List of Best Alternatives of Kubernetes

Here are some of the known best alternative of Kubernetes which incudes.

Docker Swarm

A swarm is a group of machines that are running Docker and joined into a cluster. After that has happened, you continue to run the Docker commands you’re used to, but now they are executed on a cluster by a swarm manager. The machines in a swarm can be physical or virtual. After joining a swarm, they are referred to as nodes.

Feature highlights –

  1. Cluster management integrated with Docker Engine: Use the Docker Engine CLI to create a swarm of Docker Engines where you can deploy application services. You don’t need additional orchestration software to create or manage a swarm.
  2. Decentralized design: Instead of handling differentiation between node roles at deployment time, the Docker Engine handles any specialization at runtime. You can deploy both kinds of nodes, managers and workers, using the Docker Engine. This means you can build an entire swarm from a single disk image.
  3. Declarative service model: Docker Engine uses a declarative approach to let you define the desired state of the various services in your application stack. For example, you might describe an application comprised of a web front end service with message queueing services and a database backend.
  4. Scaling: For each service, you can declare the number of tasks you want to run. When you scale up or down, the swarm manager automatically adapts by adding or removing tasks to maintain the desired state.
  5. Desired state reconciliation: The swarm manager node constantly monitors the cluster state and reconciles any differences between the actual state and your expressed desired state. For example, if you set up a service to run 10 replicas of a container, and a worker machine hosting two of those replicas crashes, the manager creates two new replicas to replace the replicas that crashed. The swarm manager assigns the new replicas to workers that are running and available.
  6. Multi-host networking: You can specify an overlay network for your services. The swarm manager automatically assigns addresses to the containers on the overlay network when it initializes or updates the application.
  7. Service discovery: Swarm manager nodes assign each service in the swarm a unique DNS name and load balances running containers. You can query every container running in the swarm through a DNS server embedded in the swarm.
  8. Load balancing: You can expose the ports for services to an external load balancer. Internally, the swarm lets you specify how to distribute service containers between nodes.
  9. Secure by default: Each node in the swarm enforces TLS mutual authentication and encryption to secure communications between itself and all other nodes. You have the option to use self-signed root certificates or certificates from a custom root CA.
  10. Rolling updates: At rollout time you can apply service updates to nodes incrementally. The swarm manager lets you control the delay between service deployment to different sets of nodes. If anything goes wrong, you can roll-back a task to a previous version of the service.

More reading –

Apache Marathon

Marathon is a production-grade container orchestration platform for Mesosphere’s Datacenter Operating System (DC/OS) and Apache Mesos.


  1. High Availability. Marathon runs as an active/passive cluster with leader election for 100% uptime.
  2. Multiple container runtimes. Marathon has first-class support for both Mesos containers (using cgroups) and Docker.
  3. Stateful apps. Marathon can bind persistent storage volumes to your application. You can run databases like MySQL and Postgres, and have storage accounted for by Mesos.
  4. Beautiful and powerful UI.
  5. Constraints. These allow to e.g. place only one instance of an application per rack, node, etc.
  6. Service Discovery & Load Balancing. Several methods available.
  7. Health Checks. Evaluate your application’s health using HTTP or TCP checks.
  8. Event Subscription. Supply an HTTP endpoint to receive notifications – for example to integrate with an external load balancer.
  9. Metrics. Query them at /metrics in JSON format or push them to systems like graphite, statsd and Datadog.
  10. Complete REST API for easy integration and scriptability.

HashiCorp Nomad

HashiCorp Nomad is a single binary that schedules applications and services on Linux, Windows, and Mac. It is an open source scheduler that uses a declarative job file for scheduling virtualized, containerized, and standalone applications.

1. DECLARE JOBS – Users compose and submit high-level job files. Nomad handles the scheduling and upgrading of the applications over time.

This flexibility makes it easy to deploy one container, dozens of containers, or even millions.

2. PLAN CHANGES – With built-in dry-run execution, Nomad shows what scheduling decisions it will take before it takes them. Operators can approve or deny these changes to create a safe and reproducible workflow.

3. RUN APPLICATIONS – Nomad runs applications and ensures they keep running in failure scenarios. In addition to long-running services, Nomad can schedule batch jobs, distributed cron jobs, and parameterized jobs.

4. MONITOR PROGRESS – Stream logs, send signals, and interact with the file system of scheduled applications. These operator-friendly commands bring the familiar debugging tools to a scheduled world.

More Reading –


Another of our Kubernetes alternatives, and an interesting one at that, comes from Finnish company Kontena, which like Swarm was designed to combat the long lead-time or steep learning curve required for Kubernetes production projects. The separate authentication server requirement and the fact that it’s written in Ruby are what make it stand out from the crowd. Additionally, fine-grained access control options and a good audit log make it especially attractive to enterprise environments.

Kontena can be installed on any cloud infrastructure running Linux either on a VM or bare metal or even on any public, private cloud, or hybrid mix. Like Kubernetes, Kontena works at a level of abstraction higher than containers where the building components of Kontena are called services. The grid is the outermost container of the Kontena system. Kontena also uses advance overlay networks like Weave and OpenVPN to allow inter-service communications.

More Reading –

Rajesh Kumar
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