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Docker Orchestrations Compared: Kubernetes vs Amazon ECS vs Docker Cloud / Swarm / EE / Cloud (PART I)

Containerized software is riding a wave of growth, according to latest RightScale survey.  At Sematext we see this growth trend via our Docker monitoring adoption and via Sematext Docker Agent popularity on Docker Hub, where it crossed 1M+ pulls line. This rapid rise of containers now makes Docker the top DevOps tool among those included in RightScale survey. Overall Docker adoption surged to 35 percent, while Kubernetes adoption doubled, going from 7% in 2016 to 14% percent.

Although Docker helps with DevOps automation around developing, building, packaging, and deploying, container orchestration tools such as Kubernetes, Google GKE, Docker Swarm, Amazon ECS, are still in early phases of adoption.  We recently conducted a Twitter Poll asking:

While it feels like there is a lot of buzz around and adoption of Kubernetes, and Docker is pushing Swarm, the poll shows Amazon ECS has a bit of a lead.  Kubernetes / Google GKE and Docker Cloud / Swarm / EE are not far behind ECS and not far from each other either.

The most intriguing find is that 66% of poll participants are not using any container orchestration, which suggests the market for orchestration tools is still very young and has huge potential for growth. There is clearly a market to consider, a big opportunity with potential users who have not yet adopted a container orchestration solution.  It will be very interesting to see how this landscape changes over the coming months.

34% of Sematext poll participants already use container orchestration tools.

We are aware our list of orchestration options is not complete – Twitter Polls has only 4 options available.  A few people suggested:

  • Rancher Labs – RancherOS and Rancher Server
  • Mesosphere DC/OS
  • RedHat OpenShift  (built around Kubernetes)
  • Dell/Pivotal has also recently released a way to use CF’s BOSH release management platform to manage Kubernetes clusters
  • VMWare Photon
  • Apprenda Cloud Platform (built around Kubernetes)

Interested in learning more about Docker? Don’t forget to download the Cheat Sheet you need.

Takeaway & Predictions

The container orchestration market is still very fragmented — there is no clear leader yet.  A number of Docker adopters are still not using any orchestration tools at all, which might imply a large number of smaller container deployments that one can still manage without automation that orchestration tools bring to the table. Despite the currently relatively equal adoption of various container orchestration tools, based on what we have observed, partly through our container monitoring service, is that Kubernetes is on the rapid rise and, over the next 12 months, might emerge as container orchestration solution of choice. This appears to be not only our impression but also what another very recent poll from @rUv shows:

If you’re not sure whether you need a container orchestrator, check out our video below. In this Kubernetes vs. Docker vs. Docker Swarm tutorial we explain what role each play in a developer’s workflow.

Got a different take on the future (adoption of) container orchestration?  Let us know!

For more about Docker, Monitoring, Logging, and other DevOps goodness follow @sematext or check out our related posts:

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