Docker Compose vs Docker Swarm

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Docker Compose
Docker Compose

4.9K
3.4K
+ 1
446
Docker Swarm
Docker Swarm

424
410
+ 1
207
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Docker Compose vs Docker Swarm: What are the differences?

Developers describe Docker Compose as "Define and run multi-container applications with Docker". With Compose, you define a multi-container application in a single file, then spin your application up in a single command which does everything that needs to be done to get it running. On the other hand, Docker Swarm is detailed as "Native clustering for Docker. Turn a pool of Docker hosts into a single, virtual host". Swarm serves the standard Docker API, so any tool which already communicates with a Docker daemon can use Swarm to transparently scale to multiple hosts: Dokku, Compose, Krane, Deis, DockerUI, Shipyard, Drone, Jenkins... and, of course, the Docker client itself.

Docker Compose and Docker Swarm can be categorized as "Container" tools.

"Multi-container descriptor" is the top reason why over 111 developers like Docker Compose, while over 44 developers mention "Docker friendly" as the leading cause for choosing Docker Swarm.

Docker Compose and Docker Swarm are both open source tools. It seems that Docker Compose with 16.4K GitHub stars and 2.52K forks on GitHub has more adoption than Docker Swarm with 5.61K GitHub stars and 1.11K GitHub forks.

According to the StackShare community, Docker Compose has a broader approval, being mentioned in 787 company stacks & 608 developers stacks; compared to Docker Swarm, which is listed in 80 company stacks and 38 developer stacks.

What is Docker Compose?

With Compose, you define a multi-container application in a single file, then spin your application up in a single command which does everything that needs to be done to get it running.

What is Docker Swarm?

Swarm serves the standard Docker API, so any tool which already communicates with a Docker daemon can use Swarm to transparently scale to multiple hosts: Dokku, Compose, Krane, Deis, DockerUI, Shipyard, Drone, Jenkins... and, of course, the Docker client itself.
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What are some alternatives to Docker Compose and Docker Swarm?
Kubernetes
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.
Docker
The Docker Platform is the industry-leading container platform for continuous, high-velocity innovation, enabling organizations to seamlessly build and share any application — from legacy to what comes next — and securely run them anywhere
Helm
Helm is the best way to find, share, and use software built for Kubernetes.
Ansible
Ansible is an IT automation tool. It can configure systems, deploy software, and orchestrate more advanced IT tasks such as continuous deployments or zero downtime rolling updates. Ansible’s goals are foremost those of simplicity and maximum ease of use.
Rancher
Rancher is an open source container management platform that includes full distributions of Kubernetes, Apache Mesos and Docker Swarm, and makes it simple to operate container clusters on any cloud or infrastructure platform.
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Decisions about Docker Compose and Docker Swarm
Yshay Yaacobi
Yshay Yaacobi
Software Engineer · | 27 upvotes · 264.3K views
atSolutoSoluto
Docker Swarm
Docker Swarm
Kubernetes
Kubernetes
Visual Studio Code
Visual Studio Code
Go
Go
TypeScript
TypeScript
JavaScript
JavaScript
C#
C#
F#
F#
.NET
.NET

Our first experience with .NET core was when we developed our OSS feature management platform - Tweek (https://github.com/soluto/tweek). We wanted to create a solution that is able to run anywhere (super important for OSS), has excellent performance characteristics and can fit in a multi-container architecture. We decided to implement our rule engine processor in F# , our main service was implemented in C# and other components were built using JavaScript / TypeScript and Go.

Visual Studio Code worked really well for us as well, it worked well with all our polyglot services and the .Net core integration had great cross-platform developer experience (to be fair, F# was a bit trickier) - actually, each of our team members used a different OS (Ubuntu, macos, windows). Our production deployment ran for a time on Docker Swarm until we've decided to adopt Kubernetes with almost seamless migration process.

After our positive experience of running .Net core workloads in containers and developing Tweek's .Net services on non-windows machines, C# had gained back some of its popularity (originally lost to Node.js), and other teams have been using it for developing microservices, k8s sidecars (like https://github.com/Soluto/airbag), cli tools, serverless functions and other projects...

