Top Container Orchestration Software in 2022

Container orchestration software helps companies to manage, schedule, network, and monitor application containers. 

Software developers look to container orchestration software to improve the speed, portability, and security of application development and deployment. Platforms in the container orchestration sector help developers with application resource allocation, updates, and upgrades as well as service delivery.

The global container orchestration market is estimated to be valued at $454 million in 2021 and projected to reach $1.7 billion by 2027, according to Imarc Group.

See below to learn all about container orchestration technologies and the top software in the container orchestration market:

Choosing the right container orchestration software

Top container orchestration software

Kubernetes

Kubernetes is container orchestration software made for automating deployment as well as scaling and managing containerized workloads and services. Kubernetes, or K8s, is an open-source platform to make up an application into logical units for easier management and discovery.

Kubernetes can deploy automatic application layers and technologies as well as monitor, analyze, and optimize every digital interaction. Kubernetes and its continuous automated deployment is one of the reasons Kubernetes is considered one of the top container orchestration platforms.

Kubernetes orchestration allows developers to“build application services that span multiple containers, schedule those containers across a cluster, scale those containers, and manage the health of those containers over time,” Red Hat says. “With Kubernetes, you can take real steps towards better IT security.” 

Differentiators

  • Open-source platform
  • Largest adoption on the market
  • Extended function library 
  • Control over microservices

Pricing

See Kubernetes’ pricing calculator for a price estimate.

For more products: Cisco: SecureX Product Review

Amazon ECS

Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS), is a container orchestration product by the cloud computing leader AWS, which offers over 200 services from its global data center network. AWS says its container services cover nearly 80% of containers in the cloud. Customers such as Vanguard, CyberAgent, and Expedia Group run their containers on AWS.

Amazon ECS uses serverless technology from Amazon Fargate to deliver autonomous container operations for reliability, security, and scalability. This reduces the time developers spend on configuration and patching. Instead of worrying about managing the control plane, add-ons, and nodes, Amazon ECS enables developers to rapidly build applications to grow a business.

Amazon’s container orchestration product is also recognized by customers for its capabilities. 

For instance, Amazon ECS Anywhere “enables us to use a fully managed control plane in the cloud that will orchestrate our containers and help us run tasks on our own infrastructure,” says Makoto Hasegawa, technical lead engineer of CIU, CyberAgent.

Differentiators

  • No control planes or nodes to manage
  • Lower compute costs
  • Meet security and regulatory requirements

Pricing

For specific pricing, visit AWS’ pricing calculator.

Google Kubernetes Engine

Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) is a container orchestration tool that uses Kubernetes to build a secure platform. With GKE’s ability to speed up app development, streamline operations with release channels, and keep information secure, GKE is considered a top container orchestration product.

GKE entered the market as one of the first managed container orchestration services available and also offers an autopilot mode, making the tool easier to use.

“While Kubernetes is great on its own, GKE completely eliminates all the infrastructure concerns and management of master nodes. We used to run our own clusters on physical hardware but after switching to GKE, there is no way we would ever consider going back,” says a 5-star reviewer at G2.

Differentiators

  • Node pools for additional flexibility
  • Automatic scaling of cluster’s node instance count
  • Automatic upgrades
  • Node auto-repair
  • Logging and monitoring

Pricing

Refer to Google Cloud’s pricing calculator for payment information.

See more: Adobe Audience Manager: Data Management Platform Product Review

Red Hat OpenShift

Red Hat OpenShift is an open-source Kubernetes container orchestration platform.  The software is built for enterprises for application productivity, security, and the hybrid cloud.  

OpenShift is a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) technology for companies that run on public cloud or on-premises infrastructure and built on Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

CRN recognized Red Hat Enterprise Linux as one of its “Tech Innovators.”

Differentiators

  • Small learning curve
  • Built-in continuous integration
  • Can be used to introduce specialized tasks through the application hosted on it

Pricing

See here for pricing for this tool.

Helios

Helios is an open-source Docker container orchestration platform for deploying and managing containers across many servers. 

Helios, developed by the team at Spotify, provides an HTTP API and a command-line client to interact with servers running a business container. The software also keeps a history of cluster events, such as deployments, restarts, and version changes. 

Helios says they are “not trying to solve everything today”, but they try to ensure their software version is “rock solid.” They say it has been “more important to get the CI/CD use cases and surrounding tooling solid first.” 

“I love how easy it manages containers that I need to spread across an entire fleet of servers and mounts,” says a 5-star reviewer at G2.

Differentiator

  • Run single-node and multi-node instances

Pricing

There is a free version of Helios. For more information, consult Helio’s website.

Amazon EKS

Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) is considered one of the top container orchestration products.

The platform allows developers to deploy applications across different environments, model machine learning (ML) workflows, and build and run web applications. Amazon EKS also features automatic application scaling and applies security patches to a cluster’s control plane.

“We explore solutions with the real-life example of how HSBC’s cloud services team built a secure multi-tenant platform for the company’s application teams to run mission-critical containerized applications on Amazon EKS,” says a solution architect at HSBC.

