Helm vs Kubernetes

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Helm vs Kubernetes: What are the differences?

Comparison between Helm and Kubernetes

Helm and Kubernetes are both widely used tools in the world of container orchestration and management. While Kubernetes is a powerful container orchestration platform, Helm is a package manager for Kubernetes applications. Let's explore the key differences between Helm and Kubernetes:

  1. Installation and Deployment: Kubernetes is a complex system that requires manual configuration, installation, and deployment. On the other hand, Helm simplifies the deployment process by providing a quick and easy way to package and deploy applications on Kubernetes clusters. Helm uses charts to package applications, making it more user-friendly for developers.

  2. Abstraction Level: Kubernetes operates at a lower level of abstraction, focusing on managing individual containers and their configuration. Whereas, Helm operates at a higher level of abstraction, allowing developers to define and manage application-level components and dependencies. This higher level of abstraction offered by Helm makes it easier to manage complex applications and updates.

  3. Release Management: Kubernetes does not provide a built-in release management system. When deploying an application or updating it, Kubernetes requires manual intervention. On the other hand, Helm provides release management functionality, allowing for versioning and easy rollback of applications. Helm keeps track of deployed releases and enables developers to upgrade, rollback, or uninstall applications with ease.

  4. Templating: One significant difference between Helm and Kubernetes is the templating functionality. Helm enables developers to use templates, allowing for dynamic generation of Kubernetes manifests. This feature simplifies the management of complex deployments, where multiple configurations are required for different environments. Kubernetes, on the other hand, relies on static configuration files.

  5. Community Support: Kubernetes is an open-source project supported by a large community of developers and organizations. It benefits from continuous contributions and updates from the community, ensuring a robust and feature-rich platform. Similarly, Helm also has a vibrant community that maintains and updates the Helm repositories, charts, and documentation. The strong community support for both Helm and Kubernetes makes them reliable tools for developers.

  6. Scalability: Kubernetes is designed to manage large-scale applications across multiple nodes and clusters. It provides advanced features for scaling and load balancing containers. Helm, on the other hand, primarily focuses on packaging and deployment, and it can scale alongside Kubernetes. Helm's simplicity allows developers to manage the scalability of their applications running on Kubernetes without additional complexities.

In summary, Helm simplifies the packaging and deployment of applications on Kubernetes clusters by providing release management and templating functionality, while Kubernetes focuses on the lower-level orchestration of containers, scalability, and advanced features. Both tools have strong community support and complement each other in the container ecosystem.

Advice on Helm 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
on
Docker SwarmDocker 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 Helm 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 · | 30 upvotes · 9.6M 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 Helm
Pros of Kubernetes
  • 8
    Infrastructure as code
  • 6
    Open source
  • 2
    Easy setup
  • 1
    Support
  • 1
    Testa­bil­i­ty and re­pro­ducibil­i­ty
  • 164
    Leading docker container management solution
  • 128
    Simple and powerful
  • 106
    Open source
  • 76
    Backed by google
  • 58
    The right abstractions
  • 25
    Scale services
  • 20
    Replication controller
  • 11
    Permission managment
  • 9
    Supports autoscaling
  • 8
    Cheap
  • 8
    Simple
  • 6
    Self-healing
  • 5
    No cloud platform lock-in
  • 5
    Promotes modern/good infrascture practice
  • 5
    Open, powerful, stable
  • 5
    Reliable
  • 4
    Scalable
  • 4
    Quick cloud setup
  • 3
    Cloud Agnostic
  • 3
    Captain of Container Ship
  • 3
    A self healing environment with rich metadata
  • 3
    Runs on azure
  • 3
    Backed by Red Hat
  • 3
    Custom and extensibility
  • 2
    Sfg
  • 2
    Gke
  • 2
    Everything of CaaS
  • 2
    Golang
  • 2
    Easy setup
  • 2
    Expandable

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Cons of Helm
Cons of Kubernetes
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    • 16
      Steep learning curve
    • 15
      Poor workflow for development
    • 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

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    What is Helm?

    Helm is the best way to find, share, and use software built for Kubernetes.

    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 companies use Helm?
    What companies use Kubernetes?
    See which teams inside your own company are using Helm or Kubernetes.
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    What tools integrate with Helm?
    What tools integrate with Kubernetes?

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    What are some alternatives to Helm and Kubernetes?
    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.
    Rancher
    Rancher is an open source container management platform that includes full distributions of Kubernetes, Apache Mesos and Docker Swarm, and makes it simple to operate container clusters on any cloud or infrastructure platform.
    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.
    Docker
    The Docker Platform is the industry-leading container platform for continuous, high-velocity innovation, enabling organizations to seamlessly build and share any application — from legacy to what comes next — and securely run them anywhere
    JavaScript
    JavaScript is most known as the scripting language for Web pages, but used in many non-browser environments as well such as node.js or Apache CouchDB. It is a prototype-based, multi-paradigm scripting language that is dynamic,and supports object-oriented, imperative, and functional programming styles.
    See all alternatives