Skip to main content


Is Kubernetes replacing Docker? This question has been a hot topic for discussion lately. Along those lines, the “this vs. that” scenario has been widely employed amongst technologists. But it’s safe to say that there’s certainly some misinterpretation about these technologies. Why?

Because Kubernetes and Docker are primarily different technologies that do have a few differences, yes, but cannot replace each other. But are they great together? Let’s find out.

This article will look at some of the differentiating features between these two powerful technologies and see how they can help businesses when used in tandem.

What is Docker?

Docker is a software development platform that makes it easy for developers to develop and deploy apps within packaged containerized environments. So, no matter the environment or machine, apps run the same way thanks to containers.

What are containers? They are isolated units of software, and each of them holds a group of processes that enable applications to run quickly in every environment. Each of these has its specific jobs, memory, shared resources, etc.

Docker containers can be used to rapidly deploy on any machine without any compatibility issues. Therefore, using Docker paves the way for low maintenance, reduces a ton of effort, and facilitates easy deployment. A major benefit of a Docker container is its ability to let you build scalable, portable apps due to sharing of hardware resources.

What is Kubernetes?

A container orchestration framework, Kubernetes, originally developed by Google, manages containers, including Docker and other technologies.

It further helps to deploy and manage containerized applications in various deployment environments – physical, cloud, virtual, etc. The Kubernetes system automates most container-related activities like creation, configuration, management, maintenance, and more, making it the most sought-after container orchestration tool.

Famous apps like Airbnb, Pinterest, and Spotify run on Kubernetes. Developers can easily control how their applications interact on and outside of Kubernetes and quickly scale them up and down.

Additionally, for organizations that have transitioned to using a microservices-based architecture, using Kubernetes to deploy them can be of tremendous help. Why? Because of its ability to manage, deploy, and scale hundreds or more microservices.

Kubernetes vs. Docker – What’s the Difference?

A straight-up comparison is – Docker is used as a technology to define and deploy containers. Contrarily, Kubernetes is a container orchestration framework that manages and runs multiple containers across clusters at runtime.

Kubernetes majorly depends on Docker’s containers to perform its orchestration tasks. And most companies may require either or both, depending on their business requirements.

Kubernetes is highly extensible and helps with automation, whereas Docker is great for building containers and portable with its containerized applications.

Docker is most suited for addressing fast-changing business needs due to its ability to drive agility. Kubernetes, on the other hand, is popular for its open-source contribution and support from major cloud providers, especially Google and Amazon.

Can Docker and Kubernetes Be Used Together?

Now we’re back to addressing the central question. Are these two technologies competitors or allies?

Let’s look at the four biggest advantages of using Kubernetes WITH Docker:

Faster Deliveries

When Kubernetes is used with Docker, you will start to deliver applications much faster than you’re used to. How is this possible?

Because with Docker, you have your container building and isolation taken care of, and Kubernetes helps you orchestrate these containers — thus fastening the usual development and deployment cycles while increasing overall productivity.

Helps Deploy Scalable Apps

One of the most prominent similarities between these two technologies is their ability to scale applications rapidly. Application scalability is when the app can handle any additional load like workflows, users, systems, and more without losing any of its core functionality.

And Kubernetes and Docker are built to handle these changes in their deployed apps and evolve with business needs owing to their optimum container abilities.

Forms a Perfect Container Solution Duo

Most developers are after Docker for its super useful Toolkit that works seamlessly with building and deploying containers on major cloud platforms. Containerization has made cloud platforms even more powerful and led to more innovations in this field.

Since containerized apps are easily portable, Docker makes it easier to migrate these apps onto the cloud environment with zero changes in app functionality. And how can Kubernetes support this scenario?

Kubernetes brings the much-needed auto-scaling, built-in monitoring, and efficient container management into the bigger picture, making both these technologies a perfect solution for container orchestration.

Final Thoughts

Kubernetes, in itself, is not an end-to-end solution for deploying containerized applications and needs Docker.

So, the final verdict is that Kubernetes and Docker do work well together. If your main focus is to continuously innovate, create and deliver highly available, scalable apps using flawless container solutions – then integrate Docker and Kubernetes and benefit from their capabilities.

For more in-depth insights, get in touch with our development specialists today!

Nitin Tappe

After successful stint in a corporate role, Nitin is back to what he enjoys most – conceptualizing new software solutions to solve business problems. Nitin is a postgraduate from IIT, Mumbai, India and in his 24 years of career, has played key roles in building a desktop as well as enterprise solutions right from idealization to launch which are adopted by many Fortune 500 companies. As a Founder member of Pratiti Technologies, he is committed to applying his management learning as well as the passion for building new solutions to realize your innovation with certainty.

Leave a Reply

Request a call back