Basic concepts and terms

Last Updated: Apr 01, 2017


A cluster describes a collection of cloud resources required to run containers. It can associates with server nodes, Server Load Balancer instances, VPCs, and other cloud resources.


A node is a server (either a VM instance or a physical server) which is installed with a Docker Engine and is used to deploy and manage clusters. The Agent program of the Container Service is installed in a node and registered to a cluster. The quantity of nodes in a cluster is scalable.


A container is an instance created using a Docker image. A single node can run multiple containers.


A Docker image is a standard packaging format of a container application. You can specify an image to deploy container applications. The image may be obtained from the Docker Hub, Alibaba Cloud Container Hub, or your private Registry. An image ID is uniquely identified by the URI of the image repository and the image tag name (the latest tag name is used by default).

Orchestration template

An orchestration template contains definitions of, and interconnection relationships between a group of container services, and can be used to deploy and manage multiple container applications. The Container Service is compatible with Docker Compose and is scalable.


An application can be created from an image or an orchestration template. Each application can contain one or more container services.


A service is a group of containers running identical images with identical configurations. It is a scalable microservice.



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