Kubernetes vs Docker Swarm: A Complete Comparison Guide


You know, At some point when you use Docker you might be going through with this term; Docker Swarm. Everybody is trying to explore something new to Docker and so Docker Swarm. Everybody is talking about it, but what the heck is it?

What is Docker Swarm?

Docker Swarm is a tool to create clusters of distinct nodes that act as a single daemon so you can run easily the containers along with the multiple servers as if they’re being run in a separated node, with all the advantages you have when using a cluster, like high availability and the scalability. Docker Swarm is a clustering and scheduling tool for Docker containers. With Swarm, IT executives and developers can build and manage a cluster of Docker nodes as a single virtual system.

In the below section, you can catch an overview of Docker Swarm.

Overview of Docker Swarm

In the orchestration of docker, docker swarm plays a role in supporting as the native system. Mainly it employs the main standard Docker API and the networking, it supports in making easy to drop into an environment where the developers already working with the docker containers. In simple words, the swarm is the native clustering for the docker. Docker Swarm is designed around four core principles: simple yet powerful with a “just works” user experience, resilient zero single-point-of-failure architecture, secure by default with automatically generated certificates, and backward compatibility with existing components. The promise of backward compatibility is especially important to current users. Any tools or containers that work with Docker run equally well in Docker Swarm.

Docker Swarm is a tool for Container Orchestration

Let’s take an illustration: You have 100 containers and you need to do the following steps:-

  • Health check on every container
  • Ensure all containers are upon every system
  • Scaling the containers up or down depending on the load
  • Adding updates/changes to all the containers

In today’s market, Kubernetes and docker swarm is the most consequential orchestration tool. The developer must hold the familiarity of its basic features along with the major difference between these open-source systems.

Difference between Kubernetes and Docker Swarm

Kubernetes and Docker swarm are both open-source are the biggest orchestrational tools in the market. So if trying to use them in the pod, you must know what the heck they are and how they work in actual. What are the biggest features they both contain? Look at the comparison and you will get a clear view.



Docker Swarm


Kubernetes or K8s deployed at scale often among many of the organizations. It contains a good community.

Swarm doesn’t hold the feature of auto-scaling.


Kubernetes is quite easy to initiate A cluster. It contains a great and active community.

It is quite tough and often confronts the major difficulties to initiate a cluster.


In Kubernetes, installation is manual and it takes serious planning to make Kubernetes up and running.

Docker Swarm contains the limitation to the dockers’ API actual capabilities.


Cluster configuration like IP addresses of a node or which node takes what role is needed to know in advance in Kubernetes.

Docker Swarm also provides flexibility by allowing any new node to join an existing cluster as either a manager or a worker.


It requires knowing CLI (Command Line Interface) to run Kubernetes on top of Docker.

Docker Swarm is a tool of Docker, a common language is used to navigate within a structure.


Kubernetes is more of an all-in-one framework for distributed systems.

Docker Swarm is supported for only monitoring with the third party applications.


It is a complex system as it offers a unified set of APIs and strong guarantees about the cluster state, which slows down container deployment and scaling.

As compared to Kubernetes, Docker Swarm can deploy containers faster; this allows fast reaction times to scale on demand.


In Kubernetes, it is required to have a separate set of tools for management, including kubectl CLI.

Docker Swarm smoothly integrates with Docker Compose and Docker CLI.


Kubernetes have an impressively huge community among container orchestration tools. Over 50,000 commits and 1200 contributors.

Docker Swarm is a lightweight installation. It is simpler to deploy and Swarm mode is included in the Docker engine.


Docker Swarm removes many compatibility and other differences and integrates smoothly.

Docker Swarm has the advantage of tightly integrated into the Docker ecosystem, and uses its own API.


Kubernetes currently holds the largest market share and is pretty much the standard platform.

Its filtering and scheduling system enables the selection of optimal nodes in a cluster to deploy containers.


Kubernetes is a superior and stronger market competitor today.

Swarm lacks the capability of inbuilt tools to handle Logging and Monitoring


Kubernetes embraces uniqueness by having its own API, client, and YAML definitions.

In Swarm, Containers can be deployed faster both when it comes to large clusters and high cluster fill stages.


Kubernetes is known to be slightly better than Swarm when it comes to maintaining the strength of the clusters.

Docker Swarm provides an inbuilt facility of Load Balancing.


If you are a stickler for Dashboards, Kubernetes is your end-game.

A common network is joined by all containers that are in the same cluster. This allows connection of any node to any container.

In a Nutshell

Kubernetes offers more customizable options and extensive use, and is suitable for the people looking to set up parameters completely on their own, whereas Docker would be best for people looking to quickly set up a containerized application and get it running. It’s not exactly easy to compare Kubernetes with Docker Swarm as Docker Swarm is a simple and easy solution to work with whereas Kubernetes is targeted those who require full fledge support with higher complexity. Docker Swarm is preferred in environments where simplicity and fast development is favored. Whereas Kubernetes is suitable for environments where medium to large clusters are running complex applications.

Furthermore, if you are not clear about your requirements or have any query we can help you! We have skilled DevOps experts who are well-versed in the technologies can help you to choose the best. Or, if you like to add anything in this blog or you are dubious about it connect with us today!