Kubernetes or Docker – How to utilize both Effectively in your Containerized Apps?

Did you know that by 2022, 75% of businesses will use containerized apps for their production and development? Kubernetes and Docker are two popular open source software for developing containerized apps and workloads. Containerized workloads have the advantage of providing elasticity and truncated charges.

 If you have microservices, it is best to go for container models as it speeds up the applications and minimizes disruption in operation.

But, which open source software should you choose? Kubernetes or Docker?

In reality, both the software compliments each other. Hence, you need to use both of them together for better results.

In this blog, let’s explore the basics of Kubernetes and Docker to understand why you need to use them together.

What is Kubernetes (K8s)?

Kubernetes, widely referred to as K8s, is a popular containerized app management platform with a simple API framework that helps you navigate the platform. Also, there is an option to scale your container into the desired state and manage its lifecycles better. 

How Does Kubernetes Work?

Kubernetes (K8s) creates virtual machines and ensures that different containers run on the VMs based on their resource requirements. Pods are the smallest operational unit of Kubernetes. With pods, you can scale yourself to the desired state.

Second, Kubernetes analyzes the health of your applications and ensures that they automatically restart or replicate the containers. In addition, you can also balance the load, scale your applications, and track resource utilization using Kubernetes.

Third, your container apps become portable when they run on the Kubernetes platform. Be it your local machine, cloud platform, or hybrid scenario, your apps perform consistently on all these platforms.

Fourth, the Kubernetes platform can be easily integrated with additional plugins and extensions to increase its monitoring and security capability.

What is Docker?

Docker is another platform for building and deploying containerized applications. It was launched in 2013 by Docker Inc. Using the Docker platform, you can quickly create secure applications. A single API is sufficient to produce simple commands and run your services.

What Are the Docker Components?

Docker comprises three major components: Software, Objects, and Registries.

The Docker software is known as the ‘daemon,’ which handles the Docker containers and objects. Users can interact with daemons using a ‘command-line interface (CLI).’

The main Docker objects are the containers, services, and images. While a container runs an application, Docker images can store and ship the applications. Lastly, services allow multiple containers to be scaled across different daemons.

Docker registry is a group of images. These can be public or private. Users can either push images on the registry platform or pull images from the registries. You can also use Docker registries to create notifications for events.

Be it virtual machines or single servers; Docker containers can run simultaneously in different environments like Windows, macOS, or Linux. 

The Docker platform helps you create a runtime environment. You can build and run containerized apps on any developmental machine using this runtime environment. Then, you can use Azure Container Registry or Docker Hub to share container images.

However, as the number of containers increases, it gets challenging to coordinate between them. Therefore, you need the help of the Kubernetes platform to navigate this challenge.

In the next section, let’s understand the difference between Kubernetes and Docker and what are the unique strengths of both these platforms.

Kubernetes vs. Docker: Major Differences

Kubernetes and Docker
Slow scaling up speed. However, it offers a stronger cluster state load balancing.Faster scale-up speed as compared to Kubernetes. However, it does not have a reliable cluster strength.
It is easy to upgrade a cluster.It is convenient to perform an agent update.
Kubernetes is more customizable and comprehensive in nature.Docker is less customizable.
You have to configure the load balance setting manually.With Docker, you can automatically balance your load.
Offers a comparatively easy installation process.Docker has a complex and time-consuming installation process.
Comparatively, low fault toleranceOffers higher fault tolerance
There is a container limit of 300000Docker has a container limit of 95000
Azure, Google, and AWS is the public cloud service provider.Only Azure provides Docker services via the cloud platform.
You can use a built-in faulty monitoring tool with Kubernetes.There are no built-in tools; instead, you have to use third-party tools.

Irrespective of the differences between Kubernetes and Docker, you need both of them. Let’s see how.

Kubernetes and  Docker: Why Should You Use Both of Them Together?

There is a misconception that we must choose either Kubernetes or Docker for building the applications. But, in reality, both these platforms complement each other to produce the best results.

Let’s explore this in detail.

Using Docker, you can write your code once and run it on multiple platforms. With Kubernetes, you can manage all the containers from a single control plane. Namespaces isolation mechanism helps you group different containers using staging environments and access permissions. Also, developers can easily collaborate on complex microservices without using the entire application in a development environment.

Hence, the Kubernetes-Docker combination creates a robust infrastructure. If some of your application nodes go offline, your app will keep functioning. Second, you can make your applications more scalable by adding more nodes or containers to your Kubernetes cluster.

Final Thoughts

Overall, Kubernetes and Docker have their strengths and weaknesses. Both are software for building containerized applications, yet both are different. Docker is made of three components objects, registries, and software. In contrast, Kubernetes works via containers, pods, and virtual machines (VMs).

When you use Kubernetes and Docker together, you can create a robust application platform. Also, your services become more scalable and secure. Hence, no matter how complex your application gets, you can navigate it better. Also, Kubernetes provides an inbuilt fault monitoring mechanism to analyze your applications better.

Going ahead, install both Kubernetes and Docker on your cloud platform and use the advantages of both of them.

Further Reading

Kubernetes: Everything you need to know
Containerize a .NET Core app using Docker
Helm with Kubernetes
How Helm with Kubernetes can simplify deployments?
Deploy with Jenkins
How to deploy .NET applications to Azure with Jenkins?
Top 7 Container Management Solutions
Top 7 Container Management Solutions
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