Kubernetes vs Docker: Differences and Use Cases

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Kubernetes vs Docker: Let’s delve into the specifics of their differences and how they collaborate in order to understand them better.

Developing and shipping programs within containers – also known as Docker images – is the focus of Docker, whereas Kubernetes is responsible for high-level orchestration across potentially billions of these containers.

They’re different but complementary, and they operate well together in large-scale, complex deployments, which is a rare occurrence.

During our discussion of the differences and advantages of each platform, you’ll gain a better understanding of the broad picture and be able to learn more by utilizing in-depth resources that will provide you with both book knowledge and hands-on experience.

What are containers, and how do they work?

It’s beneficial to take a step back and become familiar with the concept of containers in application development and deployment before evaluating the advantages of Kubernetes vs Docker.

A container is a piece of software that bundles together code and all of its dependencies in order for the application to run swiftly and consistently in any computing environment. Containers can be thought of as virtual machines that are small and lightweight. Virtual machines necessitate the virtualization of the complete operating system as well as any software that you intend to run on them. As a result, virtual machines are extremely resource-intensive.

Containers, which were first introduced by the Linux operating system, were designed to overcome this issue. It’s simple: if you already have a Linux operating system running on your computer, why not create a new operating system for each virtual machine that runs on that operating system?

Instead, you can use the core operating system (also known as the kernel) for each virtual machine. As a result, virtual machines can only run the software that is required of them.

Containers are assisting teams of all sizes in resolving difficulties such as consistency, scalability, security, and scalability by providing a unified platform. Containers, such as Docker, can be used to keep the application and the underlying infrastructure separate and distinct.

What exactly is Docker?

Kubernetes vs Docker

With Docker, you can keep your application and its underlying infrastructure completely distinct. It compiles your code along with all of its dependencies into a single self-contained entity that can be run on any supported operating system.

Docker has both advantages and cons.

The advantages of Docker, in addition to being the most popular platform and the de facto standard for container images, include the advantages of containerization:

Docker has a number of advantages.

In addition to being portable and scalable, Docker (including Docker Compose) provides greater security due to its isolation. This may be a different setup than what you are accustomed to, which brings us to some of the disadvantages of Docker.

Docker has a number of disadvantages.

While containerization does have some advantages, it also has significant drawbacks. Negative comments include the fact that containers aren’t necessarily slower than running on bare metal, that the ecosystem is a little all over the place and fractured, that there are challenges with persistent storage because containers can be moved and are modular, and that some applications (particularly monolithic ones) would perform poorly when running in containers.

What exactly is Kubernetes?

Kubernetes is the container orchestration technology that is currently the industry standard.

Kubernetes makes it simple to manage and deploy containers on a big scale, and it is open source. Google developed it as a result of years of hands-on experience with containers in the manufacturing environment. Kubernetes provides a toolbox for automating the scaling and operation of containerized applications in production environments.

Kubernetes has both advantages and cons.

The advantages of Kubernetes include everything we’ve discussed thus far, including the following:

  • balance of the load
  • packing that is automatic
  • mechanisms for self-healing
  • powerful in terms of CI/CD methodology
  • orchestration of complicated deployments on a sophisticated level
  • Kubernetes does have some drawbacks, which are the polar opposite of all of the advantages described above. These drawbacks are as follows:
  • For all but the largest installations, this can be a solution that is either too much or too expensive.
  • It can be time-consuming to implement and has a steep learning curve.
  • As a result of its sophistication, a project becomes more complicated.

When comparing Kubernetes with Docker, what is the main difference?

As said at the outset of this piece, there is a significant difference between Kubernetes and Docker in terms of functionality. In most cases, when people talk about Docker, they’re referring to Docker Compose, which is a tool for building individual containerized apps from scratch. Docker Compose has established itself as the industry standard, and the term “Docker” has become a shorthand. A container orchestration solution, such as Kubernetes, allows you to manage all of your container resources from a centralized management plane. It was originally developed by Google to monitor and operate enormous numbers of containers (billions), and it is now available as open source software. If you want to lean coding and want to know more about it check out our detailed PluralSight Review.

Kubernetes vs. Docker Compose: Which is Better?

Docker Compose is the fundamental Docker product, and when people ask “Kubernetes vs Docker,” they are referring to the Docker Compose product, which allows you to develop containerized apps. Whenever you’re considering your options, it’s a good idea to ask yourself, “Why not both?” By combining the two technologies, you’ll be able to isolate applications as containerized systems and orchestrate large numbers of them in a safe and predictable manner while maintaining high availability.

Kubernetes vs Docker Swarm: Which is Better?

Docker Swarm is the container orchestration technology developed by Docker, making a comparison between it and Kubernetes far more relevant than a comparison between Kubernetes and Docker Compose. In terms of weight and complexity, Docker Swarm is a more lightweight and simpler orchestration system than Kubernetes, but it lacks the automation and self-healing capabilities that Kubernetes has, which can be critical in large-scale deployments.

Quick Links:

Certifications for Kubernetes versus Docker

Although Kubernetes has a greater number of certifications than Docker, because the two technologies are so distinct, it is still beneficial to be familiar with the certifications issued by both. The materials listed below will help you become more comfortable with Kubernetes and Docker certificates.

Jacob Keifer

Jacob Keifer is the main author of Kawa College of Education. He spends most of his time writing best online course reviews, learning new skills, and playing chess. Jacob is a Texas-based writer and blogger with more than a decade of experience covering online education. Before launching his education blogs, he was a professional teacher who has trained many students and helped them pursue their careers.  

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