Developers are becoming increasingly used to hearing the names Kubernetes and Docker in conjunction with one another. They’re both technologies associated with containers (packages of software that include all of the parts required to run an app, like the code and system libraries), but a common misconception is that they’re competing solutions. Developers might be familiar with “Kubernetes vs. Docker” discussions when, in fact, using Kubernetes with Docker is an excellent method of running containerized applications. But to understand what that means, we first have to look at what each platform does separately.
What Does Docker do?
Docker is currently the most popular container platform. In this context, containers are the solution to a classic developer dilemma: Often developers will write code that works perfectly well on their own machine, but fails when they try to implement it into the program it needs to live in. Containers are the solution to this dilemma — developers can package their code into one cohesive container image, which can then be run on any computer that also hosts a container platform.
30% of enterprise companies use Docker, and that number is steadily rising. If a developer can benefit from containerization, chances are they’ll look to Docker for their solution.
So, What Does Kubernetes Do, and How are They Related?
Now that you have a grasp on what Docker does and why it’s an important tool to be aware of, the first thing that’s important to understand about the Docker/Kubernetes relationship is that the two technologies serve fundamentally different purposes. As the Container Journal nicely put it, “Kubernetes takes containerization technology … and turns it up to 11.”
Kubernetes arrived as a solution to the next conundrum that comes with containerization: Now that the containers exist, how can they be organized? If Docker is in charge of packaging and distributing an application, Kubernetes is in charge of scaling and monitoring those apps. The tech solution combines containers that make up an application into intuitive groups for easy management and searchability.
The Kubernetes architecture allows for development teams to remain agile and flexible in a rapidly evolving digital landscape where agility and adaptability are increasingly vital to standing out amidst your competitors.
It is possible to use Docker without Kubernetes, although it’s not recommended for any organizations that hope to scale their apps and ensure that they’re easily available to as many interested users as possible. Conversely, is possible to use Kubernetes with another containerization solution, but as Docker has established itself as the premier app container solution, the Docker/Kubernetes combo remains the best integration on the market.
A solution that utilizes the Docker and Kubernetes pairing will save development teams hours of time, as the tech pairing allows apps to be installed in the cloud or on the premises in minutes, rather than days.