Gartner Research

Using Kubernetes to Orchestrate Docker Container-Based Cloud and Microservices Applications

Published: 18 April 2016

ID: G00297508

Analyst(s): Richard Watson


Enterprise application teams are packaging and deploying software in containers, primarily with Docker. Architects should use this assessment to decide whether Kubernetes fits their requirements for an operational environment to orchestrate multiple containers across a cluster of servers.

Table Of Contents


  • Introduction to Container Orchestration
  • Many Choices in the Market for These Requirements ... Enter Kubernetes
  • Use Cases for Kubernetes
    • Use Case 1: Kubernetes as a Distributed Application Platform
    • Use Case 2: Kubernetes as a Microservices Hosting Environment
    • Use Case 3: Kubernetes as a Cloud Portability Mechanism
    • Use Case 4: Kubernetes as Infrastructure (for a PaaS Framework)
  • Where Did Kubernetes Come From? (Google Borg)
  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses


  • Assess Whether Your Requirements Indicate a Container Orchestrator Is the Right Answer to Your Application Infrastructure Scenarios
  • Assess Whether Your Requirements Indicate Kubernetes Is the Right Answer to Your Container Orchestration Requirements
  • Choose Integrated Distributions and Managed Kubernetes Cloud Services to Reduce Complexity
  • Mature the Architecture Skills and DevOps Practices That Will Produce Services Suitable for Harnessing Kubernetes

The Details

  • Assessment of the Kubernetes Ecosystem
    • Open-Source Evaluation
    • Standards and Industry Consortia
    • Commercial Options for Kubernetes

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