What’s the Verdict on Docker vs Kubernetes

How Docker compares with Kubernetes in terms of functionality

Now that Kubernetes is more popular than ever, the comparison between Docker vs Kubernetes has also become a hot topic.

But is one really different from the other or do they work together to provide better application containerization?

The fact of the matter is, it’s not either/or. Rather, it’s a comparison between manual vs automated in terms of deploying and managing containers.

First, let’s talk a bit about containerization.

It is an alternative to full machine virtualization that is lightweight and involves placing an application in a container with its own operating system.

This makes it possible to run the application in any compatible physical machine and in any environment, without the problem of dependencies. What you get is a portable and flexible system.

Docker brought containerization to the forefront, especially because it allows containers to run on different environments and not just physical computers or virtual machines.

It will also run on bare-metal servers, public instances, and OpenStack cloud clusters.

But Docker is no longer the only option for containerization. There’s CoreOS’ Rocket, Canonical’s LXD containerization engine for Ubuntu, and Microsoft’s Drawbridge. Then comes Kubernetes, which is popularly pitted against Docker.

Now, what does manual vs automated mean exactly?

Vanilla Docker is when containers are deployed manually and without a centralized orchestration platform. It uses a “docker run” command to manually deploy containers. Or, it uses docker-compose software, such as Chef and Ansible to create, configure, and manage the lifecycle of a container.

Kubernetes, on the other hand, is open-source software that is developed in the Google platform to manage containers manually. It manages a containerized application in multiple environments–cloud, physical, and virtual environments.

Docker vs Kubernetes: Feature-wise

Docker offers:

  • Application Agility
  • Developer Productivity
  • Easy Modeling
  • Operational Efficiencies
  • Placement/Affinity
  • Version control

It also provides isolated environments where applications are managed.

Kubernetes offers:

  • Automated rollouts & rollback
  • Application-centric management
  • Auto-scalable infrastructure
  • Automated scheduling
  • Deploy and update software at scale
  • Enterprise-ready features
  • Higher density of resource utilization
  • Horizontal Scaling & Load Balancing
  • Predictable infrastructure and declarative configuration
  • Self-Healing capabilities

Kubernetes also provides a consistent environment for developing, testing and producing containers.

Based on features alone, it’s clear to see that Docker is different from Kubernetes. But they both work as container orchestrators that share similar goals:

  • Autoscaling of containerized workloads
  • High availability
  • Provide resiliency
  • Self-healing

At the end of the day, it’s not really Docker vs Kubernetes because both are only part of the puzzle. There are other factors needed to manage and secure clusters across an enterprise. These include logging, governance, security, monitoring, and integration.

Moreover, managing both orchestrators is complex and time-consuming. You’re going to need a container management platform like Kublr. It provides the governance and operations capabilities needed to reliably run Kubernetes at scale.

Kublr compares docker vs kubernetes in their blog, so you might want to check it for more information.

Through Kublr, you can customize clusters to accommodate more advanced use cases, and deploy multiple clusters across an enterprise, complete with centralized monitoring and logging.

Kubernetes clusters can be self-hosted on servers and in on-premise environments that are completely isolated when highly sensitive data is run.

Moreover, Kublr manages unlimited numbers of clusters without the need for Ops and DevOps teams to constantly monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot them.

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