What Is The Difference Between Kubernetes and Docker?

Kubernetes vs. Docker: Find out what are the Key Differences between Kubernetes and Docker, their Similarities, Pros & Cons.
Kubernetes ou Docker: Quelle est la différence?

Kubernetes is an open-source software developed by Google for container management, and Docker is an open-source technology for containerization. Though both these tools help in running apps within Linux containers, they function at different layers of the stack. You can use them individually according to your requirements. However, using them together is more beneficial.

What is Kubernetes vs. Docker?

To understand what is Kubernetes and Docker, we first need to get an overview of their definitions.

What is Kubernetes?

Kubernetes is a container management software that allows you to manage containerized applications in several types of environments, be it a physical, virtual, or cloud environment.

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What is Docker?

Docker is a container platform that empowers you to automate the deployment of apps in the form of self-sufficient and portable containers.

Kubernetes vs Docker Similarities Explained

  • Both these tools help an application developer to deploy containers inside a cluster.
  • They are extremely lightweight tools.
  • To specify application stacks, both Kubernetes and Docker use YAML files.
  • Both these tools are backed by active communities with regular updates and support.

Considering Kubernetes vs. Docker Swarm Differences

While comparing Kubernetes and Docker, it is essential to bring out the Docker Swarm vs. Kubernetes difference as well.

BasisKubernetesDocker Swarm
ApplicationsThese can be deployed as a combination of services, deployments, and pods.These can be deployed as services.
Knowledge of language It requires a knowledge of Command Line Interface (CLI) over and above Docker.Being a Docker tool, knowledge of any additional language is not required.
Speed and scalabilityIt offers slow scaling.It offers rapid scaling.
InstallationIt is difficult to install.It is extremely easy to install.
MonitoringIt supports several versions.It supports monitoring over 3rd-party applications only.
FlexibilityIt offers less flexibility.It offers more flexibility.
NetworkIt features a flat network for the communication of pods. It features an overlay network.

Considering Kubernetes vs. Docker Compose Differences

A Docker compose vs. Kubernetes comparison is also essential to clear out the confusion between Kubernetes and Docker.

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BasisKubernetesDocker Compose
WorkingIt runs on multiple servers.All containers run on a single host machine.
PurposeIt is an orchestration system that handles scheduling onto nodes.It converts a multi-container application to a single command.
Ease of useIt comes with a steep learning curve.It is easy to set-up.
FlexibilityIt is not tied to a single machine.It is tied to a single machine.

Kubernetes vs. Docker Pros and Cons

Pros of Kubernetes

  • It offers easy organization via pods.
  • The tool features a wide variety of storage options.
  • It has the backing of Google.
  • It works on the principle of immutable infrastructure.
  • There is a large community behind this tool.
  • It is open-source.
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Cons of  Kubernetes

  • It involves a complicated installation process.
  • It offers limited functionality as compared to the Docker API.
  • It involves complex manual cluster deployment.
  • The migration procedure is difficult.

Pros of Docker

  • It is easy to set up.
  • It allows a detailed description of the application lifecycle.
  • Integration with existing Docker tools is easy.
  • It helps an app run in a quick-paced environment.
  • It enables the developer to track his container versions for catching any discrepancies.
  • Supported documentation provides useful information.
  • It provides effective isolation of applications.
  • It is open-source.

Cons of Docker

  • It does not offer proper monitoring.
  • It lacks storage options.
  • The tool involves complex horizontal scaling.
  • It does not offer automatic rescheduling of inactive nodes.
  • Support from additional tools is needed for handling various production aspects.

How Is Kubernetes Different From Docker?

Docker is a complete software that allows you to run containerized applications with ease, whereas Kubernetes can be called a container orchestrator for several container platforms, including Docker.

Does Kubernetes Need Docker?

No, Kubernetes does not need Docker to carry out its operations.

Can Kubernetes Run Without Docker?

It can run without Docker as it is an open-source container management software.

Is Docker a VM?

No, Docker is not a VM. Docker is much easier to work with and has several distinct features that deliver much more value than a Virtual Machine. A Docker uses much fewer resources than a VM and works faster due to lightweight containers. 

Is Kubernetes a PaaS?

No, Kubernetes is not a PaaS at all. The traditional Platform as a Service system operates at the hardware level, whereas Kubernetes functions at the container level. Kubernetes, however, does offer some generally applicable features that are available in the PaaS system.

Is Docker IaaS or PaaS?

Docker is neither an IaaS or PaaS. It is not as flexible as IaaS. When Docker is combined with an IaaS, the benefits of PaaS can be extracted without getting any limitations along with it. This helps in improving a developer’s overall experience. 

For PaaS, Docker is just an enabler and used as building blocks for the PaaS system.

Why is Docker so popular? 

Docker is popular as it has revolutionized the development of apps by making it possible to run several apps on the same server. With shared hardware systems, it offers excellent economies of scale.

Kubernetes vs. Docker Comparison Table

ScalingIt offers auto-scaling.It does not offer auto-scaling.
InstallationIt is difficult to install.It is easy to install.
Load-balancingLoad-balancing settings need to be configured manually.It performs automatic load-balancing.
DeveloperIt is developed by Google.It is developed by Docker Inc.
Logging and monitoringIt offers an in-built tool.It does not offer an in-built tool.
ScalabilityScaling up is slow.Scaling up is fast.
Tolerance ratioIt has low fault tolerance. It has a high fault tolerance.
OptimizationIt is optimized for numerous small clusters.It is optimized for a single large cluster.
CustomizationIt offers more customization.It offers relatively less customization.
Sharing data volumeIt shares data volume with any container.It shares data volume only with the containers in the same pod.
ExtensivenessIt is more comprehensive.It is less extensive.

Comparison Chart

Kubernetes vs. Docker: Differences, Similarities, Pros & Cons

Comparison Video

Docker vs Kubernetes vs Docker Swarm | Comparison in 5 mins

The Final Words

Kubernetes and Docker serve two different purposes. Depending on your needs, you can choose to use either of the two. To get further clarity of their work, you can also consider investing in Kubernetes and Docker tutorial. It will equip you with the knowledge of bringing these platforms into practical use.

Alex Stantor
Alex Stantor

Alex Stantor is a Sorbonne University (Paris, France) graduate in Philosophy and Data Analysis. Currently, he is an Author and Researcher at Difference 101, he writes articles/blog posts on topics such as "thinking differently" and "the importance of difference". Alex is a passionate advocate of diversity in the workplace and in companies, and diversity and inclusion in corporate communications. He currently lives in Brooklyn.

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