Consul vs Kubernetes

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Consul

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1.4K
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206
Kubernetes

49.8K
43.2K
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639
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Consul vs Kubernetes: What are the differences?

Developers describe Consul as "A tool for service discovery, monitoring and configuration". Consul is a tool for service discovery and configuration. Consul is distributed, highly available, and extremely scalable. On the other hand, Kubernetes is detailed as "Manage a cluster of Linux containers as a single system to accelerate Dev and simplify Ops". Kubernetes is an open source orchestration system for Docker containers. It handles scheduling onto nodes in a compute cluster and actively manages workloads to ensure that their state matches the users declared intentions.

Consul belongs to "Open Source Service Discovery" category of the tech stack, while Kubernetes can be primarily classified under "Container Tools".

Some of the features offered by Consul are:

  • Service Discovery - Consul makes it simple for services to register themselves and to discover other services via a DNS or HTTP interface. External services such as SaaS providers can be registered as well.
  • Health Checking - Health Checking enables Consul to quickly alert operators about any issues in a cluster. The integration with service discovery prevents routing traffic to unhealthy hosts and enables service level circuit breakers.
  • Key/Value Storage - A flexible key/value store enables storing dynamic configuration, feature flagging, coordination, leader election and more. The simple HTTP API makes it easy to use anywhere.

On the other hand, Kubernetes provides the following key features:

  • Lightweight, simple and accessible
  • Built for a multi-cloud world, public, private or hybrid
  • Highly modular, designed so that all of its components are easily swappable

"Great service discovery infrastructure" is the top reason why over 49 developers like Consul, while over 131 developers mention "Leading docker container management solution" as the leading cause for choosing Kubernetes.

Consul and Kubernetes are both open source tools. It seems that Kubernetes with 54.2K GitHub stars and 18.8K forks on GitHub has more adoption than Consul with 16.2K GitHub stars and 2.82K GitHub forks.

Slack, Shopify, and Starbucks are some of the popular companies that use Kubernetes, whereas Consul is used by Slack, SendGrid, and Oscar Health. Kubernetes has a broader approval, being mentioned in 1017 company stacks & 1060 developers stacks; compared to Consul, which is listed in 131 company stacks and 52 developer stacks.

Decisions about Consul and Kubernetes
Michael Roberts

We develop rapidly with docker-compose orchestrated services, however, for production - we utilise the very best ideas that Kubernetes has to offer: SCALE! We can scale when needed, setting a maximum and minimum level of nodes for each application layer - scaling only when the load balancer needs it. This allowed us to reduce our devops costs by 40% whilst also maintaining an SLA of 99.87%.

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Simon Reymann
Senior Fullstack Developer at QUANTUSflow Software GmbH · | 29 upvotes · 5M views

Our whole DevOps stack consists of the following tools:

  • GitHub (incl. GitHub Pages/Markdown for Documentation, GettingStarted and HowTo's) for collaborative review and code management tool
  • Respectively Git as revision control system
  • SourceTree as Git GUI
  • Visual Studio Code as IDE
  • CircleCI for continuous integration (automatize development process)
  • Prettier / TSLint / ESLint as code linter
  • SonarQube as quality gate
  • Docker as container management (incl. Docker Compose for multi-container application management)
  • VirtualBox for operating system simulation tests
  • Kubernetes as cluster management for docker containers
  • Heroku for deploying in test environments
  • nginx as web server (preferably used as facade server in production environment)
  • SSLMate (using OpenSSL) for certificate management
  • Amazon EC2 (incl. Amazon S3) for deploying in stage (production-like) and production environments
  • PostgreSQL as preferred database system
  • Redis as preferred in-memory database/store (great for caching)

The main reason we have chosen Kubernetes over Docker Swarm is related to the following artifacts:

