Docker is a contaner technology desgned to package an application and all its needs, such as libraried and other dependencies, into one package. We adapted PyDesigner and its dependencies for compatibility with the Docker Engine to bring DTI/DKI analyses to every one.
We bring you, NeuroDock
NeuroDock is a Docker image containing the most cutting-edge tools required for diffusion and kurtosis imaging. This container was designer for complete dMRI processing pipelines to be platform agnostic. NeuroDock was inspired by the lack of easily-accessible tools across various platforms. NeuroDock is 100% compatible across Windows, Linux, and Mac - while making available the full suite of FSL, MRtrix3 and PyDesigner commands.
By packaging fixed versions of FSL, MRtrix3, and PyDesigner, we are able to guarantee repeatbility and concistency across all platforms. Regardless of whether researchers are running Linux, Windows, or Mac OS, identical results can be replicated with Docker technology.
A side-effect to ensuring repeatiblity with Docker is that it becomes host operating system (OS) agnostic. This allows users to run FSL, MRtrix3, or PyDesigner commands at near-native speed, even on Microsoft Windows.
Additionally, researchers can easily deploy Docker containers to HPCs for rapid processing of large-cohort or longitudinal studies with ease.
Docker vs Virtual Machines¶
Okay, so you may ask, “why not just load up a VM?”. You have a point. While the two technologies appear to be behaving the same way, at least on the surface level, their inner mechanisms are differ vastly.
Unlike a VM, rather than creating a whole virtual OS loaded with dependencies and other applications, Docker allows applications to share the same OS kernel, thereby providing a significant performance uplift while saving up storage space. With the removal of an entire guest OS in VMs, Docker containers save tons of computational resources that can be diverted towards better performance.
Now that you know some differences, it is time to move on to preparing the Docker image!