DevOps Blog - Nicolas Paris

Should You Still Use Docker Swarm in 2021

Docker Swarm

TL;DR: Probably not, it might be a good thing to get a global understanding. Docker Swarm strenght is the ease to start with, but it lost the race long time ago.

As every technical answer, the answer is It depends.

Here some context on my case.

I had Docker Swarm in production for 2 years and I'm nos currently migrates to Kubernetes.

Kubernetes won the race, we got that. But why I went for Docker Swarm on the first place? For his simplicity. Never mind the autoscaling, I had some resilience in the system that work for me.

Now, should I go for Docker Swarm for a new project.

It's seems clear that Docker Swarm is not going to be the next big thing and wont evolve that much. There is no managed services like GKE but a cluster can live without any trouble even if it's managed by the user.

Team size could affect the decision as well. Consultants has more expertise in Kubernetes than in Docker Swarm. If you dont have the big team and might ask for external help.

In my case, we were totally new in Cloud Native world, too much to learn and some real risk. It might worth the extra effort to go with Kubernetes.

In few years Kubernetes skills wont be that useful, as it should be a technology hiden in some wrapper like GKE Autopilot mode. You use Kubernetes without totally be aware of. It might not concern big tech with highly customized clusters with specific needs. The parallele with bare metal and hypervisor entirely managed by a entreprise could be made. The hard way is less broadly used when with few terraform script let you create some VMs on cloud providers.

In conclusion, I would say it might not be a good idea to start a new project with Docker Swarm in 2021.

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