Kubernetes vs Apache Mesos

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Kubernetes vs Apache Mesos: What are the differences?

Developers describe Kubernetes 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. On the other hand, Apache Mesos is detailed as "Develop and run resource-efficient distributed systems". Apache Mesos is a cluster manager that simplifies the complexity of running applications on a shared pool of servers.

Kubernetes belongs to "Container Tools" category of the tech stack, while Apache Mesos can be primarily classified under "Cluster Management".

Some of the features offered by Kubernetes are:

  • 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

On the other hand, Apache Mesos provides the following key features:

  • Fault-tolerant replicated master using ZooKeeper
  • Scalability to 10,000s of nodes
  • Isolation between tasks with Linux Containers

"Leading docker container management solution" is the top reason why over 131 developers like Kubernetes, while over 19 developers mention "Easy scaling" as the leading cause for choosing Apache Mesos.

Kubernetes is an open source tool with 54.2K GitHub stars and 18.8K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Kubernetes's open source repository on GitHub.

Slack, Shopify, and Starbucks are some of the popular companies that use Kubernetes, whereas Apache Mesos is used by PayPal, SendGrid, and HubSpot. Kubernetes has a broader approval, being mentioned in 1018 company stacks & 1060 developers stacks; compared to Apache Mesos, which is listed in 61 company stacks and 19 developer stacks.

Advice on Kubernetes and Apache Mesos
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Apache MesosApache Mesos

The problem I have is I want to choose a Private PaaS to install it on my own infra and provide a platform as a service to my own clients. I need something like OpenShift or Jelastic...

The most important factors for me are that it has to be on-premise support, extensible (we can add feature to it), supports containers (docker, lxc, ...) supports databases (MySQL, Redis, mongo...), support load balancers, support software-defined storages (ceph, minio,...) monitoring and we can sell it to our own clients.

Do you have any idea?

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Replies (3)

Mesos-Enthuasiast may criticise me for my statement, but Kubernetes has simply won the race. Most companies I work with have a Kubernetes strategy. With that backing the platform will continue to grow whereas Mesos will become a niche.

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Charles Thayer

In your position I'd start by talking to customers and understanding their requirements. Unfortunately, although Apache Mesos + Marathon is generally liked more and simpler, it's still a commercially owned space when you run into trouble. On the other hand Kubernetes is more open and popular (check search results, about 10X) and customers like that they can move around among GKE and AWS and other Kubernetes environments. So although I think Kubernetes is overly complex for the newcomer, (and you may need Helm as well) it's going to be more popular with your customers. Also, Kubernetes is fairly open in terms of extensibility (esp if you work in Go lang).

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Christian Saboia
CEO - Diretor Executivo at Saboia Tecnologia da Informação · | 1 upvotes · 797 views

From a developer perspective, any new project we will be working on, unless specifically requested by the client, will be on top of Kubernetes. Actually, Kubernetes compete with Marathon as a container orchestration software, and as far as I know, one could run Kubernetes over Mesos. So, assuming your PaaS will serve developers, I would take a closer look at Kubernetes first. The goal for Mesos project is to be a sort of kernel for distributed computing, while Kubernetes is to manage the deploy and load balacing o of containers. Either way, you will need a container orchestration solution and the one to go with, given the current tendency in the market and the ecosystem around it, is Kubernetes.

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Decisions about Kubernetes and Apache Mesos
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 Kubernetes
Pros of Apache Mesos
  • 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
  • 7
  • 7
    Supports autoscaling
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
    No cloud platform lock-in
  • 3
    Quick cloud setup
  • 3
    Open, powerful, stable
  • 3
  • 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
  • 1
  • 1
  • 1
    Easy setup
  • 1
  • 1
    Everything of CaaS
  • 21
    Easy scaling
  • 6
    Web UI
  • 2
  • 1
    Elastic Distributed System
  • 1

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Cons of Kubernetes
Cons of Apache Mesos
  • 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
  • 1
    Not for long term
  • 1
    Depends on Zookeeper

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- No public GitHub repository available -

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.

What is Apache Mesos?

Apache Mesos is a cluster manager that simplifies the complexity of running applications on a shared pool of servers.

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

Jobs that mention Kubernetes and Apache Mesos as a desired skillset
United States of America Texas Richardson
United States of America Texas Richardson
San Francisco, CA, US; Atlanta, GA, US; New York, NY, US
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United States of America Texas Dallas
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Blog Posts

Dec 8 2020 at 5:50PM


May 21 2020 at 12:02AM

Rancher Labs

KubernetesAmazon EC2Grafana+12
Apr 16 2020 at 5:34AM

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What are some alternatives to Kubernetes and Apache Mesos?
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.
Nomad is a cluster manager, designed for both long lived services and short lived batch processing workloads. Developers use a declarative job specification to submit work, and Nomad ensures constraints are satisfied and resource utilization is optimized by efficient task packing. Nomad supports all major operating systems and virtualized, containerized, or standalone applications.
OpenStack is a cloud operating system that controls large pools of compute, storage, and networking resources throughout a datacenter, all managed through a dashboard that gives administrators control while empowering their users to provision resources through a web interface.
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.
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.
See all alternatives