What is Docker Network Host?

What is Docker Network Host?

Table of Contents


Docker is a platform as a service for deploying applications in Docker containers. Containers are software "packages" that bundle together an application's source code with its libraries, configurations, and dependencies, helping software run more consistently and reliably on different machines.


To start using Docker containers, you need to be familiar with Docker networking. Below, we'll answer the question: "What is a Docker network host?". 


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Key Takeaways

  1. Docker is a platform for deploying applications in containers, which bundle source code, libraries, configurations, and dependencies for consistent and reliable software operation on different machines.
  2. Docker networking is essential for container use, and this article explains Docker host networking.
  3. Docker host networking allows a container to share its network with the host machine, making the container accessible via a port on the host's IP address.
  4. Docker host networking offers performance improvements and doesn't require network address translation (NAT), making it suitable for handling many ports, but users should be cautious about port conflicts.


What is a Docker Network Host?

In Docker, the host is a machine responsible for running one or more containers. Docker network host, also known as Docker host networking, is a networking mode in which a Docker container shares its network namespace with the host machine.


The application inside the container can be accessed using a port at the host's IP address (e.g., port 80).


Below is an example Docker command to run a container in host networking mode:


docker run -it --name web2 --net=host vaibhavthakur/docker:webinstance2




What are the Use Cases of Docker Network Host?

Why use Docker host networking mode? Docker network host can offer performance improvements and optimizations over other Docker networking modes, e.g., "none" and "bridge" modes. In addition, Docker host networking does not require network address translation (NAT), making it easier to handle a large number of ports simultaneously. However, users need to take care to avoid port conflicts while working in Docker host networking mode.


Here are some of the use cases Docker users have. If you have a similar use case, consider using Docker.


  1. Docker allows you to package applications and their dependencies into containers, ensuring consistent and isolated environments. This is particularly useful for the development and testing of applications.
  2. Docker is popular in microservices architecture, where you can containerize each component of a service, making it easier to develop, deploy, and scale individual services.
  3. Developers can create reproducible development environments with Docker, ensuring that their development setup closely mirrors the production environment.
  4. Docker supports multi-platform deployments, enabling you to run containers on different operating systems and architectures.
  5. Docker containers can be deployed across various cloud providers or on-premises, offering flexibility in cloud strategy.
  6. Docker containers can be used to automate the deployment and management of applications, improving collaboration between development and operations teams.
  7. Docker containers are useful for creating reproducible and shareable environments for data science and machine learning tasks.
  8. Docker can be employed in IoT and embedded systems to manage and deploy containerized applications on resource-constrained devices.


For more information about the various Docker network options, check out our article "Understanding Docker's -net=host Option.


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How MetricFire Can Help!

MetricFire is a cloud infrastructure and application monitoring platform that makes it easy to manage and monitor your Docker containers. To learn more, check out the Docker posts on our blog, or get in touch with us today to chat about your situation and a free trial of the MetricFire platform. 

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