  • Key features: Easy and flexible installation, Clear dashboard, Great scaling operations, Monitoring is an integral part, Great load balancing concepts, Monitors the condition and ensures compensation in the event of failure.
  • Applications: An application can be deployed using a combination of pods, deployments, and services (or micro-services).
  • Functionality: Kubernetes as a complex installation and setup process, but it not as limited as Docker Swarm.
  • Monitoring: It supports multiple versions of logging and monitoring when the services are deployed within the cluster (Elasticsearch/Kibana (ELK), Heapster/Grafana, Sysdig cloud integration).
  • Scalability: All-in-one framework for distributed systems.
  • Other Benefits: Kubernetes is backed by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), huge community among container orchestration tools, it is an open source and modular tool that works with any OS.
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Pros of Consul
Pros of Kubernetes
  • 58
    Great service discovery infrastructure
  • 35
    Health checking
  • 27
    Distributed key-value store
  • 26
    Monitoring
  • 23
    High-availability
  • 12
    Web-UI
  • 10
    Token-based acls
  • 6
    Gossip clustering
  • 5
    Dns server
  • 3
    Not Java
  • 1
    Docker integration
  • 162
    Leading docker container management solution
  • 126
    Simple and powerful
  • 104
    Open source
  • 75
    Backed by google
  • 56
    The right abstractions
  • 24
    Scale services
  • 19
    Replication controller
  • 10
    Permission managment
  • 7
    Simple
  • 7
    Cheap
  • 7
    Supports autoscaling
  • 4
    Reliable
  • 4
    Self-healing
  • 4
    No cloud platform lock-in
  • 3
    Quick cloud setup
  • 3
    Open, powerful, stable
  • 3
    Scalable
  • 3
    Promotes modern/good infrascture practice
  • 2
    Captain of Container Ship
  • 2
    A self healing environment with rich metadata
  • 2
    Cloud Agnostic
  • 2
    Runs on azure
  • 2
    Backed by Red Hat
  • 2
    Custom and extensibility
  • 1
    Golang
  • 1
    Expandable
  • 1
    Gke
  • 1
    Easy setup
  • 1
    Sfg
  • 1
    Everything of CaaS

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Cons of Consul
Cons of Kubernetes
    Be the first to leave a con
    • 15
      Poor workflow for development
    • 15
      Steep learning curve
    • 8
      Orchestrates only infrastructure
    • 4
      High resource requirements for on-prem clusters
    • 2
      Too heavy for simple systems
    • 1
      Additional vendor lock-in (Docker)
    • 1
      More moving parts to secure
    • 1
      Additional Technology Overhead

    Sign up to add or upvote consMake informed product decisions

    - No public GitHub repository available -

    What is Consul?

    Consul is a tool for service discovery and configuration. Consul is distributed, highly available, and extremely scalable.

    What is Kubernetes?

    Kubernetes is an open source orchestration system for Docker containers. It handles scheduling onto nodes in a compute cluster and actively manages workloads to ensure that their state matches the users declared intentions.

    Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

    Jobs that mention Consul and Kubernetes as a desired skillset
    CBRE
    United States of America Texas Richardson
    CBRE
    United States of America Texas Richardson
    Pinterest
    San Francisco, CA, US; Atlanta, GA, US; New York, NY, US
    CBRE
    United States of America Texas Dallas
    CBRE
    United States of America Texas Dallas
    What companies use Consul?
    What companies use Kubernetes?
    See which teams inside your own company are using Consul or Kubernetes.
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    What tools integrate with Consul?
    What tools integrate with Kubernetes?

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    What are some alternatives to Consul and Kubernetes?
    etcd
    etcd is a distributed key value store that provides a reliable way to store data across a cluster of machines. It’s open-source and available on GitHub. etcd gracefully handles master elections during network partitions and will tolerate machine failure, including the master.
    Zookeeper
    A centralized service for maintaining configuration information, naming, providing distributed synchronization, and providing group services. All of these kinds of services are used in some form or another by distributed applications.
    SkyDNS
    SkyDNS is a distributed service for announcement and discovery of services. It leverages Raft for high-availability and consensus, and utilizes DNS queries to discover available services. This is done by leveraging SRV records in DNS, with special meaning given to subdomains, priorities and weights (more info here: http://blog.gopheracademy.com/skydns).
    Ambassador
    Map services to arbitrary URLs in a single, declarative YAML file. Configure routes with CORS support, circuit breakers, timeouts, and more. Replace your Kubernetes ingress controller. Route gRPC, WebSockets, or HTTP.
    Redis
    Redis is an open source (BSD licensed), in-memory data structure store, used as a database, cache, and message broker. Redis provides data structures such as strings, hashes, lists, sets, sorted sets with range queries, bitmaps, hyperloglogs, geospatial indexes, and streams.
    See all alternatives