Comparing Swarm vs Kubernetes Terminology

by | May 2, 2019

One of the things that my team and I are sticklers about is using the proper terminology for the proper technology. It’s just not the debate of “Principle” vs “Principal”, it’s the inferred technology that is applied by the terms you use. For instance, if a client told me they had a Docker Cluster, I might infer they are using Kubernetes, as that is correct terminology. When, in fact, they may be using Docker EE and should have used the term Docker Swarm.

Recently, when I was learning more about Docker EE Swarm at DockerCon ‘19, I started to realize the concepts are similar in Kubernetes, but the terminology was subtly different. I started to put together my own cheat sheet of similar components, so that I could keep things straight between the different sessions I attended. Now, I can speak both Swarm and Kubernetes without mingling terms, something my team will certainly appreciate!
Swarm Term Kubenetes Term Loose Definition
Swarm Cluster A group of machines that are running that provide high availability of containers.
Node Cluster Member Either a physical or virtual host that is participating within the Swarm/Cluster.
Manager Master Manages the strategy of how work is distributed within the Swarm/Cluster.
Worker (Worker) Node A participating member of the Swarm/Cluster that is providing compute capacity.
Container Container A standard unit of software that packages up code and all its dependencies, so the application runs quickly and reliably from one computing environment to another.
Task Pod A group of containers that are deployed together on the same host.
Service ReplicaSet Starts and manages the tasks/pods, ensuring the desired state.
Service Deployment Provides declarative updates to ensure the desired state is maintained.
Stack Stack A collection of services to run an application.
VIP ClusterIP Service The IP address representing the service definition.
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