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Kubernetes vs Docker - 10 Key Differences

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Conversations over Kubernetes vs Docker often focus either at Kubernetes or at Docker. This is more like comparing apples to mangos, and it’s a common delusion that in such comparative studies we must choose one or the other at the end. However, here, Kubernetes and Docker are totally different technologies that work well together. Kubernetes usually works with Docker, but it can also be used with any other container runtime. This is the same with Docker. let’s learn more.

Before going to our topic of discussion, Kubernetes vs Docker, let’s first know about what an orchestration platform is and what a container is. Keep reading!

What is a Cloud Orchestration platform?

Cloud orchestration is one of the vague concepts in Cloud Computing. It is the end-to-end coordination and automation of various processes that deliver desired services to clients.

What are the containers?

Containers solve the issues raised during application development. When developers are ready to move their code to production, they come across problems like the code that works fine on their machine does not work well on production. The reason here could be a different operating system, dependencies, and libraries. To overcome such issues, containers in cloud computing are being used.

This article covers the following topics:

To get a clear understanding of Kubernetes and Docker containers, check out our video:

What is Kubernetes?

Kubernetes is a standard orchestration platform for containers. Developed by Google, it is an open-source container management software. It helps in managing containerized applications developed in virtual, physical, and cloud environments. Many cloud providers support Kubernetes.

Features of Kubernetes

  • Automation: This helps control the server that hosts the container.
  • Self-monitoring: This is used to check the health of containers and nodules.
  • Run everywhere: As Kubernetes is open-source, it allows us to move our workloads anywhere.
  • Autoscaling: Scaling in Kubernetes allows us to scale resources both horizontally and vertically.

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Advantages of Kubernetes

  • Automated rollback and deployment
  • Configuration and secrets management
  • Service discovery
  • Load balancing
  • Container health management

Disadvantages of Kubernetes

  • Complex installation and configuration process
  • Not compatible with composing tools
  • Complicated manual cluster deployment
  • Intricate horizontal autoscaling

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What is Docker?

Docker is the most popular lightweight containerization technology. Docker, in another approach, is a software packing and delivery platform. It is computer software used for virtualization. Virtualization is performed on the system level in Docker containers. Docker allows us to run on many operating systems on the same host. Docker and virtual machines (VMs) are two popular technologies used for deploying and managing applications in modern IT environments.

This Docker Cheat Sheet is a must-read when studying Docker.

Features of Docker

  • Application agility: This feature allows us to execute any kind of application.
  • Security management: This allows us to save secrets on Swarm and gives access to valid secrets. It has some commands like secret inspect and create secret. 
  • Developer productivity: This feature is used to make the rapid deployment of applications easy and also helps reduce resources. 
  • Routing mesh: It is used to enable connections even if there is no task to run on the nodes.

Advantages of Docker

  • Efficient and easier initial setup
  • Simple and fast configuration
  • Describes the application life cycle
  • Works and integrates with the existing Docker tools
  • Provides accurate documentation

Disadvantages of Docker

  • Weak infrastructure handling
  • No storage option
  • Poor monitoring option
  • Poor graphical operations
  • No support for health checks

Looking to get started in Kubernetes? Head on to our blog on Kubernetes Tutorial!

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As you have seen the difference between Docker and Kubernetes, let us know about “What is Docker Swarm?”

What is Docker Swarm?

Docker Swarm is a new version of Docker used by developers in the software development process. It is a cluster of one or more computers running Docker applications. It is open-source and is available for both Mac and Windows. It is a container orchestration tool that allows users to manage multiple containers deployed across many host machines.

Let us move to the next topic Kubernetes vs Docker swarm.

Difference Between Docker Swarm and Kubernetes

The following are some of the differences Docker Swarm vs Kubernetes:

KubernetesDocker Swarm
Kubernetes is developed by Google and released in the year 2014Docker Swarm is developed by Docker Inc. and released in the year 2013
Autoscaling is presentAutoscaling is not present
Installation is time-consuming and complicatedInstallation is easy and fast
Cluster setup is simple but not so strongCluster setup is complex but is strong
Optimized for a single large clusterOptimized for multiple smaller clusters of SDLC
Supports up to 5,000 nodesSupports 2000+ nodes
Tolerance ratio is lowTolerance ratio is high
Google, Azure, & AWS are the public cloud service providersAzure is the only public cloud service providers
Container limits up to 300,000Container limits up to 95,000
Used by Intuit, Buffer, Evernote, etc.Used by MSH Group, CodeWeavers, Magento, Zen Planner, etc.

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Kubernetes versus Docker: Better Together 

Kubernetes and Docker work well together. Together they make our infrastructure more robust and our applications highly available. Our applications remain online even if some of the nodes go offline. 

I hope this blog gives you a clear picture of what actually Kubernetes and Docker mean, the differences between Kubernetes and Docker Swarm, and how well both Kubernetes and Docker work together.

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