Docker Compose vs Docker Swarm vs Kubernetes

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Docker Compose

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Docker Swarm

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Kubernetes

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Advice on Docker Compose, Docker Swarm, and Kubernetes

Hello, we have a bunch of local hosts (Linux and Windows) where Docker containers are running with bamboo agents on them. Currently, each container is installed as a system service. Each host is set up manually. I want to improve the system by adding some sort of orchestration software that should install, update and check for consistency in my docker containers. I don't need any clouds, all hosts are local. I'd prefer simple solutions. What orchestration system should I choose?

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Replies (1)
Mortie Torabi
Recommends
Docker Swarm

If you just want the basic orchestration between a set of defined hosts, go with Docker Swarm. If you want more advanced orchestration + flexibility in terms of resource management and load balancing go with Kubernetes. In both cases, you can make it even more complex while making the whole architecture more understandable and replicable by using Terraform.

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Decisions about Docker Compose, Docker Swarm, 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 · | 28 upvotes · 2.5M 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 Docker Compose
Pros of Docker Swarm
Pros of Kubernetes
  • 118
    Multi-container descriptor
  • 107
    Fast development environment setup
  • 75
    Easy linking of containers
  • 65
    Simple yaml configuration
  • 58
    Easy setup
  • 15
    Yml or yaml format
  • 11
    Use Standard Docker API
  • 7
    Open source
  • 4
    Can choose Discovery Backend
  • 4
    Go from template to application in minutes
  • 2
    Scalable
  • 2
    Easy configuration
  • 2
    Kubernetes integration
  • 1
    Quick and easy
  • 54
    Docker friendly
  • 44
    Easy to setup
  • 39
    Standard Docker API
  • 36
    Easy to use
  • 22
    Native
  • 21
    Free
  • 12
    Clustering made easy
  • 11
    Simple usage
  • 10
    Integral part of docker
  • 5
    Cross Platform
  • 3
    Performance
  • 3
    Labels and annotations
  • 2
    Shallow learning curve
  • 2
    Easy Networking
  • 152
    Leading docker container management solution
  • 121
    Simple and powerful
  • 96
    Open source
  • 72
    Backed by google
  • 56
    The right abstractions
  • 24
    Scale services
  • 17
    Replication controller
  • 9
    Permission managment
  • 6
    Simple
  • 5
    Supports autoscaling
  • 5
    Cheap
  • 3
    Self-healing
  • 3
    Promotes modern/good infrascture practice
  • 3
    No cloud platform lock-in
  • 3
    Open, powerful, stable
  • 3
    Reliable
  • 3
    Scalable
  • 2
    Captain of Container Ship
  • 2
    A self healing environment with rich metadata
  • 2
    Quick cloud setup
  • 1
    Custom and extensibility
  • 1
    Easy setup
  • 1
    Expandable
  • 1
    Gke
  • 1
    Golang
  • 1
    Backed by Red Hat
  • 1
    Everything of CaaS
  • 1
    Runs on azure
  • 1
    Cloud Agnostic
  • 1
    Sfg

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Cons of Docker Compose
Cons of Docker Swarm
Cons of Kubernetes
  • 7
    Tied to single machine
  • 4
    Still very volatile, changing syntax often
  • 7
    Low adoption
  • 13
    Poor workflow for development
  • 11
    Steep learning curve
  • 5
    Orchestrates only infrastructure
  • 2
    High resource requirements for on-prem clusters

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What is Docker Compose?

With Compose, you define a multi-container application in a single file, then spin your application up in a single command which does everything that needs to be done to get it running.

What is Docker Swarm?

Swarm serves the standard Docker API, so any tool which already communicates with a Docker daemon can use Swarm to transparently scale to multiple hosts: Dokku, Compose, Krane, Deis, DockerUI, Shipyard, Drone, Jenkins... and, of course, the Docker client itself.

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.

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What are some alternatives to Docker Compose, Docker Swarm, and Kubernetes?
Docker
The Docker Platform is the industry-leading container platform for continuous, high-velocity innovation, enabling organizations to seamlessly build and share any application ‚ÄĒ from legacy to what comes next ‚ÄĒ and securely run them anywhere
Helm
Helm is the best way to find, share, and use software built for Kubernetes.
Ansible
Ansible is an IT automation tool. It can configure systems, deploy software, and orchestrate more advanced IT tasks such as continuous deployments or zero downtime rolling updates. Ansible’s goals are foremost those of simplicity and maximum ease of use.
Portainer
Portainer is an open-source lightweight management UI which allows you to easily manage your Docker environments. Portainer is available on Windows, Linux and Mac. It has never been so easy to manage Docker !
Terraform
With Terraform, you describe your complete infrastructure as code, even as it spans multiple service providers. Your servers may come from AWS, your DNS may come from CloudFlare, and your database may come from Heroku. Terraform will build all these resources across all these providers in parallel.
See all alternatives
Reviews of Docker Compose, Docker Swarm, and Kubernetes
Review of
Kubernetes

It's a little bit complex to onboard, but once you grasp all the different concepts the platform is really powerful, and infrastructure stops being an issue.

Service discovery, auto-recovery, scaling and orchestration are just a few of the features you get.

How developers use Docker Compose, Docker Swarm, and Kubernetes
Chris Saylor uses
Docker Compose

Since our production deployment makes use of the Convox platform, we use this to describe the containers to be deployed via Convox to AWS ECS.

We also use this for our local dev environment (previously used vagrant with chef).

Scrayos UG (haftungsbeschränkt) uses
Docker Compose

Aside from our Minecraft-infrastructure, we compose it with ... Docker Compose! (kinda obious, eh .. ?) This includes for example the web-services, aswell as the monitoring and mail-infrastructure.

realcloudratics uses
Kubernetes

Good existential question. Kubernetes is painful in the extreme - especially when combined with Ansible. The layers of indirection are truly mind altering. But hey - containers are kewl!

Japan Digital Design uses
Kubernetes

Our developer experience system is on Kubernetes (Google Kubernetes Engine at the moment). We would like to expand our Kubernetes clusters over other Kubernetes engine.

sapslaj uses
Docker Compose

Docker Compose is just another part of my "infrastructure as code" initiative and allows me to build isolated pieces of systems with their own volumes and networks.

Sathish N uses
Docker Compose

Our application will consist of several containers each communicating with each other. Using docker-compose, we can orchestrate several containers at once.

Curabase uses
Docker Compose

The core tech in ACS (Azure Container Services) we spin up a Kubernetes cluster and deploy our app into staging and production environments here.

ShareThis uses
Kubernetes

Kubernetes is used for managing microclusters within our AWS infrastructure. This allows us to deploy new infrastructure in seconds.

papaver uses
Kubernetes

minor experience with kubernetes. helped a client setup a kubernetes infrastructure. love the elegance of the system.

Andrew Gatenby uses
Kubernetes

It's the glue that holds our container management together, allowing things to scale when and where we need them.