Kubernetes vs Docker | What are the differences?

Kubernetes is a container orchestration technology, while Docker enables developers to create and run containers. Let’s review the two container technologies.

Kubernetes vs Docker | Docker vs Kubernetes?
Kubernetes vs Docker | Docker vs Kubernetes?

Overview

When it comes to container technologies, the two names Kubernetes and Docker emerge as open source leaders. A lot of people want to know which container technology option is better in the cloud computing industry. What is Kubernetes vs Docker debate is common in the containerization world. Although most people like comparing Kubernetes and Docker to manage containerized application more efficiently. These two powerful containerization technologies are not exchangeable and you cannot choose one over the other. Docker vs Kubernetes are essentially discrete container technologies that can perfectly complement each other when automating, creating, delivering, managing and scaling containerized applications. In fact, the best comparison topic would be Kubernetes vs Docker Swarm.

This article explains the fundamentals difference between docker and kubernetes technologies and clarifies docker and kubernetes differences so that you can become confident in navigating the rapidly expanding container platform. Let’s get familiar with awesome and the most popular open source Kubernetes vs Docker container technologies. To do so, it’s important to start with the foundational technology that ties them together: containers.

  • What Is Container?
  • What Is Docker?
  • What Is Kubernetes?
  • Docker Vs. Kubernetes: Which Should You Adopt?
  • Conclusion

1. What Is Container?

A container is a standard unit of software that packages application code with its dependencies, enabling it to run on any IT infrastructure. A container stands alone which makes it portable across IT environments like operating system virtualization. One best way to understand the growing popularity of a container is to compare it with a virtual machine (VM). Containers and virtual machines both are based on virtualization technologies. A container virtualizes an OS and a VM leverages a lightweight software layer between the VM and a computer’s hardware, to virtualize physical hardware.

A container consists of an entire runtime environment of an application with all its libraries and dependencies. While a VM consists of full copy of a host operating system, a virtual copy of the hardware needed to run the OS, as well as an application and its associated libraries and dependencies. The absence of a guest operating system reduces the size of a container, making it lightweight, fast and portable. Containers help you to solve the issue of portability allowing you to separate code from the underlying infrastructure to improve security. Developers could package up their applications, including all of the dependencies and libraries into a small container image on production containerization platform.

DevOps use containers to quickly develop applications that run consistently across cross-platform and distributed environments. More portable and resource-efficient containers solves many of the conflicts that come from differences in tools and software between functional teams. These lightweight containers are ideal for microservices architectures where applications are made up of loosely coupled and smaller services.

2. What Is Docker?

Docker is the most popular container platform that makes it easy to develop, deploy, and run applications as standalone, portable containers. Containerization is an innovative form of operating system virtualization that allows you package up code and dependencies as self sufficient units. It ensures the application runs consistently across different isolated environments. Several containerization technologies were available prior to launch Docker. Docker has grown to be the de facto containerization platform in recent years. It has simplified the running of container applications and it has become the containerization platform defacto in recent years.

Docker, Inc. released Docker in March 20, 2013 and is distributed both as proprietary software Enterprise Edition and as open source software Community Edition. Docker open source software Community Edition appeared on the market at the right time, which likely led to its current market domination. 30% of enterprises currently use Docker for their AWS production environments.

When most people talk about Docker they actually talk about Docker Engine, the runtime that allows you to build, manage and containerizing your applications. But before you can run a Docker container they must be built using Docker File. The Docker File defines and contains all the commands needed to run the image including the OS network specifications and the file locations. Now that you have a Docker file, you can build a Docker Image which is the portable, static component with a set of instructions for creating a container that gets run on the Docker Engine. Docker also has a service called Docker Hub where you can store and share container images with your team, customers, or the Docker community. Docker Compose is used for defining and running multi-container applications in a YAML file.

Many problems arise when several containers are deployed across several server environments. It becomes very difficult to scale numerous container instances, interaction, coordinate and schedule containers in containerized applications. This is where Kubernetes comes in to address most of those complexities. Opens source containerization platform Docker source code repository is available at Github.

3. What Is Kubernetes?

Kubernetes also known as K8s, is an open source platform for orchestrating containers and was launched at Google in 2014. It is a comprehensive system that automates the deployment, scaling, scheduling and management of containerized applications. It supports many containerization tools such as Docker. Kubernetes is now donated to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). It has grown to be the market leader for orchestrating containers and deploying distributed applications.

Kubernetes can handle some of the operational difficulties when deploying, scaling and managing multicontainer applications across multiple server machines. It distributes and schedules containerized applications across a cluster of physical or virtual machines rather than running them on single host. This way, applications running in Kubernetes function like a single entity, although they may actually comprise an assortment of loosely coupled containers. Clustering is a vital containerization concept that enables admins to build a cohesive and cooperative group of systems that offer redundancy.

Kubernetes can run on a public cloud service for customers with Docker based applications and has a vibrant community. Many Companies are investing into it and many cloud providers offer Kubernetes as a service. You can automatically scale container apps on the fly based on the available resources, perform horizontal scaling and load balancing with the help of Kubernetes. Opens source container orchestration tool Kubernetes source code repository is available at Github.

4. Docker Vs. Kubernetes: Which Should You Adopt?

Containers are amazing. Even though Docker and K8s Kubernetes are distinct technologies, they actually complement each other and can work together. Docker installation is easy and fast while setting up Kubernetes is complicated and time-consuming. Docker is optimized for a single large cluster and Kubernetes can work with multiple smaller clusters. Docker is at the core of containerization technology and it allows you to build, share, run and deploy application containers. If your application is small and simple, Docker container has the essential infrastructure for managing its lifecycle.

When to use kubernetes vs docker?. If your containerized application becomes bigger and more complex, possibly needing multiple smaller clusters and more sophisticated management then Kubernetes becomes a handy tool. Kubernetes provides an orchestration platform for your Docker containers. It does not only create containers but also requires a container tool to run, of which Docker container is the most popular option. Using Kubernetes with Docker enhances the robustness of your infrastructure. Your applications are more highly available and also improves the scalability of your applications.

Conclusion:

What’s the best choice Kubernetes or Docker, then? The answer is the obvious one: both. The above mentioned Kubernetes and Docker are most popular free and best open source software for developers. They allow to think about services and systems in a completely new and digital way that infrastructure needs the most. The bottom line is that Kubernetes and Docker both provide a well-integrated platform to more effectively automate container management, scaling, destruction and deployment of systems containers. Designing newer software for a container-centric platform not only makes your applications more scalable, but also more future-proof.

What open source container technology do you prefer?. Do you have any questions about difference between Kubernetes and Docker?, Please get in touch.

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