Consul vs Kubernetes: What are the differences?
Developers describe Consul as "A tool for service discovery, monitoring and configuration". Consul is a tool for service discovery and configuration. Consul is distributed, highly available, and extremely scalable. On the other hand, Kubernetes is detailed as "Manage a cluster of Linux containers as a single system to accelerate Dev and simplify Ops". Kubernetes is an open source orchestration system for Docker containers. It handles scheduling onto nodes in a compute cluster and actively manages workloads to ensure that their state matches the users declared intentions.
Consul belongs to "Open Source Service Discovery" category of the tech stack, while Kubernetes can be primarily classified under "Container Tools".
Some of the features offered by Consul are:
- Service Discovery - Consul makes it simple for services to register themselves and to discover other services via a DNS or HTTP interface. External services such as SaaS providers can be registered as well.
- Health Checking - Health Checking enables Consul to quickly alert operators about any issues in a cluster. The integration with service discovery prevents routing traffic to unhealthy hosts and enables service level circuit breakers.
- Key/Value Storage - A flexible key/value store enables storing dynamic configuration, feature flagging, coordination, leader election and more. The simple HTTP API makes it easy to use anywhere.
On the other hand, Kubernetes provides the following key features:
- Lightweight, simple and accessible
- Built for a multi-cloud world, public, private or hybrid
- Highly modular, designed so that all of its components are easily swappable
"Great service discovery infrastructure" is the top reason why over 49 developers like Consul, while over 131 developers mention "Leading docker container management solution" as the leading cause for choosing Kubernetes.
Consul and Kubernetes are both open source tools. It seems that Kubernetes with 54.2K GitHub stars and 18.8K forks on GitHub has more adoption than Consul with 16.2K GitHub stars and 2.82K GitHub forks.
Slack, Shopify, and Starbucks are some of the popular companies that use Kubernetes, whereas Consul is used by Slack, SendGrid, and Oscar Health. Kubernetes has a broader approval, being mentioned in 1017 company stacks & 1060 developers stacks; compared to Consul, which is listed in 131 company stacks and 52 developer stacks.
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