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Docker vs Kubernetes – What’s the Difference?


If you’re interested in cloud-native technologies like containers, you’ve likely heard of Docker and Kubernetes and are wondering about how they interact. This article will help you gain a comprehensive understanding of what Docker and Kubernetes are and how they aid in achieving Managed DevOps Services.

What is Kubernetes?

Kubernetes is a mechanism for scaling containerized systems, while Docker is a set of software development tools for generating, distributing, and executing individual containers.

What are Containers?

Containers can be thought of as standardised microservice packaging that includes all of the essential application code and dependencies. Docker is in charge of container creation. Containers can run on a variety of devices, such as laptops, cloud servers, local servers, and even edge devices.

The Combination of Docker and Kubernetes…..

Docker and Kubernetes render astounding outcomes when employed together and eventually help attain Managed DevOps Services.

Modern applications are made up of many containers. Kubernetes is in charge of making them work in the real world. Due to the simplicity with which containers can be duplicated, applications can auto-scale, extending or contracting processing capacity to meet user needs.

Kubernetes and Docker are primarily complementary technologies. For running containerized apps at scale, Docker offers a technique called Docker Swarm—Kubernetes vs Docker Swarm. Let’s take a look at how Kubernetes and Docker work together and compete.

Docker has become extremely synonymous with containers. However, Docker is more than just containers. It’s a set of tools for creating, sharing, running and orchestrating containerized apps.

Docker Build builds a container image, which is the blueprint for a container and includes everything needed to run an application, such as the application code, binaries, scripts, dependencies, configuration, environment variables, and so on. Docker Compose is a programme that allows you to create and execute multi-container applications. These solutions are intimately integrated with code repositories (such as GitHub) and pipeline systems for continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) (such as Jenkins).

Docker Hub is a registry service provided by Docker that lets you search for and share container images with your team or the world at large. In terms of features, Docker Hub is similar to GitHub.

Docker Engine is a container engine for Mac and Windows desktops, Linux and Windows servers, the cloud, and edge devices. Docker Engine is built on top of Containerd, the most popular open-source container runtime and a project of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (DNCF).

Docker Swarm is a programme that manages a swarm of Docker Engines and provides container orchestration (usually distributed across multiple machines). This is where the Kubernetes overlap begins.

What is Kubernetes?

Kubernetes is a container orchestration platform for managing, automating, and scaling containerized systems. Although Docker Swarm is an orchestration solution, Kubernetes has become the de facto standard for container orchestration because of its increased flexibility and scalability.

Kubernetes is a container orchestration system that automates containerized application deployment and administration. Rather than maintaining each container in a cluster separately, a DevOps team might inform Kubernetes on how to deliver the necessary resources ahead of time.

Kubernetes and the Docker suite collide in container orchestration. When people talk about Kubernetes vs. Docker, what they really mean is Kubernetes vs. Docker Swarm.

Challenges of Container Orchestration:

Despite the fact that Docker Swarm and Kubernetes use different methods for container orchestration, they still face similar challenges. A modern application may consist of dozens to hundreds of containerized microservices that must communicate with one another. Nodes, which are a collection of host machines, run them. A cluster is a set of nodes that are connected together.

Imagine all of these containers and nodes in your mind for a moment. To coordinate such a dispersed system, it is self-evident that a variety of procedures must be in place. These systems are frequently compared to a conductor conducting an orchestra in the production of complex symphonies and juicy operas for our enjoyment. Orchestrating containers (some compare it to herding Schrödinger’s cats) is nothing compared to working with disciplined musicians. The following are some of the responsibilities that orchestration systems must fulfil.

Container Deployment:

Simply put, this entails retrieving a container image from a repository and installing it on a node. An orchestration platform, on the other hand, enables automatic re-creation of failed containers, rolling deployments to minimise end-user downtime, and container lifecycle management.


One of the most important functions of an orchestration platform is this. The “scheduler” determines where new containers should be placed in order to maximise computational resource use. Containers can be replicated or deleted on the fly to suit varying end-user traffic.


Containerized services must find and communicate with one another in a secure manner due to the dynamic nature of containers. Furthermore, some services, such as the front-end, must be made available to end-users, necessitating the employment of a load balancer to distribute traffic across many nodes.


An orchestration platform must provide data about its internal states and actions in the form of logs, events, metrics, or transaction traces. Operators must be aware of the container infrastructure’s health and behaviour, as well as the apps that use it.


Security is becoming a growing concern for container management. To prevent vulnerabilities, an orchestration platform has secure container deployment pipelines, encrypted network traffic, secret storage, and other safeguards. These methods, on their own, are insufficient; a comprehensive DevSecOps methodology is necessary.

With these problems in mind, let’s look at the differences between Kubernetes and Docker Swarm.

Both Docker Swarm and Kubernetes are production-grade container orchestration technologies, notwithstanding their differences.

Docker Swarm, often known as Docker in swarm mode, is the easiest orchestrator to deploy and manage. It’s a great choice for a company that is just getting started with container manufacturing. Swarm can handle 80% of all use cases while requiring only 20% of Kubernetes’ complexity.

Swarm works seamlessly with the rest of the Docker toolkit, including Docker Compose and Docker CLI, to provide a familiar user experience with a short learning curve. Swarm, as you’d expect from a Docker tool, works anywhere Docker works, and it’s considered more secure and troubleshootable by default than Kubernetes.

Kubernetes, or K8s for short, is the orchestration platform of choice for 88 percent of businesses. It was developed by Google and is currently extensively supported by all public cloud providers. Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service, Microsoft Azure Kubernetes Service, and Google Kubernetes Platform all offer managed Kubernetes services. Other prominent distributions include Red Hat OpenShift, Rancher/SUSE, VMWare Tanzu, and IBM Cloud Kubernetes Services. This level of support eliminates vendor lock-in and allows DevOps teams to focus on their own product rather than infrastructure oddities.

Kubernetes’ true power comes from its near-infinite scalability, configurability, and vast technological ecosystem, which includes a number of open-source monitoring, management, and security frameworks.

Kubernetes Vs Docker Swarm


  • Installation of the Kubernetes is complex
  • Complex to understand, yet powerful
  • Auto-scaling is supported.
  • Load balancer configuration with built-in monitoring
  • There is a need for a distinct CLI utility.

Docker Swarm 

  • Installation is simpler.
  • Although it is lightweight and simple to learn, it has limited capabilities.
  • Third-party monitoring tools are required for manual scaling.
  • Automatic load balancing
  • Docker CLI is integrated.


In simple words,  the Docker suite and Kubernetes are two separate technologies. Although they complement each other nicely, Docker can be utilised without Kubernetes and vice versa.

Docker is most known for its work in the field of software development. To configure, produce, and distribute containers, you’ll need to use CI/CD pipelines and Docker Hub as an image registry. Kubernetes, on the other hand, excels in operations, allowing you to use your existing Docker containers while dealing with challenges like deployment, networking, scalability, and monitoring.

Although Docker Swarm is a viable alternative in this sector, Kubernetes is the best choice for coordinating large distributed applications with hundreds of connected micro services, databases, secrets, and external dependencies. This is how Docker and Kubernetes assist in achieving Managed DevOps Services.