Kubernetes vs Docker Swarm: What’s the Difference?

By | February 19, 2021
Kubernetes vs Docker

When you take your business to the cloud you have so many apps to run. Some of them serve the same purpose and others for different. Container orchestration helps you to reduce the complexity and give more control and flexibility over your cloud. There are three major players for the Container orchestration Kubernetes, Docker-swarm, and Mesos but out of these three tools people often choose between Kubernetes vs Docker-Swarm because Mesos is complex to deal with.

In this article, we will compare Kubernetes and Docker-Swarm to help you to choose the best tool, according to your compatibility and requirement.


Kubernetes vs Docker Swarm

Before comparing Kubernetes and Docker-Swarm let’s discuss what is Container Orchestration and why we need those?

See, if you have migrated to the cloud and you have a ton of apps to run then you might require containers that could contain the specific apps for you and run only those apps which you want to run.

Container Orchestration helps you to shear your app on different servers basically it provides you a Management platform, which gives you full control over a bunch of your data and apps. You can suspend and close your app with a single click. Orchestration provides you with many features such as Provision host, instantiating a set of Containers, Rescheduling Failed containers, scaling out the cluster, and many more.



Kubernetes is a container orchestration tool or in simple words, it is a container management tool. It can automate container deployment, container scaling or descaling, and container load balancing. It was designed by Google and later on google donate it to a cloud-native computing foundation. Now Kubernetes is open-source container orchestration. It is the child of Google which made it most selling Container Orchestration.

It was released on 7th June 2104 and designed to provide a platform for automating, scaling, deploying, and operating application containers across a cluster of hosts.

Main features of Kubernetes

  • Automatic Bin packing
  • Self-healing
  • Horizontal scaling
  • Service Discovery and Load Balancing
  • Batch Execution
  • Storage Orchestration
  • Automatic Rollback and Rollouts
  • Secret and Configuration Management


Doctor Swarm

Docker-Swarm is a container Orchestration own by Dockers. Many times people get confused between docker and Docker-Swarm so just to clarify Docker-swarm is Container Orchestration not Docker. It was initially released in 2013 and it was designed to reduce the complexity of container Orchestration that’s why Dockers are simple and powerful.

It is an open-source platform and compatible with Linux, Windows, and macOS.

The main feature of Docker Swarm:

  • Cluster Management integrated with Docker Engine
  • Decentralized Design
  • Declarative Service Model
  • Scaling
  • Desired State Reconciliation
  • Multi-host Networking
  • Service Discovery
  • Load Balancing
  • Secure by Default
  • Rolling Updates

So, let’s jump to the quick comparison Between Kubernetes vs Docker Swarm:

Parameters Kubernetes Docker Swarm
Developed by Google Docker Inc.
Source Open-source Open-source
Installation Setting up the Kubernetes is quite complicated and tricky. But once it is done you are good to go and won’t find any difficult to work on it. On the other hand, Docker Swarm was specially designed to reduce the complexity so installing and setup procedure of Swarm is simple.
Cluster The cluster strength is strong. In Swarm also, cluster strength is strong.
Functionality The real deal of Kubernetes functionality shows up when you are dealing with 100s of containers. If we are talking about a small number of containers around 10 to 20 Swarm works the same as Kubernetes but if we take a large number of containers there swarm is not that much powerful as Kubernetes.
GUI Kubernetes provides you with a GUI dashboard on which you can easily control your cluster. In Swarm, you don’t get any GUI feature.
Fault tolerance High Low
Scaling In Kubernetes, the scalability is easy but slow. In Scalability, Swarm is far ahead than Kubernetes. In a swarm, the scalability is 4 to 5 times faster than Kubernetes.
Rollback In Kubernetes, you will get Automatic Rollback. There are no Automatic Rollbacks in Swarm.
Auto-Scaling It comes with the brilliant feature of Auto-Scaling, which come handy a lot of time when the traffic of your business increase or reduce. In Swarm, you do not get this feature you need to manually set the scaling.
Logging and monitoring There is an in-built logging and monitoring tool in Kubernetes. There is no in-built tool for logging and monitoring in Swarm, but you can use a 3rd Party tool for this purpose.
Community Kubernetes has a very large community across the globe. Swarm is growing as a community but it is not large as Kubernetes.

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