Kubernetes vs. Docker

A modern cloud-native container system combines various technologies to keep the containers running. Out of all the container systems available on the market, Kubernetes and Docker stand out as having completely changed the way of container construction and management.

Kubernetes, or K8s, is an accessible technology that runs and launches large-scale Docker containers. The technology uses advanced tools and features to repair and restart containers during errors. Container orchestration is now synonymous with Kubernetes. According to a CNCF poll, 78% of respondents use it in manufacturing.

On the other hand, Docker is a platform-independent tool with advanced features for performing various container operations, including constructing, distributing, and running isolated containers.

Organizations usually use Kubernetes and Docker in tandem. Yet, Docker registries, the OCI (Open Container Initiative), and other Docker image formats are still supported by Kubernetes. Given that, enterprises can now choose whichever solution they prefer.

The following article evaluates the characteristics of Kubernetes and Docker solutions for the container ecosystem and helps you pick a side:

Kubernetes vs. Docker: Portfolio

Kubernetes gradually implements modifications and updates to your application’s configuration while keeping track of the application’s functionality by ensuring that not all instances run on the same thing. Kubernetes will automatically reverse the changes if an error occurs.

Kubernetes will also automatically kill the containers and replace and reschedule those failed containers on other available nodes if the containers encounter any unanticipated problems and fail during the execution period. Additionally, it gives you the freedom to mount any storage system you choose, whether it’s a network storage system, like Ceph, Cinder, or Flocker, a public cloud service like AWS, or local storage on your computer.

Docker includes sophisticated tools that are used to construct lightweight containers quickly. The infrastructure requirements are no longer connected to the application’s environment because Docker may be utilized in many contexts.

Containers from Docker are used to run applications in a secluded setting. Due to the independence of each container, Docker may run any program. Clients may operate Swarm, the Docker container scheduling and clustering tool, over the Docker API and can also manage a cluster of Docker servers as a single virtual host. Docker can also scale back development since it uses containers to decrease the OS’s overall footprint.

Kubernetes Docker
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Kubernetes vs. Docker: Partners

Kubernetes’ partner program focuses on providing Kubernetes consulting, professional services, training, and support for Kubernetes deployments for businesses.

Docker, on the other hand, provides a seamless development experience through collaboration with important partners. Its partner types include Alliance Partners, Distribution Partners, and Docker Verified Publisher (DVP) Extensions Partners. Through these programs, Docker offers clients a faultless experience, integrations into Docker Desktop, assistance with marketing operations using Docker, and many other services.

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Kubernetes vs. Docker: Use Cases

Kubernetes

Kubernetes offers seven main use cases: simple application deployment, orchestrating microservices architecture, migration of on-premises applications to the cloud, performing continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) tasks, heavy computing tasks, cloud-native network functions management, and machine learning (ML) workflows to deploy artificial intelligence (AI)-based applications faster.

While though many of Babylon’s products use ML and AI, there previously wasn’t enough internal processing capacity to execute a particular experiment. The business was expanding into new nations and growing, from 100 to 1,600 employees in three years. Following the installation of Kubeflow, a machine learning toolkit for Kubernetes, businesses could compute tasks intended to take hours in just minutes.

When Booking.com was migrated to an OpenShift platform, the developers faced several issues that were readily resolved by implementing Kubernetes. The organization constructed up to 500 new services in the first eight months using the new Kubernetes platform.

The U.S. government and Booz Allen Hamilton’s Strategic Innovation Group previously collaborated to relaunch recreation.gov. This website had been inactive for 10 years but offered real-time booking for more than 100,000 facilities and campsites on national federal lands. For the various government agencies that Booz Allen Hamilton serves as clients, the infrastructure must be adaptable, dependable, scalable, and repeatable. Because monitoring, security, and logging were built-in, developers could construct and publish new services to production within a week — after the improvements expected to take months were completed in 30 minutes.

Docker

Docker enables organizations of all sizes to adapt to the current technology and consumer demands quickly. It ensures that a function created in the software suite will function whenever needed, in any computing environment, setup, and development environment, and users can switch between older and more recent versions at any time.

