A new kind of Docker

Docker platform and Moby Project add Kubernetes support

Gabriela Motroc

© Shutterstock / tn-prints

The Docker platform and Moby Project are integrating support for Kubernetes. As of now (you can register for beta access here), developers and operators can build apps with Docker and seamlessly test and deploy them using both Docker Swarm and Kubernetes.

Developers (and operators) rejoice — the Docker platform and Moby Project are integrating support for Kubernetes. What does this mean? Docker clients and developers have the option to use both Kubernetes and Swarm to orchestrate container workloads.

If you’re interested in trying it out, you can register for beta access here.

A new kind of Docker

The Docker platform consists of many components, assembled in four layers:

  • The containerd industry-standard container runtime implementing the OCI standards
  • Swarm orchestration that transforms a group of nodes into a distributed system
  • Docker Community Edition providing developers a simple workflow to build and ship container applications, with features like application composition, image build and management
  • Docker Enterprise Edition, to manage an end to end secure software supply chain and run containers in production


These four layers are assembled from upstream components that are part of the open source Moby Project.

Docker founder Solomon Hykes explained in the blog post announcing the Kubernetes support that users like Swarm because it’s easy to set up, is scalable and is secure out-of-the-box. Although they also like the integrated Docker platform with end-to-end container management, users seem to want to use other orchestrators (hello Kubernetes) for container scheduling.

As a result, they have decided to add Kubernetes support as an orchestration option (alongside Swarm) in both Docker Enterprise Edition, and in Docker for Mac and Windows.


The team is also working on innovative components which will enable Docker users to deploy Docker apps natively with Kubernetes orchestration.

SEE ALSO: The most common myths about Docker debunked

This new move [adding Kubernetes support] will allow developers “to build and test apps destined for production directly on Kubernetes, on their workstation. And ops can get all the benefits of Docker Enterprise Edition – secure multi-tenancy, image scanning and role-based access control – while running apps in production orchestrated with either Kubernetes or Swarm.”

Hykes also revealed that the Kubernetes version which will be incorporated into Docker is “the vanilla Kubernetes that everyone is familiar with, direct from the CNCF.  It won’t be a fork, nor an outdated version, nor wrapped or limited in any way.”

Docker and Kubernetes share much lineage, are written using the same programming language and have overlapping components, contributors and ideals. We at Docker are looking forward to incorporating Kubernetes support into our products and into the open source projects we work on. And we can’t wait to work with the Kubernetes community to make containers and container-orchestration ever more powerful and easier to use.

Solomon Hykes

Last but not least, you should know that even though Kubernetes will be an orchestration option in Docker, the Docker team remains committed to Swarm and clients and users that rely on Swarm and Docker for running critical apps at scale in production.

Gabriela Motroc
Gabriela Motroc was editor of and JAX Magazine. Before working at Software & Support Media Group, she studied International Communication Management at the Hague University of Applied Sciences.

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