Kubernetes vs Portainer

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Kubernetes

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Kubernetes vs Portainer: What are the differences?

Kubernetes and Portainer are distinct containerization and container management tools. They facilitate container deployment and management, they have significant differences in terms of their scope, architecture, scalability, learning curve, and community support. Here are the key differences between them:

  1. Scope and Purpose: Kubernetes is a robust container orchestration platform designed to automate the deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications across clusters of machines. It offers advanced features such as load balancing, auto-scaling, and container scheduling. Portainer, on the other hand, is a lightweight container management tool that provides a simplified interface for managing Docker containers.

  2. Architecture: Kubernetes follows a complex architecture consisting of multiple components, including master and worker nodes. It leverages a declarative model for defining the desired state of the containerized application infrastructure. In contrast, Portainer has a simpler architecture and focuses on providing a user-friendly graphical interface for managing Docker containers.

  3. Scalability: Kubernetes is specifically designed to handle large-scale deployments and can efficiently manage thousands of containers across multiple nodes. It offers robust scaling capabilities to accommodate high workloads and complex application architectures. While Portainer can handle smaller deployments, its scalability may not be as extensive as Kubernetes.

  4. Learning Curve: Kubernetes has a steep learning curve as it requires a solid understanding of container orchestration concepts and Kubernetes-specific configurations. Administrators and operators need to be familiar with its command-line tools and configuration files. Portainer, on the other hand, has a shallower learning curve and provides a more intuitive and user-friendly experience, making it easier for beginners to get started with container management.

  5. Community and Ecosystem: Kubernetes has a sizable and active community, as well as rich documentation, resources, and a broad ecosystem of third-party tools and connectors. It benefits from continuous development and improvement due to its widespread adoption. Portainer also has an active community, but its ecosystem may be relatively smaller compared to Kubernetes.

In summary, Kubernetes is a powerful container orchestration platform suited for complex, large-scale deployments, while Portainer offers simplicity and ease of use for managing Docker containers in smaller environments.

Advice on Kubernetes and Portainer

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 Kubernetes and Portainer
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 · 9M 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 Portainer
  • 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
  • 35
    Simple
  • 26
    Great UI
  • 19
    Friendly
  • 12
    Easy to setup, gives a practical interface for Docker
  • 11
    Because it just works, super simple yet powerful
  • 11
    Fully featured
  • 9
    A must for Docker DevOps
  • 7
    Free and opensource
  • 5
    API
  • 5
    It's simple, fast and the support is great
  • 4
    Template Support

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Cons of Kubernetes
Cons of Portainer
  • 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
    Be the first to leave a con

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    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 Portainer?

    It is a universal container management tool. It works with Kubernetes, Docker, Docker Swarm and Azure ACI. It allows you to manage containers without needing to know platform-specific code.

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

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

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    What are some alternatives to Kubernetes and Portainer?
    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
    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
    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
    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