Server NewsWhy Docker Swarm Remains Important

Why Docker Swarm Remains Important

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BARCELONA, Spain – Docker Swarm remains a core element of Docker Inc’s plans, and that’s not going to change anytime soon. That’s the strong message coming from Docker CEO Steve Singh, during a briefing with press and analysts at the Dockercon Europe 2018 event here.

A year ago, in October 2017 at the last Dockercon Europe event, Docker announced it would be supporting the erstwhile rival Kubernetes container orchestration system. At the time, Docker’s management committed to continuing to support Swarm, and now a year later they are still on that same path. Docker has been developing its own Swarm system since December 2014.

“We have many clients that continue to run Docker Swarm in production,” Singh said. “Swarm continues to be a very well-adopted container orchestration tool, in large part, honestly because it’s ridiculously simple to use.”


Kubernetes has become an increasingly popular option for container orchestration. The Kubernetes project was originally started by Google in 2014, with the project moving to the Linux Foundation’s Cloud Native Computing Foundation in 2015.

Momentum for Kubernetes has been strong in recent years, with major vendors like IBM, Cisco, and Red Hat all backing the platform. While Docker Inc. now supports Kubernetes to help customers, there are notable features in Swarm that are not yet present in Kubernetes.

“Obviously our embrace of Kubernetes is important, and one of the things we’re tying to do around the Kubernetes stack is to make it simple to consume,” Singh said.

He added that the goal of Docker Inc. is to build the most meaningful container platform company. As part of the mission, Singh said Docker Inc. will continue to support both Kubernetes and Swarm. He emphasized that Docker Inc is in a fortunate position in which it can continue to support both container orchestration systems.

“Our customers have embraced Swarm not only for simplicity, but it brought orchestration to Windows containers two years before Kubernetes, and that’s a significant opportunity for us to continue driving innovation,” Scott Johnston, Chief Product Officer at Docker, said.

Singh added that with Windows Server 2012 now being sunset, there is an influx of customers coming to Docker looking for a way to migrate their applications, and Swarm is a way to help enable that transition.

Swarm is also well suited for edge computing deployments. Edge computing is an emerging deployment paradigm where computing power is put at the edge of the network to help enable telecom and Internet of Things (IoT) use cases among others. Johnston said Docker has seen increasing interest in running workloads outside of the core data center for cloud and moving to the edge.

“It turns out that Swarm is really effective because of its simplicity and simple architecture, and for running those workloads outside the core data center, so you’ll see additional investment in that direction from us,” Johnston said.

Dockercon Europe 2018

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at ServerWatch and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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