Docker Swarm vs Helm

Docker Swarm

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Helm

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Docker Swarm vs Helm: What are the differences?

Developers describe Docker Swarm 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. On the other hand, Helm is detailed as "The Kubernetes Package Manager". Helm is the best way to find, share, and use software built for Kubernetes.

Docker Swarm and Helm belong to "Container Tools" category of the tech stack.

Docker Swarm and Helm are both open source tools. Helm with 12.6K GitHub stars and 4.06K forks on GitHub appears to be more popular than Docker Swarm with 5.63K GitHub stars and 1.11K GitHub forks.

Docker, Bugsnag, and whichledlight.com are some of the popular companies that use Docker Swarm, whereas Helm is used by CircleCI, Docplanner, and Auto Trader. Docker Swarm has a broader approval, being mentioned in 82 company stacks & 38 developers stacks; compared to Helm, which is listed in 85 company stacks and 23 developer stacks.

Decisions about Docker Swarm and Helm
Simon Reymann
Senior Fullstack Developer at QUANTUSflow Software GmbH · | 27 upvotes · 1.5M views

Our whole DevOps stack consists of the following tools:

  • GitHub (incl. GitHub Pages/Markdown for Documentation, GettingStarted and HowTo's) for collaborative review and code management tool
  • Respectively Git as revision control system
  • SourceTree as Git GUI
  • Visual Studio Code as IDE
  • CircleCI for continuous integration (automatize development process)
  • Prettier / TSLint / ESLint as code linter
  • SonarQube as quality gate
  • Docker as container management (incl. Docker Compose for multi-container application management)
  • VirtualBox for operating system simulation tests
  • Kubernetes as cluster management for docker containers
  • Heroku for deploying in test environments
  • nginx as web server (preferably used as facade server in production environment)
  • SSLMate (using OpenSSL) for certificate management
  • Amazon EC2 (incl. Amazon S3) for deploying in stage (production-like) and production environments
  • PostgreSQL as preferred database system
  • Redis as preferred in-memory database/store (great for caching)

The main reason we have chosen Kubernetes over Docker Swarm is related to the following artifacts:

  • Key features: Easy and flexible installation, Clear dashboard, Great scaling operations, Monitoring is an integral part, Great load balancing concepts, Monitors the condition and ensures compensation in the event of failure.
  • Applications: An application can be deployed using a combination of pods, deployments, and services (or micro-services).
  • Functionality: Kubernetes as a complex installation and setup process, but it not as limited as Docker Swarm.
  • Monitoring: It supports multiple versions of logging and monitoring when the services are deployed within the cluster (Elasticsearch/Kibana (ELK), Heapster/Grafana, Sysdig cloud integration).
  • Scalability: All-in-one framework for distributed systems.
  • Other Benefits: Kubernetes is backed by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), huge community among container orchestration tools, it is an open source and modular tool that works with any OS.
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    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.

    What is Helm?

    Helm is the best way to find, share, and use software built for Kubernetes.
    What companies use Docker Swarm?
    What companies use Helm?

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    What tools integrate with Docker Swarm?
    What tools integrate with Helm?

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    What are some alternatives to Docker Swarm and Helm?
    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.
    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.
    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.
    Apache Mesos
    Apache Mesos is a cluster manager that simplifies the complexity of running applications on a shared pool of servers.
    CoreOS
    It is designed for security, consistency, and reliability. Instead of installing packages via yum or apt, it uses Linux containers to manage your services at a higher level of abstraction. A single service's code and all dependencies are packaged within a container that can be run on one or many machines.
    See all alternatives
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