What is Kubernetes?
Kubernetes is an open-source container management tool hosted by Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). Kubernetes is a platform that eliminates the manual processes involved in deploying containerized applications. It is also known as ‘k8s’. Kubernetes is an extensible, portable, and open-source platform designed by Google in 2014.
This container-orchestration system handles the work of scheduling containers onto a compute cluster and manages the workloads to ensure they run as the user intends. Being Google’s brainchild, it offers excellent community and works brilliantly with all the cloud providers to become a multi-container management solution.
Now, before moving forward in this tutorial, let me just quickly brief you about containerization.
What is Containers?
Containers create a virtualization environment that allows us to run multiple applications or operating systems without interrupting each other. Containers are lightweight because they don’t need the extra load of a hypervisor. They can directly run within the host machine.
Before containers came into existence, the developers and the testers always had arguments between them. This usually happened because what worked on the developer’s side would not work on the testing side. Actually, both of them existed in different environments.
To avoid such scenarios, containers were introduced to keep both the Developers and Testers on the same page.
But handling a large number of containers altogether was also a problem. Sometimes, while running containers, few issues were raised on the product side, which was not present at the development stage. This kind of scenario introduced the Container Orchestration System.
Challenges Without Container Orchestration
As you can see in the above diagram, when multiple services run inside containers, you may want to scale these containers. In large scale industries, this is really tough to do. That’s because it would increase the cost of maintaining services and the complexity of running them side-by-side.
So to avoid setting up services manually & overcome the challenges, something big was needed. This is where Container Orchestration Engine comes into the picture.
This container orchestration lets us organize multiple containers to launch all the underlying machines, and containers are healthy and distributed in a clustered environment. In today’s world, there are mainly two such engines: Kubernetes & Docker Swarm.
Kubernetes vs Docker Swarm
Kubernetes and Docker Swarm are leading container orchestration tools in today’s market. So before using them in production, we should know what exactly they are and how they work.
I would also like to remind you that people misunderstand Docker Swarm and Docker. Docker is just a containerization platform. Docker Swarm is a container orchestration platform, the same as Kubernetes.
The differences between Kubernetes vs Docker Swarm are briefly summarized in the below table.
If I could choose my pick between the two, it would have to be Kubernetes since containers need to be managed and connected to the outside world for scheduling, load balancing, and distribution.
But, if you think logically, Docker Swarm would make a better option, as it runs on top of Docker, right? If I were you, I would have definitely got confused about which tool to use. But hey, Kubernetes is an undisputed leader in the market and runs on top of Docker containers with better functionalities.