Kubernetes vs Docker – Apples vs Oranges



This blog post compares Kubernetes vs. Docker, and talks about the similarities and differences between the two platforms.

Brief Intro to Docker

Docker is an open-source aggregate of the platform as a service (PAAS) products and tools using OS-level virtualization to create, deploy, build, and run applications in packages known as Containers. It enables developers to deliver and deploy the applications and all their dependencies as one package known as ‘containers.’ The application can be run on any other machine, no matter how different it is from the actual developer machine.

Brief Intro to Kubernetes

Kubernetes is open-source container management software developed in the Google platform. It enables process automation of managing, scaling, updating, and releasing containers based on workloads. Kubernetes is a container orchestration platform that helps you to centrally manage containerized applications in various types of physical, virtual, and cloud environments.

Docker vs Kubernetes

Comparing Docker with Kubernetes is similar to comparing apples to oranges. They work independently of each other. But they are better when performed together. Let us walk through some differences and similarities when thinking of Docker vs. Kubernetes.


While there are a lot of technical differences w.r.t. setup, installation, implementation, etc., below are the significant differences between them.

  1. Docker is an open-source lightweight containerization technology that enables building containers in the first place. On the other hand, Kubernetes can work with any containerization technology like Docker and rkt, and its primary responsibility is being a container orchestration platform enabling efficient central management of many containerized applications.
  2. Docker is founded by Solomon Hykes and is first started as Docker Inc. in 2013 in Santa Clara whereas Kubernetes is developed by Google and is released into the market in 2014.
  3. Docker engine has orchestration features built using Swarm which is challenging and complicated to set up a cluster and also does not support auto-scaling. Kubernetes supports auto-scaling and is so simple to set up a cluster that even Docker realized its pace and these days Docker with Desktop comes with its own Kubernetes distribution.


While they are different in many ways, they are like-minded, complementing and collaborating well, exchanging great ideas and best practices. Below are a few such ideas:

  1. Both love and use microservice-based architecture.
  2. Docker and Kubernets are open source communities with many open source projects.
  3. Both are largely Go written allowing them to be shipped as lightweight binaries.
  4. Docker and Kubernets use YAML files easily read by any human for specifying their deployments and application stacks.

In case you want to learn more about Kubernetes and Docker, please check the youtube video below:

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