defining the purpose of Docker to outlining what you should look for in Docker tools, there is a lot to learn about the popular container technology. There is an endless amount of industry input surrounding Docker best practices and plenty of advice regarding how you should properly monitor Docker. However, it is less common to hear about the frequent mistakes people make when they first implement Docker into their IT environment. And as all IT pros know, there is a lot of value in having a full understanding of the technical errors that can be harmful and disrupt any infrastructure. If you are in the early stages of monitoring your Docker containers, avoiding these common mishaps will put yourself in a better position to succeed in your containerization efforts.   

Having an infrastructure not equipped for Docker implementation

One of the worst mistakes any IT team can make is implementing a new technology without having the infrastructure in place to handle the workload. Like most tools, Docker is most useful when it is working in unison with other technologies that make-up an infrastructure with strong compatibility. Using Docker prematurely will complicate its future managing process and ultimately, it is a surefire way of underachieving on your Docker initiatives. Be sure your deployment, provisioning and automation tools are up to par before implementing Docker. With a solid foundation in place, your Docker monitoring efforts will more effective and much easier to execute.    

Using monitoring as an excuse to take short cuts 

Monitoring your Docker environment results in several advantageous benefits. However, greater visibility into the state of your containers is not an excuse to take short-cuts on the daily tasks that Docker requires. When you use quick hacks to store private Docker information as a time-saver, it degrades the quality of your monitoring efforts and puts sensitive information at risk. By putting the proper resources behind reliable automation, productivity levels should increase and there is a greater chance for long-term success in monitoring your Docker containers. 

Monitoring Docker Containers

Not updating and aligning security with containerization 

Despite the praise of Docker as ‘a tool of the future’, one cannot assume that the technology will automatically comply with your current security standards. It is crucial to evaluate your infrastructure security and consider the implications of containerization (ex. issues relating to incident response) in relation to existing tools within your infrastructure. Before implementing Docker within your entire environment, test out Docker in a non-production workload and consider installing the monitoring solution of choice at the host level vs. on the container itself. The importance of containers and security are two prime topics in discussions surrounding the future of IT, making their alignment even more crucial when working to achieve full-scale Docker monitoring. 

Not researching beyond Docker 

Docker containers are present in all the top tech headlines, but that doesn’t mean you should completely ignore alternative types of containers. Other platforms such as Java, Hyper-V and Windows Server containers are all production-ready options worth investigating. Even if Docker buys out the rest of the market, having prior knowledge into the use cases of competitors will give you an upper-hand when it’s time to monitor that area of your vastly growing container environment. Docker is undoubtedly the face of the container industry, but not researching beyond the name and its high-level features will put you at a disadvantage as the container landscape continues to evolve.

Learn more about the Docker monitoring solutions Opsview provides and be sure to visit our Docker Opspack page