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SF AppWorksJul 30, 2019 1:12:00 AM7 min read

Kubernetes vs Docker: Everything You Need to Know | SF AppWorks

If you are part of an organization that is starting up an application or are considering a massive overhaul of its application platforms, you’ve probably seen a lot of “Kubernetes vs. Docker” discussion floating around.


These “Kubernetes vs. Docker” articles and blog posts typically focus on which platform is superior and whether or not Docker will be eventually deemed obsolete. Kubernetes is becoming more and more popular as a container orchestration solution, which leads many to believe that Kubernetes is giving Docker a run for its money as a container solution.


Oddly enough, “Kubernetes vs. Docker” is also a very misleading phrase. When one breaks it down, “Kubernetes vs. Docker” doesn’t mean what many developers intend for them to mean.
Docker and Kubernetes aren’t even direct competitors. In fact, they can work quite well together and have a symbiotic relationship in many ways.


When you look at Kubernetes and Docker through this lens, it becomes clear that both can be a fantastic option. Still, there are some situations in which Kubernetes and Docker may work better as individual platforms.


Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of each platform, as well as when and where each system works well individually or as a partnership.


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What is Kubernetes?


Kubernetes is a scalable and portable open-source platform for managing container workloads and services. Kubernetes facilitates both declarative configuration and automation in the process of managing large websites. It has a massive and constantly growing and evolving ecosystem that doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. Kubernetes offers services and tools that are widely available, and the platform also boasts a substantial online community for support.


Code_typing as a concept of Kubernetes vs Docker

The Benefits of Kubernetes


Kubernetes boasts quite a lot of benefits for development:

● Scaling of horizontal infrastructure. Operations and actions performed at the individual
server level for horizontal scaling are simple to execute with Kubernetes.
● Automatic scaling. Users and administrators can change and delete the number of
running containers based on CPU usage and additional factors and metrics.
● Manual scaling. Users and administrators are able to scale running containers through
the command line as well as in the interface.
● A replication controller. A replication controller makes sure that the cluster has the
necessary equivalent pods in a running condition, and it also removes or adds any extra
pods as necessary.
● Ample storage. Kubernetes shares data across many containers and stores data
remotely in order to keep it connected until the user or administrator decides to delete it.
● Monitoring and logging. Kubernetes can offer reliable support of many versions of
logging and monitoring when services are deployed within the cluster. Monitoring and
logging are one of Kubernetes’ key features.
● Fantastic and superior speed. Kubernetes is the top-tier choice for continuously
deploying specific features without any downtime whatsoever. It is capable of updating
applications with constant uptime, making it a superior choice for high-speed
management situations.
● Excellent declarative configuration. The Kubernetes system directly tells users and
administrators the type of state it is in. This is done in order to make it clear where it
should be to avoid errors.
● Scalability. Because of the unchangeable and declaratory nature of Kubernetes, it is
simple and quick for the system to scale. This is done through a number of methods.


Cons of Kubernetes

While Kubernetes is great, it does have some downfalls as well. Setup for Kubernetes is
notoriously tricky because it uses varying setup processes for each operating system, which
adds complexity to the setup and management process. While there is the benefit of easy-to-find online resources for Kubernetes users, it is still very challenging to build custom environments without a team of Kubernetes specialists and developers.


Migration is also somewhat complicated. If an application is clustered or stateless in Kubernetes, it will generate extra pods that will not be properly configured, which results in a total rework of the system configuration. Kubernetes is also not very compatible with many of the existing Docker CLI and Compose tools.


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schema as a concept of Kubernetes vs Docker


What is Docker?


Docker is a type of open-source container platform software that helps users generate, manage, execute, and secure a number of applications. Docker then leads these applications from traditional applications to innovative microservices and deploys them pretty much anywhere they will be needed.


Docker allows users and administrators to start out with legacy systems or new applications by using operational models, as well as other operating systems across various infrastructures. Docker unifies different processes and aligns them to existing information technology operations to get apps on the market quicker and more efficiently.


The Benefits of Docker


There are many benefits of using Docker:

● Strong and efficient documentation. Docker is unique for its comprehensive
documentation efforts. It can repeatedly update its documentation to stay relevant to the latest information online, making it a timeless system.
● Excellent version control. Users and administrators can track their container versions easily in order to examine inconsistencies between older versions.
● Installation is seamless. Docker Swarm uses the command line interface or CLI to run different aspects of its programs and features, making it quite simple for users and administrators because they will only have to learn a single set of tools and features to build up environments and configure those environments. Plus, since Docker Swarm runs on the surface of Docker, it needs very little configuration and set up in the beginning. This is a great feature that Kubernetes doesn’t have.
● Familiarity. Since Docker Swarm runs on the surface of Docker, it is simple for
experienced Docker users to understand when working with other Docker tools. Through using Docker Swarm, users and administrators can operate with the same Docker CLI, which allows for a user-friendly command structure.
● Decent speed. Docker Swarm has a very fast environment that boots up a virtual
machine and lets all application run in a virtual environment smoothly and quickly.


Cons of Docker


No product is perfect. Docker does have some pitfalls to consider. Platform dependency is one of them: Docker Swarm supports many operating systems, but it is at its core a Linux platform. Because of this, Docker requires the use of virtual machines to run in non-Linux platforms such as Windows or MacOS. Docker Swarm is also not the most simple solution to use for connecting containers to storage. Docker Swarm is not capable of advanced monitoring capabilities and it is not simple to collect additional data in real-time.


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dev_productivity as a concept of Kubernetes vs Docker


Kubernetes vs Docker: Which is Better?


This wildly depends on what exactly you need. Kubernetes and Docker are not “better” than one another, but rather work together nicely or work well separately for different needs. 

Kubernetes can work with any container system or technology. Docker works well with Kubernetes naturally, which has led to a lot more effort in perfecting the integration between the two systems more than any other container-based technology.

Just as well, the company that created Docker has its own unique container orchestration engine called Docker Swarm. Even the company itself realized that Kubernetes has climbed to the point that even Docker for macOS and Windows comes with its own Kubernetes distribution options. If your organization is wary about adopting Kubernetes for its Docker-based products already in place, there is no need to doubt.

Both the Docker and Kubernetes projects have embraced each other and have benefited quite a bit from their essential partnership.


Still, there are situations in which one system is ideal for implementation more than the other, as well as situations in which both platforms should be used together.


For Management and Deployment: Kubernetes and Docker


Kubernetes and Docker are both comprehensive and extremely useful solutions for managing container applications and to provide strong capabilities. From this, there is some confusion. The term “Kubernetes” is often used as a label for an entire container environment based on Kubernetes. Realistically, they are not completely or directly comparable, have varying and differentiating roots, and provide solutions for different problems.

“Kubernetes and Docker are different technologies, but they work very well together for facilitating the management and execution (or deployment) of containers in a distributed
microservices architecture.


For Velocity: Kubernetes


The speed at which you update your application and deploy the new features you’ve made to the users is known as “velocity”.


The goal is to update the application without any downtime or at the very least minimal downtime because users expect a constant and dependable uptime.


Kubernetes is a fantastic choice for improving and increasing your application update velocity. Kubernetes enables high velocity that is immutable, as well as declarative configuration.


For Production: Docker


Because of this, Docker is a somewhat better option. It is very simple to adopt for production purposes, especially if you are adopting a microservices architecture for your business’ software.


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