Debates and discussions regarding Kubernetes and Docker are happening quite well. Kubernates and Docker Swarm have their own pros and cons and can be used depending on each person’s or organisation’s application requirements.

Understanding the concept of Kubernetes and Docker is a must if you are one who is looking for developing modern cloud infrastructure or DevOps implementation. This whole blog will help you to learn about Kubernetes vs Docker Swarm briefly from the beginning. I will begin with – Where these Kubernetes and Docker Swarm basically belong to.

Container, Containerization and Container Orchestration

A container is the software package that comprises an application’s code, configurations, and dependencies which presents operational efficiency and productivity. Here, you can know specifically how it will work, for instance, it is predictable, repeatable and stable. The emergence of containers has been a large enabler for DevOps as Service and can succeed with the largest barrier of security handled today.

Containerization executes the applications portable by virtualizing at the operating-system level, producing separated, encapsulated systems which are kernel based. Containerized apps can be left in anywhere and run without dependencies or needing a whole VM, excluding dependencies. But container orchestration is needed when there are multiple containers.

Container orchestration is the method that can usually deploy multiple containers to execute an application by automation. Platforms like Kubernetes and Docker Swarm are the container management and container orchestration engines that allow users to control container deployment and automate updates, health monitoring, and failover systems. But how to utilise tools and build a container? Let’s have a look into Docker.


Docker is a Container management service which supports developers to create an application and get it done uncomplicatedly, deploy and run applications by utilising containers. Docker has a default built-in device for clustering containers known as “swarm mode.” Using the swarm mode, Docker Engine can be used to launch application over multiple machines.


Kubernetes vs Docker Swarm

Docker Swarm

Docker swam is a tool to Manage the Docker Container. Docker Swarm is Docker’s private native clustering solution for Docker containers. It has an influence of remaining tightly connected into the ecosystem of Docker. Moreover, it handles its own API. It also observes the number of containers spread across the clusters of servers and is the easiest way to build clustered Docker application without extra hardware. It gives you a small-scale but beneficial orchestration system for the Dockerized app.

Advantages of Docker Swarm

  1. Operates faster: When you handle in a virtual environment, you might have recognised that it needs a long time and involves a exhausting method of booting up and commencing the application that you require to run. With Docker Swarm, the above-said problem will not occur. Docker Swarm eliminates the need to boot up a full virtual machine. It also permits the app to run in a virtual and software-defined environment immediately and aids in DevOps implementation.
  2. The Informative Documentation: The Docker become exclusive when it comes to documentation. Docker is growing fast and has won a large boost for the entire platform. When a new version gets released at a short interval of time, some platform doesn’t take care to sustain documentation. But docker swarm never settles it uncompromisingly. When the information only applies to the specific versions of a docker swarm, the documentation confirms that all information is renewed.
  3. Configuration is Faster and Simpler: One of the key advantages of Docker Swarm is that it clarifies the matter and make it easier to understand. Docker Swarm allows the user to perform their configuration themselves, put it into a code and deploy it without any hassle. As Docker Swarm can be applied in various environments, requirements are just not restricted by the environment of the application.
  4. The Isolated Application is an Assurance: Docker Swarm takes care that every container is isolated from the other containers and has its individual resources. Different containers can be deployed for running the separate application in various stacks. Apart from this, Docker Swarm cleans app removal as each application works on its own container. If the application is no longer needed, you may remove its container. It won’t issue any provisional or configuration files on your host OS.
  5. Source Control and Component Reuse : With Docker Swarm, you can follow sequential versions of a container, check variations or roll-back to the previous versions if needed. Containers reuse the components from the previous layers which makes them lightweight very clearly.