Differentiators

  • Use eksctl for launching nodes and single line management
  • Hybrid deployments
  • Serverless compute
  • Certified conformance

Pricing

Refer to AWS’ pricing calculator for payment information.

Rancher

Rancher is a recognized Kubernetes container orchestration product partly for its run time and security features. 

Rancher supports containerized workloads in on-premises, cloud, hybrid cloud, and edge deployments.

“Rancher is ideal for firms seeking a proven multicloud container management platform available on a wide variety of cloud platforms and edge environments,” says Forrester in a “New Wave” report.

Rancher also won a Customer Happiness Award in the customer loyalty category in 2020 by NiceReply.

Differentiators

  • Configuration tools
  • Uses app catalogs
  • Management of members, nodes, volumes and storage classes, projects, namespaces and workloads

Pricing

Request pricing based on business needs here.

Marathon

Marathon is a container orchestration platform for Mesosphere’s Datacenter Operating System (DC/OS) and Apache Mesos. 

The software includes features such as virtual IP routing and authorization methods to protect information. 

“Most important things: stability, reliability and great UI. Marathon is a fundamental building block of at least two leading orchestration solutions: Mesos and DC/OS. It runs as an active/passive cluster with leader selection to guarantee high availability. It has a built-in constraints system that allows you to easily plan where and how your containers will run,” says a 5-star reviewer on G2.

Differentiators

  • Multiple container run times
  • Bind persistent storage volumes
  • Service discovery and load balancing
  • Metrics and deprecated metrics

Pricing

Free version available. For more information, go to Marathon’s website.

Nomad

Nomad is a container orchestration tool by HashiCorp. Nomad has the ability to manage containerized or legacy applications using a united workflow. Supported by macOS, Windows, and Linux, Nomad is a flexible platform for container orchestration.

“A single container orchestrator — and specifically the powerhouse Nomad — offers our team a standardized platform and process to stand up apps more quickly and easily. Nomad also offers us a flexible, robust feature set and unparalleled scalability in our applications and operations,” says Nomad user Walker Palecek. 

HashiCorp has won various awards over the last several years, including Forbes’ “Cloud 100” in 2018 and 2019. 

Differentiators

  • Device plugins and GPU support
  • Deploy containers and legacy applications
  • Federation for multi-region

Pricing

For pricing, go to Nomad’s pricing page.

Docker Swarm

Docker Swarm is a container orchestration product that features several tools to help developers maintain, network, secure, and scale applications.

“Docker is a powerful tool for containerization. It gives the platform for building, testing and deploying applications using containers. Docker container helps to isolate the application which helps to execute the consistent test results,” says a 5-star reviewer from Capterra.

“Dockers helps to optimize the development and operational process. Docker Enterprise provides a one stop solution to all problems from its dashboard.”

Differentiators

  • Multi-host networking
  • Decentralized design
  • Lightweight

Pricing

For a price estimate, go here.

Features

Some of the key features of container orchestration include:

  • Automated scheduling
  • Load balancing of containers and files
  • Consistency for development, testing, and production
  • Infrastructure acts as a separate unit
  • Provides more resource utilization
  • Application-centric management

Benefits

Some of the key benefits of container orchestrion include:

  • Faster and reliable deployment
  • Accessibility in containers
  • Scalable architecture
  • Faster development
  • Efficient allocation of resources
  • Increased portability
  • Enhanced productivity
  • Improved security

Use cases

Conductor

Conductor was in need of a container orchestration product for a movie the company was producing. “This multicloud, multi-region orchestration architecture is what allowed us to pilot managed services and Nomad as our render farm solutions,” says Carlos Robles, senior DevOps engineer at Conductor, in a Nomad case study “There were a lot of lessons that we learned from using managed services that led to our success with Nomad.” 

Ancestry

Ancestry needed help with container orchestration. They were looking for a solution to help accelerate their products and support more development agility as well as stability and management.Ancestry was able to improve their production with Docker.“It always comes down to the orchestration part of it to make it really work,” says Paul McKay, software engineer and architect, Ancestry. 

Pinterest

As Pinterest started to grow, they began looking for container orchestration software to help increase efficiency within the business. Pinterest decided to go with Kubernetes to continue this process. “There were efficiency efforts, which worked fine at a certain scale, but now you have to move to a more decentralized way of managing that. So orchestration was something we thought could help solve that piece,” says Micheal Benedict, product manager, cloud and data infrastructure group, Pinterest. 

What to look for in container orchestration software

Container orchestration is “key to working with containers, and it allows organizations to unlock their full benefits,” says VMware.

A company’s size, budget, and specific application container needs should help them narrow their search for container orchestration software. 

Several factors can affect container orchestration pricing, such as the number of clusters, memory, and storage. 

Users should also look for minimum management overhead as well as technical flexibility and customization in their container orchestration software.

For more: Invicti: Web Application Security Product Review

Emma Crockett
Emma Crockett
Emma Crockett is a writer for Enterprise Storage Forum and Datamation based in Nashville, Tennessee. She writes research-based articles about data science and data storage. When she is not writing, she is searching for the best lattes in Nashville and playing with her dog, Dante.

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