Docker Build Cloud Promises to Speed Builds
Even if it only delivers a fraction of the performance its parent company promises, Docker Build Cloud will be well worth it for developers.
Docker has long been a household name — well, in programmer households anyway — but image build times keep getting longer and longer. According to an Incredibuild survey, the average build time of images has increased by an average of 15.9% since 2020. That’s made a lot of programmers miserable, but now Docker has an answer: Docker Build Cloud.
The next evolution of Docker Build, Docker Build Cloud, is a cloud-based service that bridges the gap between programming locally and building remotely for either linux/amd64 or linux/arm64 platforms, or you could build for both using the service.
The result? Docker claims the new service will speed up your build times by up to 39 times.
For example, Docker states that one of its customers was able to reduce their build time from an average duration of 15-20 minutes to less than two minutes using Docker Build Cloud. That’s not 39 times faster, but it’s also nothing to sneeze at! I wish I could see performance bumps like that in my work.
How Docker Build Cloud Works
Docker Build Cloud does this by providing faster compute resources than the ones on your local machines. Its cloud architecture also enables you to take advantage of the services’ multiple cores and GPUs.
It also speeds build times up by providing a shared cache for all your team’s builds. With Docker Build Cloud, when one team member initiates a build, the cached results become instantly accessible to others, thereby eliminating unnecessary builds and speeding up the development cycle. You won’t have to wait around for each build to complete independently.
In addition to sheer speed, the company claims that with Docker Build Cloud, scalability becomes a non-issue. Developers no longer need to worry about the limitations of their local machines or managing their own build servers. Docker Build Cloud can dynamically allocate resources based on the demand, ensuring that builds are not only fast but also efficient.
Another critical improvement is Docker Build Cloud brings consistency to the build process. By standardizing the environment in which builds occur, Docker Build Cloud ensures that the “it works on my machine” problem is a thing of the past. This consistency is invaluable for teams, ensuring that every member is working with the same set of tools and environments.
None of this requires you to change your existing tools and workflows. You shouldn’t have to lift and shift your workflow. Whether you’re building locally or in a continuous integration (CI) pipeline, you can adopt Docker Build Cloud without overhauling your current processes.
Docker Build Cloud’s hybrid local/cloud approach enables you to leverage familiar local development tools for tasks such as code editing and debugging while scaling to cloud resources for resource-intensive workloads, deployments, or collaboration. The service also offers new possibilities for automation and integration with other cloud services, further enhancing development workflows.
How Do You Use Docker Build Cloud?
To use Docker Build Cloud, you create a builder, via build.docker.com and connect to it from Docker Desktop or your CI. Then build images as you normally would, using the same Docker commands — docker build, docker compose — it builds multi-architecture natively, and works with any registry.
How Much Does Docker Build Cloud Cost?
Current Docker customers can try Docker Build Cloud today. You get Docker Build Cloud minutes based on your subscription tier: Docker Personal, 50 minutes/month (M/M); Pro. 100 M/M; Team, 400 M/M; and Business, 800 M/M. Need more? You can also purchase Docker Build Cloud plans. These start at $5 a seat per month for 200 minutes per user per month. Additional minutes begin at a nickel per minute.
Editor’s Note: This post has been updated to add more detail to the costs and build processes; some incorrect naming of Docker Build Cloud has also been corrected.