Kubernetes vs. Docker – How To Choose?

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Kubernetes vs Docker
December 27, 2018 | 4 min read

“Kubernetes vs Docker” is a well-known phrase as Kubernetes is gaining popularity as a container orchestration solution.

However, “Kubernetes vs Docker” is an ambiguous phrase because these two don’t mean what people think of them when we break them. Docker and Kubernetes are not direct competitors. And Docker is a platform used for containerization, while Kubernetes is used for container platforms like Docker as container orchestration. Let’s take a look at some of the crucial facts and points of Kubernetes and Docker.

What is Kubernetes?

Kubernetes is an open-source, portable, and extensible platform for managing containerized services and workloads, hence influencing automation and declarative configuration. Not only does Kubernetes have a variety of tools, services, and support available, but also an ecosystem that is increasing steadily.

What is Docker?

Docker is a popular platform designed to help developers create, deploy, and run applications with the use of containers. Docker is an open-source platform, which attracted more market share (approx. 30%).

Docker allows the deployment and scaling of applications into any environment while making the code run effectively. It was built on open guidelines and functions inside the most stable operating environments, including Linux, Microsoft Windows, and other on-premises or cloud-based frameworks.

Rise of containerization

Without knowing containers, we can’t discuss much about Docker. For developers, it’s been a critical issue while deploying the code from a local development environment to production. There are various reasons for the code not working in production, including different development environments, libraries, etc.

Containers came to rescue the developers from this critical issue. With the help of containers, developers can generate a package of their applications, including all necessary elements. And in production, that packaged container can run in any development environment with a containerization platform.

Advantages of containers

Containers have enhanced how we develop deploy applications on multiple environments from a development environment, libraries, or other dependencies.

Rather than virtualizing the hardware stack similarly to the methodology of the virtual machine, containers virtualize at the OS level, with various containers running on the OS kernel legitimately. This implies containers are undoubtedly more lightweight – they share the OS kernel, start a lot quicker, and utilize a small fraction of the memory contrasted with booting a whole OS.

Containers allow developers to develop predictable environments that are secluded from different applications. From the developer’s point of view, this is guaranteed to be steady regardless of where the application is ultimately deployed.

Need for container orchestration systems

While Docker provided open guidelines for packaging and distributing containerized applications, another issue emerged. How might these containers be coordinated and scheduled? How would you flawlessly update an application with no interruption of service? How would you check the health of an application, realize when something turns out badly, and flawlessly restart it?

The need for orchestrating containers emerged soon. The container orchestration system manages the lifecycles of containers in a large and highly dynamic environment. A container orchestration system is useful for controlling and automating many tasks.

Kubernetes vs. Docker? 

As discussed earlier, Docker & Kubernetes are different terms and used together often. Generally, it is said like “Kubernetes vs Docker,” but they really mean “Kubernetes vs Docker Swarm.”

At times, we ask ourselves whether we can use Docker without Kubernetes and vice versa. The answer to that is neither one is an alternative for the other; Kubernetes typically runs without Docker, and Docker most certainly can also function without Kubernetes.

Developed at Google, Kubernetes has the benefit of leveraging Google’s years of expertise in container management. Also, there’s always a benefit to using Docker and Kubernetes together.

How do Kubernetes and Docker work together?

Kubernetes and Docker are two different technologies, but they work together to enhance and form a better cloud architecture. They both facilitate the management and deployment of containers in a distributed architecture. The following are the ways in which Kubernetes and Docker are interconnected.

  • While Docker brings up its clustering tool used for orchestration, Kubernetes is an organized platform used by Docker containers. It can scale the level of production. It’s also a highly extensive tool compared to the Docker clustering tool.
  • Kubernetes is a container system for Docker containers that is more extensive meant to coordinate in an efficient manner scale production. It is a play and plugs architecture for container orchestration, which provides features like high availability among the distributed nodes.
  • Kubernetes typically uses Docker to package, run and instantiate containerized applications.
  • Docker is a binary runtime used by Kubernetes.
  • Besides providing powerful capabilities, Docker and Kubernetes build a comprehensive standard for intelligently managing containerized applications.

Kubernetes vs. Docker – which you should choose?

In conclusion, we can say there has been a paradigm shift in the way we think about the system and services of containerization. It is different as the system is now more digitalized than before. Choosing between Kubernetes or Docker entirely depends on the type of container implementation your organization wants, as both Kubernetes and Dockers are continually transforming and developing. Kubernetes and Docker make deploying software and architecture in a system more manageable. They do not substitute for each other, but together they improve the overall function of containerization.

About the Author

Scalex is a digital engineering company that partners with startups and SMBs to provide end-to-end product development services by leveraging the power of digital technologies such as Mobile, Cloud, and Analytics.

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