HomeArchitecture5 Container Management Platforms Apart from Kubernetes

5 Container Management Platforms Apart from Kubernetes

Scaling applications at speed seemed impractical until container technology emerged as a new kid on the software development block. Containerization enabled companies to package their application code, libraries, and other dependencies in individual containers. This methodology allowed developers to scale applications seamlessly as they’re easy to load and run across multiple cloud environments.

While containers make it easy for developers to develop, deploy and manage containers within the IT complexity, you must rely on container management platforms to handle the increasing number of containerized applications. As you scale your application, containerization will rapidly become overwhelming for teams to ensure containers work efficiently.

What is a container management platform?

Container management manages the container application lifecycle from creation through deployment and termination. You can automate building, running, scaling, and managing applications through container management tools. Besides making it easy to manage large applications, these tools facilitate load balancing, testing, and security.

Some of the key benefits of having a content management platform:

  • Better container management through automated almost all processes like orchestration and load balancing.
  • Optimizes time and resources for both IT operations and development teams through seamless administration, including scheduling and storage provisioning.
  • Enhanced application security and observability through automatic health checks and monitoring to remediate failed containers.

Top Kubernetes alternatives for container management

Kubernetes is a powerful open-source container orchestration tool that has seen tremendous adoption across the development community. Organizations using Kubernetes for simpler applications might be excessive. Kubernetes has a steep learning curve since it relies on many additional tools and configurations for efficient container management. It also burns a hole in your pocket as it becomes expensive when the application scales up.

Some of the alternatives to Kubernetes include:

Docker

Docker is one of the first supporters of container methodology and contributed significantly to popularising microservices. It is a container management tool that allows you to create, deploy and run containerized applications. It offers a simple way to manage containers through simple commands and automation. However, you will have to rely on Docker Swarm for container orchestration. Swarm allows you to manage several containers deployed across multiple cloud environments seamlessly.

Features of Docker:

  • Simple commands for rolling updates and rollbacks 
  • Rich UI with capabilities like load balancing and high availability
  • It runs on simple architecture and can run with simple Docker commands

Rancher

Rancher solves Kubernetes cluster management by providing tools to take care of the operational and security shortcomings of Kubernetes. As a cluster management platform, Rancher gives you an overview of your Kubernetes clusters. It also enables provision clusters.

Rancher provides multiple deployment options from bare metal to multi-cloud environments while centralizing security controls through robust access control and observability. 

Features of Rancher

  • Streamlined cluster provisioning, enabling you to add or edit new clusters
  • Set RBAC controls for every project across your clusters
  • Deploy your containerized applications without a YAML file updation

AWS Fargate

AWS Fargate is a container orchestration platform that also manages underlying infrastructure. All you need to do is create a cluster, and Fargate will automatically provision pre-configured infrastructure per the workload requirement. With Fargate, avoid the tedious task of spinning up a server for your workloads.

Fargate works as a serverless compute engine that allows you to automate infrastructure provisioning by setting operating system, networking, and authentication policies.

Features of AWS Fargate

  • Manage containers that run outside Kubernetes clusters
  • Optimize server resources and costs by avoiding over-provisioning
  • Better security by ensuring workload isolation

Cycle.io

Cycle.io addresses complexity. As a container orchestration and infrastructure management tool, Cycle.io facilitates intuitive features like automated scaling and integrated deployment strategies. Built for simplicity, the primary philosophy is to provide a developer-centric container management tool to improve productivity by focusing on writing code and not ironing out management issues.

Cycle.io is lean, with only core and necessary capabilities, so developers don’t get lost in a maze of features. It offers a very user-friendly option to teams stuck in the complexity of container management.

Features of Cycle.io

  • The platform automatically updates every two weeks
  • Vendor-agnostic platform and enables multi-cloud scalability
  • Cost-effective container tool
  • Automates and manages features like networking enabling faster deployments
  • Robust security capabilities like automatic network encryption and management of VPN

Nomad by HashiCorp

Nomad by HashiCorp is a lightweight cluster orchestrator and scheduler that provides an easy-to-use option to deploy and manage containerized and non-containerized applications. It automates scheduling through a mechanism where it evaluates a node’s state against the desired state. It possesses capabilities like self-healing and automated rollbacks.

Nomad’s main selling point is the infrastructure resource pool from different platforms for optimized resource utilization and bin-packing.

Features of Nomad by HashiCorp

  • Its simplicity allows you to move to production faster, i.e., within weeks
  • Agnostic characteristic offers multiple infrastructure and resources options 
  • Users can manage a large-scale application with a relatively more minor operations team

Moving away from Kubernetes to manage containers

Kubernetes is a powerful container orchestrator widely adopted, making it synonymous with containerization. In its pursuit of becoming a default container management tool, the open-source platform has turned bulk with features and capabilities that seem unnecessary for simple applications.

Due to its intricate architecture, Kubernetes might seem like a maze of containers and clusters. It makes defining network policies and enforcing security controls tough. While many options are available to move away from Kubernetes, you must first evaluate your application size, infrastructure requirements, and security posture.

You can pick Docker or Rancher for simpler container management, while Fargate will give you serverless characteristics to simplify deployments. There is also Cycle.io that makes container application a developer-friendly approach to enhance productivity and application shipping speed.

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