Kubernetes vs Terraform: What are the differences?
Kubernetes: 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; Terraform: Describe your complete infrastructure as code and build resources across providers. With Terraform, you describe your complete infrastructure as code, even as it spans multiple service providers. Your servers may come from AWS, your DNS may come from CloudFlare, and your database may come from Heroku. Terraform will build all these resources across all these providers in parallel.
Kubernetes belongs to "Container Tools" category of the tech stack, while Terraform can be primarily classified under "Infrastructure Build Tools".
Some of the features offered by Kubernetes are:
- 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
On the other hand, Terraform provides the following key features:
- Infrastructure as Code: Infrastructure is described using a high-level configuration syntax. This allows a blueprint of your datacenter to be versioned and treated as you would any other code. Additionally, infrastructure can be shared and re-used.
- Execution Plans: Terraform has a "planning" step where it generates an execution plan. The execution plan shows what Terraform will do when you call apply. This lets you avoid any surprises when Terraform manipulates infrastructure.
- Resource Graph: Terraform builds a graph of all your resources, and parallelizes the creation and modification of any non-dependent resources. Because of this, Terraform builds infrastructure as efficiently as possible, and operators get insight into dependencies in their infrastructure.
"Leading docker container management solution" is the top reason why over 134 developers like Kubernetes, while over 81 developers mention "Infrastructure as code" as the leading cause for choosing Terraform.
Kubernetes and Terraform are both open source tools. It seems that Kubernetes with 55K GitHub stars and 19.1K forks on GitHub has more adoption than Terraform with 17.7K GitHub stars and 4.83K GitHub forks.
According to the StackShare community, Kubernetes has a broader approval, being mentioned in 1046 company stacks & 1096 developers stacks; compared to Terraform, which is listed in 509 company stacks and 312 developer stacks.