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Sebastian Gębski
Sebastian Gębski
CTO at Shedul/Fresha · | 6 upvotes · 47.5K views
atFresha EngineeringFresha Engineering
Amazon RDS
Amazon RDS
Amazon S3
Amazon S3
Amazon EKS
Amazon EKS
Amazon EC2
Amazon EC2
Ansible
Ansible
Terraform
Terraform
Kubernetes
Kubernetes
Docker Compose
Docker Compose
Docker
Docker

Heroku was a decent choice to start a business, but at some point our platform was too big, too complex & too heterogenic, so Heroku started to be a constraint, not a benefit. First, we've started containerizing our apps with Docker to eliminate "works in my machine" syndrome & uniformize the environment setup. The first orchestration was composed with Docker Compose , but at some point it made sense to move it to Kubernetes. Fortunately, we've made a very good technical decision when starting our work with containers - all the container configuration & provisions HAD (since the beginning) to be done in code (Infrastructure as Code) - we've used Terraform & Ansible for that (correspondingly). This general trend of containerisation was accompanied by another, parallel & equally big project: migrating environments from Heroku to AWS: using Amazon EC2 , Amazon EKS, Amazon S3 & Amazon RDS.

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GitHub
GitHub
nginx
nginx
ESLint
ESLint
AVA
AVA
Semantic UI React
Semantic UI React
Redux
Redux
React
React
PostgreSQL
PostgreSQL
ExpressJS
ExpressJS
Node.js
Node.js
FeathersJS
FeathersJS
Heroku
Heroku
Amazon EC2
Amazon EC2
Kubernetes
Kubernetes
Jenkins
Jenkins
Docker Compose
Docker Compose
Docker
Docker
#Frontend
#Stack
#Backend
#Containers
#Containerized

Recently I have been working on an open source stack to help people consolidate their personal health data in a single database so that AI and analytics apps can be run against it to find personalized treatments. We chose to go with a #containerized approach leveraging Docker #containers with a local development environment setup with Docker Compose and nginx for container routing. For the production environment we chose to pull code from GitHub and build/push images using Jenkins and using Kubernetes to deploy to Amazon EC2.

We also implemented a dashboard app to handle user authentication/authorization, as well as a custom SSO server that runs on Heroku which allows experts to easily visit more than one instance without having to login repeatedly. The #Backend was implemented using my favorite #Stack which consists of FeathersJS on top of Node.js and ExpressJS with PostgreSQL as the main database. The #Frontend was implemented using React, Redux.js, Semantic UI React and the FeathersJS client. Though testing was light on this project, we chose to use AVA as well as ESLint to keep the codebase clean and consistent.

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Interest over time
Reviews of Docker Compose and Docker Swarm
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How developers use Docker Compose and Docker Swarm
Avatar of Chris Saylor
Chris Saylor uses Docker ComposeDocker Compose

Since our production deployment makes use of the Convox platform, we use this to describe the containers to be deployed via Convox to AWS ECS.

We also use this for our local dev environment (previously used vagrant with chef).

Avatar of Scrayos UG (haftungsbeschränkt)
Scrayos UG (haftungsbeschränkt) uses Docker ComposeDocker Compose

Aside from our Minecraft-infrastructure, we compose it with ... Docker Compose! (kinda obious, eh .. ?) This includes for example the web-services, aswell as the monitoring and mail-infrastructure.

Avatar of sapslaj
sapslaj uses Docker ComposeDocker Compose

Docker Compose is just another part of my "infrastructure as code" initiative and allows me to build isolated pieces of systems with their own volumes and networks.

Avatar of Sathish N
Sathish N uses Docker ComposeDocker Compose

Our application will consist of several containers each communicating with each other. Using docker-compose, we can orchestrate several containers at once.

Avatar of Curabase
Curabase uses Docker ComposeDocker Compose

The core tech in ACS (Azure Container Services) we spin up a Kubernetes cluster and deploy our app into staging and production environments here.

How much does Docker Compose cost?
How much does Docker Swarm cost?
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