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Decisions about Kubernetes, Portainer, and Rancher
Michael Roberts

We develop rapidly with docker-compose orchestrated services, however, for production - we utilise the very best ideas that Kubernetes has to offer: SCALE! We can scale when needed, setting a maximum and minimum level of nodes for each application layer - scaling only when the load balancer needs it. This allowed us to reduce our devops costs by 40% whilst also maintaining an SLA of 99.87%.

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Simon Reymann
Senior Fullstack Developer at QUANTUSflow Software GmbH | 28 upvotes 路 2.2M 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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Pros of Kubernetes
Pros of Portainer
Pros of Rancher
  • 151
    Leading docker container management solution
  • 121
    Simple and powerful
  • 95
    Open source
  • 70
    Backed by google
  • 55
    The right abstractions
  • 24
    Scale services
  • 16
    Replication controller
  • 9
    Permission managment
  • 6
  • 5
    Supports autoscaling
  • 5
  • 3
    Promotes modern/good infrascture practice
  • 3
    No cloud platform lock-in
  • 3
  • 3
    Open, powerful, stable
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2
    A self healing environment with rich metadata
  • 2
    Captain of Container Ship
  • 2
    Quick cloud setup
  • 1
    Custom and extensibility
  • 1
  • 1
    Easy setup
  • 1
  • 1
  • 1
    Backed by Red Hat
  • 1
    Everything of CaaS
  • 1
    Runs on azure
  • 1
    Cloud Agnostic
  • 1
  • 34
  • 25
    Great UI
  • 17
  • 12
    Easy to setup, gives a practical interface for Docker
  • 11
    Fully featured
  • 9
    Because it just works, super simple yet powerful
  • 8
    A must for Docker DevOps
  • 6
    Free and opensource
  • 4
    It's simple, fast and the support is great
  • 4
  • 3
    Template Support
  • 102
    Easy to use
  • 79
    Open source and totally free
  • 62
    Multi-host docker-compose support
  • 58
  • 58
    Load balancing and health check included
  • 44
    Rolling upgrades, green/blue upgrades feature
  • 42
    Dns and service discovery out-of-the-box
  • 37
    Only requires docker
  • 34
    Multitenant and permission management
  • 29
    Easy to use and feature rich
  • 11
    Cross cloud compatible
  • 11
    Does everything needed for a docker infrastructure
  • 8
    Simple and powerful
  • 8
    Next-gen platform
  • 7
    Very Docker-friendly
  • 6
    Support Kubernetes and Swarm
  • 6
    Application catalogs with stack templates (wizards)
  • 6
    Supports Apache Mesos, Docker Swarm, and Kubernetes
  • 6
    Rolling and blue/green upgrades deployments
  • 6
    High Availability service: keeps your app up 24/7
  • 5
    Easy to use service catalog
  • 4
    Very intuitive UI
  • 4
    IaaS-vendor independent, supports hybrid/multi-cloud
  • 4
    Awesome support
  • 3
  • 2
    Requires less infrastructure requirements

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Cons of Kubernetes
Cons of Portainer
Cons of Rancher
  • 13
    Poor workflow for development
  • 10
    Steep learning curve
  • 4
    Orchestrates only infrastructure
  • 2
    High resource requirements for on-prem clusters
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    • 7
      Hosting Rancher can be complicated

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    - No public GitHub repository available -

    What is 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.

    What is Portainer?

    Portainer is an open-source lightweight management UI which allows you to easily manage your Docker environments. Portainer is available on Windows, Linux and Mac. It has never been so easy to manage Docker !

    What is 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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    What are some alternatives to Kubernetes, Portainer, and Rancher?
    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.
    Nomad is a cluster manager, designed for both long lived services and short lived batch processing workloads. Developers use a declarative job specification to submit work, and Nomad ensures constraints are satisfied and resource utilization is optimized by efficient task packing. Nomad supports all major operating systems and virtualized, containerized, or standalone applications.
    OpenStack is a cloud operating system that controls large pools of compute, storage, and networking resources throughout a datacenter, all managed through a dashboard that gives administrators control while empowering their users to provision resources through a web interface.
    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.
    Unlike traditional operating systems, DC/OS spans multiple machines within a network, aggregating their resources to maximize utilization by distributed applications.
    See all alternatives
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