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Docker and Kubernetes: Why They're Not Mutually Exclusive

 

Docker and Kubernetes are a hot topic right now in modern software. Both technologies focus on containers, and they don't actually compete. They both excel in their dedicated tool and in some cases work extremely well together.

Docker and Containers

Docker is a tool that packages applications and all its dependencies together in the form of a docker container. Therefore, it ensures that the applications work seamlessly in any environment. Docker has become extremely possible, as it was the first software of its kind to package advanced Linux kernel features together, allowing software teams to create packages that could run on different servers.

According to the Docker website, a container is a standard unit of software that packages up code along with all its dependencies so that the application runs reliably and quickly from one computing environment to another. Think of a container as a lightweight, scalable and isolated VM in which developers run their applications.

Kubernetes and Container Orchestrators

Containers have become extremely popular due to the launch of Docker. However, large, distributed containerized applications are more difficult to coordinate. That's where Kubernetes steps in, the most popular open source platform for container orchestration. Container Orchestration refers to the automated arrangement, coordination and management of software containers. Kubernates automates the deployment, management, scaling, networking and availability of container-based applications.

Kubernetes has many benefits, including that it's:

  • Faster: It delivers a self-service Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) for development teams that creates a hardware layer abstraction.
  • Cost-efficient: This application requires less CPU and memory resources to run.
  • Portable: It runs on Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and the Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and you can also run it on-premise.

Docker vs. Kubernetes

The Docker vs. Kubernetes debate is a common misconception, as they are not necessarily competitors. It's in the developer's best interest to utilize both tools. Docker is currently the most popular container platform, while Kubernetes is the most efficient tool for container orchestration. However, Kubernetes vs. Docker became a topic due to Docker creating their own container orchestration solution, Docker Swarm.

So rather than Kubernetes vs. Docker, people really mean Kubernetes vs. Docker Swarm. Docker Swarm provides a way to administer a massive number of containers that are spread across clusters of servers. It has a filtering and scheduling system that enables the selection of optimal nodes in a cluster to deploy containers. It seems natural for the next step from Docker would be to go into Docker Swarm, but Kubernetes maintains a community that's stronger than that for Docker Swarm, and all the major cloud providers support it.

Why Can't You Use Kubernetes Without Docker?

Kubernetes itself is a container orchestration system. It integrates with the Docker engine to coordinate the scheduling and execution of Docker containers. Simply put, Docker containers are managed by Kubernetes. They mutually benefit from each other.

Docker and Kubernetes work at different levels and are fundamentally different at their core, but when they're used together, they're a great tool for developing a modern cloud architecture.

The key trends DevOps teams see in Docker and Kubernetes include:

  • Microservices
  • Multi-cloud environments
  • Growing support for Docker and Kubernetes

Docker containers enhance the development process, and Kubernetes container orchestration improves the deployment process. Development and operation teams can utilize the technology tools to develop more powerful continuous integration and continuous delivery channels for quicker and more reliable software development cycles.

Containers have fundamentally changed the face of software development and deployment. That said, both Kubernetes and Docker are here to stay - they're regularly changing to transform themselves into something better in the future.

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About the Author

Kayla Matthews is a tech-loving blogger who writes and edits ProductivityBytes.com. Follow her on Twitter @productibytes to read all of her latest posts!
Published Monday, June 17, 2019 9:34 AM by David Marshall
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