With Docker, users can run the same program or different versions of the same app on many machines without having those aspects affect the development process. This is made possible because, in contrast to virtual machines (VMs), Docker runs like an isolated application while using the host system’s kernel. This facilitates the development of apps by allowing infrastructure to be separated from the needs of the computing environment.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) uses containerization technologies, particularly Docker, to deliver imaging software services. Additionally, it makes use of Docker and AI to gather information from numerous websites and curate it for use by doctors in decision-making. Additionally, it permits the adoption of continuous integration and testing practices with all hospital collaborators and the use of modern technology.

Given the containers’ popularity, Netflix implemented its infrastructure using Docker, integrated Amazon EC2 services, and named it Titus. Titus assists developers in defining the precise code and dependency requirements, enabling the rapid creation of complex infrastructure. Netflix also created its multi-tenant isolation using Linux and Docker. This facilitates the quicker rollout of new upgrades while accommodating specific customer preferences.

Kubernetes Docker
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Kubernetes vs. Docker: User Reviews

Kubernetes and Docker are well-known technologies that have mostly received positive feedback from users at technology review sites. In terms of ratings, while both solutions receive positive feedback, Docker appears to have the upper hand.

Kubernetes   Docker
Gartner Peer Reviews  4.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5
Capterra 4.7 out of 5 4.6 out of 5
TrustRadius  8.9 out of 10 9 out of 10
G2 4.5 out of 5 4.6 out of 5
Overall

Kubernetes vs. Docker: Industry Recognition

Kubernetes is a well-known technology utilized in the world of container-based applications. The following is a list of honors the platform has received:

  • Kubernetes received the Most Impact award at OSCON in 2018.
  • StackRox, a Kubernetes security solution, has won the SC Media Award for Best Emerging Technology in 2019.
  • Rafay’s Kubernetes Operations Platform got the Stratus Award for Cloud Computing in 2021.
  • Nirmata solutions were awarded gold in the 2022 Cybersecurity Excellence Product/Service Awards for policy-based security and production automation.

Docker has also received its share of recognition. Docker was voted the most desired and second most-beloved developer tool in the 2019 Stack Overflow Survey. It was also named the most innovative software delivery system in the 2016 JAX Innovation Awards. Numerous platforms have lauded Docker’s versatility and efficacy in swiftly building containers.

Kubernetes Docker
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Kubernetes vs. Docker: Overall

Kubernetes and Docker are both open-source, cloud-native technologies. Additionally, major cloud service providers include managed options that handle both Kubernetes and Docker components. The two vary because Kubernetes is designed to run containerized apps across a cluster, whereas Docker focuses on packing containerized programs on a single node. These packages are frequently used in conjunction, since they each do different tasks.

Both Docker and Kubernetes are independent tools. A smaller project may profit from simply adopting Docker instead of Kubernetes, but a large organization may benefit from it and be able to handle its maintenance. Or a business may use OCI or Docker containers in conjunction with another container scheduler. Similarly, Kubernetes works with other container types and run times but is most frequently used with Docker containers.

Kubernetes  Docker
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Conclusions

The rise of microservices has necessitated the emergence of both Docker and Kubernetes. Teams in this paradigm must deliver highly available services to end customers while iterating quickly. Although containers provide a scalable, lightweight delivery method for these apps, controlling them at scale presents difficulties.

Modern container management platform adoption leads to faster deployment times and cost savings. Despite Docker’s advantage, Kubernetes is the best option for effectively managing large-scale distributed applications with hundreds of linked microservice architectures, including datasets, classified info, and quantities of resources.

Kashyap Vyas
Kashyap Vyas
Kashyap Vyas is a writer with 9+ years of experience writing about SaaS, cloud communications, data analytics, IT security, and STEM topics. In addition to IT Business Edge, he's been a contributor to publications including Interesting Engineering, Machine Design, Design World, and several other peer-reviewed journals. Kashyap is also a digital marketing enthusiast and runs his own small consulting agency.

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