Disadvantages of Docker Swarm

  1. Platform dependent container: Docker Swarm is a Linux agnostic platform. Although Docker supports Windows and Mac OS X, it uses virtual machines to operate on a non-Linux platform. An application which is created to run in docker container on Windows can’t run on Linux and contrariwise.
  2. Doesn’t afford storage: Docker Swarm doesn’t give a trouble-free way to combine containers to storage and this is one of the main problems. Its data volumes need much improvising on the host and manual configurations. If you’re awaiting Docker Swarm to solve the storage issues, it may get done but it will not be effective or user-friendly.
  3. Inadequate monitoring: Docker Swarm presents the essential information about the container and if you are counting for the basic monitoring solution then Stats command is availed. If you are looking for exceptional monitoring then Docker Swarm is not an alternative. Although there are third-party tools ready like CAdvisor which contributes more monitoring. It is not possible to obtain more data about containers in real-time with Docker itself.


According to the above-mentioned context Kubernetes can be a better option.

When an application is developed with the different components over numerous containers on many machines, there is a demand for the tool to control and orchestrate the containers. This is only possible with the cooperation of Kubernetes.

Kubernetes is an open source system for operating the containerized application in a clustered environment. Practising Kubernetes in the right way to improve the DevOps as a Service team to automatically scale-up and scale-down the application and update with the zero downtime.

Advantages of Kubernetes

Kubernetes is fast: When it comes to continuous deployment of new features without downtime Kubernetes is an excellent option. The aim of the Kubernetes is to renew an application with a consistent uptime. Its speed is mapped through a number of features which you can ship per hour while controlling an accessible service.

Sticks to the principals of immutable infrastructure: In a conventional way, if anything goes inaccurate with various updates and you don’t hold any account of those updates you deployed, here you are unaware at what point failure happened. In immutable infrastructure, if you want to update an application, you need to create a container image with a new tag and deploy it, and remove the old container with old image version. In this way, you will have a record and get an insight into what you did and if and only if there is an error; you can readily go back to the earlier image.

Produces declarative configuration: User can recognise in what situation the system should be able to keep away from errors. Source control, unit tests and more are conventional tools that can’t be practised with imperative configurations but can be used with declarative configurations.

Deploy and update software scalability: Scaling is simple because of its immutable, declarative nature of Kubernetes. Kubernetes allows some beneficial peculiarities for scaling purpose, they are explained below briefly:

  • Automatic scaling: Based on the action of using CPU resources or other application-metrics, you can modify the number of containers that are working.

  • Manual scaling: It is possible to scale the quantity of running containers manually through a command or the interface.

  • Horizontal Scaling: Operations are performed at the individual server level to implement horizontal scaling. Latest servers can be joined or separated effortlessly.

  • Replication controller (RC): The Replication controller confirms that the cluster has a particular number of similar pods in a running condition. If in-case, there are a number of pods; a replication controller can discard extra pods or oppositely.

Manages the application’s availability: Kubernetes monitors the fitness of nodes and containers as well as gives self-healing and auto-renewal if in-case pod fails due to an error. Furthermore, it allocates the load over multiple pods to adjust the resources promptly while an accidental traffic.

Storage Capacity: In Kubernetes, data is distributed over the containers, but if pods get removed, the volume is automatically withdrawn. Moreover, data is collected remotely, if the pod is transferred to another node, the data will continue until it is erased by the user.

Disadvantages of Kubernetes

  1. The opening process demands time: When a brand-new process is conceived, you have to wait for the app to begin before it is open to the users. If you are migrating to Kubernetes, changes in the code base want to be done to make a commencement process more active so that users do not have a bad encounter.
  2. Migrating to stateless needs much work: If your application is clustered or stateless, more pods will not get configured and will have to revise on the configurations within your applications.
  3. The installation process is slow: It is tricky to arrange Kubernetes on your cluster if you are not using any cloud provider like Azure, Google or Amazon.

Whether you prefer Kubernetes or Docker, both are recognised the best and hold significant differences. The best way to choose between the two of them is to think which one you previously know thoroughly or which one fits your current software stack. If you want to develop the complicated app, use Kubernetes and if you are planning to create a small-scale app, use Docker swarm. Furthermore, picking the right one is a very broad task and it individually depends on your project requirements and target users also.

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