Docker Swarm Vs Kubernetes

Containerization has revolutionized the way in which software is being deployed. It can be understood as the process of packaging together software codes and their components such as libraries, frameworks, and their dependencies. It is done in order to isolate all these components in their own container. With rapid technological advancements and the trend of working with Linux-based virtual containers evolving, the demand for their management and deployment has been at an all-time high.

Docker Swarm and Kubernetes are the two major players in the containerization field. Their operability has taken the technology world by storm. They have made a place for themselves and made a stronghold as far as Docker and the container ecosystem are concerned. Both these tools are being heavily used across software niches. But which one should be preferred over the other? Which ecosystem can provide better results for your business? Let us understand both of these tools and compare them as per their usage. 

What is Kubernetes

Kubernetes is an open-source platform. It was created by Google for container business and mainly in its in-house deployment operations, for scaling up and down as well as for automation. Kubernetes can be understood as a platform that is capable of being production-ready, is of enterprise-grade and can heal itself. In all, it can be termed modular as it can be utilized for any kind of architectural deployment. 

This system is also able to distribute the load amongst the containers. The major aim is to relieve the tools and components from the problems they face when applications run in private and public clouds by placing the containers into groups and naming them as logical units. The major strength of the Kubernetes tool is its ability to scale easily, agnostic of any environment and flexible growth. 

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What is Docker Swarm

Kubernetes was the go-to choice for software packaging. However, that has been revolutionized since the arrival of the Docker swarm. It has changed the manner in which software was packaged earlier. To understand better, Docker Swarm is an open-source container orchestration platform. It is the native clustering engineer for and by Docker. Therefore, any software or tool that runs with the Docker container also runs well in Swarm. The interesting part is that Swarm utilizes the same command line from Docker and that makes it compatible to be used across the board. 

Swarm, on the other hand,  turns a pool of Docker hosts into a virtual, single host. It is extremely useful for people who want to use an orchestrated environment or need to adhere to a simple deployment technique. It is also for people who have more than just one cloud environment or one particular platform to run this on. 

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Docker Swarm Vs Kubernetes

Though both these orchestration platforms have their own stronger suits, the question still remains: Which one should they go for? In simpler terms, both these open-source orchestration platforms have similar functionalities but there are some fundamental differences in their operation as well. In the upcoming sections, we have differentiated between the Docker Swarm and Kubernetes and why one should be chosen between them. The differences have been made on the basis of various parameters. Let’s check out the differences. 

Application definition

In Kubernetes, the application can be deployed utilizing a combination of services, microservices, deployments and pods. On the other hand, Docker Swarm can be deployed as micro-services or services in a swarm cluster in Docker Swarm. The YAML files can also be utilized to identify multi-container. The best part is that the Docker compose can install the application as well. 

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Networking plays a major role as far as the orchestration is concerned. In Networking, the Kubernetes provides a flat network which allows all pods to interact with each other. The network policies, therefore, help them specify how the pods would interact with each other. In Kubernetes, the flat network is implemented typically as an overlay. The model, therefore, needs two CIDRs - one for the services and the other from which pods acquire an IP address. 

In Docker Swarm, the overlay network is generated by the Node joining a swarm cluster for services that span every host in the docker swarm. It is a host-only docker bridge network for containers. The users are given a choice to encrypt the container data traffic when they create an overlay network on their own in the docker swarm.

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Another parameter that brings out the best of any orchestration tool is scalability. Kubernetes is an all in one framework. It is a complex system as it provides a strong guarantee about the cluster state and a unified set of APIs. Now, this slows down the container scaling and their deployment. The docker swarm, on the other hand, can deploy the container much faster. This, in turn, allows faster reaction times to scale on demand. 

High Availability

Kubernetes provides higher availability as all the pods are distributed among nodes. It does so by tolerating the failure of the application. Kubernetes’ load balancing services detect unhealthy pods and get rid of them. On the other hand, the Docker swarm can replicate the services in swarm nodes. It also offers high availability as the swarm manager nodes are responsible for the entire cluster and handle the worker nodes’ resources. 

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Container setup

Kubernetes has its own YAML, API and client definitions. Each of them is different from their standard docker equivalents. On the other hand, the docker swarm API doesn't entirely encompass all of the docker’s commands. It also offers much of the familiar functionality from Docker. The Docker Swarm also supports most of the tools that run with Docker. 

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Having looked at different parameters to differentiate between Docker Swarm and Kubernetes, it can be ascertained that both of these can run many of the same services. However, they may need slightly different approaches to certain details. While Kubernetes supports higher demands with more complexity, Docker Swarm offers a simple solution which is quick to get started with.

Developers prefer Docker Swarm as it roots for faster deployments and simplicity of procedures. While Kubernetes is utilized in production environments by high profile internet firms that run popular services. So, the answer to the question of which should be preferred should be left on the services for which they are being used. 

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As a senior technical content writer for HRK tainings, srivalli patchava has a greater understanding of today's data-driven environment, which includes key aspects of data management and IT organizations. She manages the task of creating great content in the areas of software testing, DevOps, Robotic process automation. Connects with her on Linkedin and Twitter.