Kubernetes vs Jenkins

Whenever it is about implementing DevOps principles, the most popular tools that come forth are Kubernetes and Jenkins. You would have heard about these two tools often together. That is not because of the similarities or differences they have, that is because of the way they complement each other. Jenkins and Kubernetes are used by developers to work effectively and efficiently. In this article, you shall compare both tools to figure out which tool satisfies what purpose and how it benefits in enhancing the overall Agile Development process.

What is Kubernetes?

Kubernetes or K8s is a container orchestration tool created by Google to manage containerised applications. The open-source tool makes the entire process of container management starting from configuring it to deploying it and finally monitoring it much smoother. All the operational tasks of the container management process, whether it is rolling out changes, scaling up and down the application or even tracking the applications K8s have got it all covered. 

What is Kubernetes

No doubt, Kubernetes is one of the most widely used DevOps tools across the world. The ease that you get once the application is installed is phenomenal. Being a developer you no longer have to worry about the surrounding environment, all you have to keep an eye on is the development part as all the aspects of computing, networking, and storing parts are covered by Kubernetes.

The next tool you must know about is Jenkins.

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What is Jenkins?

Jenkins is another extremely popular DevOps tool that is extensively used by development teams when it comes to CI/CD tools. The tool provides an effective and efficient Continuous Integration and Deployment environment required to run a series of tasks in the overall integration process.

What is Jenkins

The open-source tool is highly extensible and is mostly used when it comes to hosting, monitoring, compiling, and testing code. Also, Jenkins improves the overall code quality along with accelerating the software development process. What makes the tool even more popular in the market is the availability of plugins.

Now that you know the basics of both Kubernetes and Jenkins, let’s jump to the main topic and check the differences between the two tools. 

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Key Differences between Kubernetes and Jenkins

Kubernetes and Jenkins are one of the most prominently used DevOps tools in the market today. Though they are highly distinguishable from each other, both tools can be used together and their amalgamation can do wonders for the development team. 

Let’s have a look at the differences between the two tools:

Definition 

Kubernetes is a container orchestration tool which is used to manage containerised applications. 

Jenkins is an excellent CI/CD tool used to automate the overall continuous integration process and deployment process.

Usage

Kubernetes is used by developers to handle and manage containers. The development team uses the tool to deploy and configure containers.

Jenkins is used by the development team when they need to create and manage the entire CI/CD pipeline.

Auto Scale

Kubernetes is a tool that supports auto-scaling of both worker nodes and control planes, which means the number of nodes can be adjusted considering the node utilization metrics.

Jenkins does not support auto-scaling but can achieve that with the help of the Kubernetes Plugin.

Number of Nodes

In Kubernetes, the number of Nodes can be a maximum of 5000. Also, there can be a maximum of 110 pods per node, maximum of 150000 total pods and 300000 total containers. 

In Jenkins, there is no upper limit to the number of nodes.

Analytics and Data Dashboards

When it comes to Analytics and data dashboards, both tools help developers in the process. On one side Kubernetes has several tools which can be used for monitoring and examining applications.

Jenkins does not provide any specific analytics tools or a web-based GUI dashboard, which are present in other CI/CD tools. So, in Jenkins, if you want some analytical work to be done you will have to install third-party dashboard plugins.

Ease of use and Configuration

When it comes to ease of use and configuration, both tools are referred to as smooth and easygoing by the development team. But, if compared, Kubernetes may come as a little difficult and anyone would need the training to excel in that tool. 

Jenkins is a comparatively smoother and easier tool. The tool provides several integrations and plugins which enable the developers to automate the process easily. 

After knowing the differences between the Jenkins and Kubernetes, let’s have a look at the features of the two tools one after the other to know the tool better.

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Features of Kubernetes

Service locating and load balancing

The tool is known to provide IPs and specific Domain Name Systems (DNS) to containers along with offering options to load balancing.

Planning and Placement

Kubernetes is known for its sophisticated pod placement strategy according to the requests in the pod spec. So, the tool automatically plans and places the appropriate nodes to run the pod. 

Auto Scaling

Another popular feature of Kubernetes is its auto-scaling feature which enables it to automatically increase or decrease the number of containers and resources according to the usage in containerized applications. 

Auto Scaling

Self-Repair

The tool enables automatic restarting when the containers fail and they are reassigned to the new nodes in case of node failure.

Storage Orchestration 

Here in Kubernetes storage orchestration enables the users to mount the storage system of their choice automatically. This storage system could be local storage or a public cloud provider. 

Batch execution

A Kubernetes Job can be used to manage a batch task or execute a batch, i.e. it is in the hands of the user to specify the number of pods to be run parallely and the number of pods that must finish their work before the job is completed. 

Batch execution

Advanced Security

Kubernetes is known for its advanced security as Kubernetes secrets enable utmost security of sensitive information in the containers and that too without rebuilding the image. 

Next let’s have a look at the features of Jenkins. 

Features of Jenkins

Easy Installation

One of the main features that any tool needs to be successful is the process of installation. So, Jenkins is a Java-based program that has a simple and easy method of installation with packages for all operating systems - Windows, Linux, and Mac OS.

Easy Configuration

What comes along with easy installation is its friendly configuration. The tool can be well configured using its web interface which features built-in help function and error checks.  

Easy Configuration

Available Plugins

You would already know by now that Jenkins has a wide number of available plugins in the update center. These plugins can be integrated with other tools to smoothen the CI/CD pipeline. 

Extensible

Jenkins is highly preferred because of its highly extensible behaviour. This feature enables the tool to extend its functionalities using the wide variety of plugins it has. The extensible Jenkins framework is used in several industries like embedded systems and hardware development.

Easy Distribution

Not only it is extensible but easily distributable too, which makes the entire building, testing, and deployment process smoother and faster across multiple work machines. 

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Conclusion
By now, you would know why Kubernetes and Jenkins are such prominently used tools in industries. In the article, you began by learning the basics of the two tools and how they enable teams to make a difference in the fast pacing world. Once you were familiar with the basics you went on to check the contrast between the two tools. Furthermore, to have a better understanding of Jenkins and Kubernetes, you learnt about the features of the two tools. So, now you would know that it is not about the two tools being different as they are completely different tools and are outstanding in their respective domains. Also, there are times when the teams use these tools together to have an even more impactful work segment. 

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Srivalli
Srivalli
Research Analyst
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.

Both Jenkins and Kubernetes are outstanding tools in their respective domains. So, it won’t be correct to say which tool is better as Jenkins is a tool that is a Continuous Integration and Deployment tool that is used for seamless development, testing, and deployment. Whereas, Kubernetes is a container orchestration tool that is used to automate software scaling and management. 

There are times when Jenkins and Kubernetes used each other. The two tools complement each other and contribute towards an impactful working environment. So, yes Jenkins uses Kubernetes when it comes to the Continuous Delivery (CD) pipeline. 

Both tools have their respective advantages. While Jenkins needs comparatively less maintenance and comes with an in-built Graphic User Interface (GUI), Docker reduces the risk with application dependencies. 

There is no specific way that you must follow when it comes to learning Jenkins and Kubernetes. It really depends on your priority and what kind of work you are planning to do. Though there are times when people prefer learning Kubernetes first as it is slightly complicated, and gives you a knowledge of plugins, and eventually when it comes to integrating with Jenkins for an impactful CI/CD pipeline, you would have that knowledge.