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Docker Compose vs Docker Swarm

Last Updated : 25 Jan, 2024
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Docker is one of the most widely used container-based software on the market. Docker is an open-source platform for creating, deploying, and managing containerized applications. Docker allows us to simply bundle our apps into containers and can be deployable on any platform that supports docker software acting as a platform independent.

What Is Docker Swarm?

A Docker Swarm is a container orchestration tool that manages the Docker application. It has been set to link together in a cluster. A Swarm manager controls the cluster’s activity, and machines that join the cluster are referred to as nodes. A swarm manager oversees the cluster’s operations, and the machines that have joined the cluster are known as nodes. The high degree of availability provided for apps is one of the main advantages of running a docker swarm.

Feature Of Docker Swarm

  • Cluster Management Integrated With Docker Engine: Docker Swarm seamlessly manages your containers in a common environment providing efficient coordination and resource utilization.
  • Declarative Service Model: Docker Swarm defines and provides the desired state of services making applications highly available and simplifying the configurations and deployment process.
  • Desired State Reconciliation: It ensures your system consistently keeps your services aligned with defined configurations with optimized performance and reliability.
  • Service Discovery: Docker Swarm will effortlessly help in locating and connecting with the services within the Cluster with features such as Service Discovery promoting seamless communication and interaction between containers.
  • Secure By Default: It prioritizes security from the outset with default settings that safeguard your containers and services reducing the vulnerability risks.
  • Decentralized Design: It Comes up with a distributed architecture that increases the resilience and scalability facilitating efficient management operations of containerized applications.

When To Use Docker Swarm

Docker Swarm is designed for more demanding workloads, whereas Docker Compose is more of an automated tool. Web applications that must grow concurrently for workloads involving hundreds or thousands of users. Distributed systems like Docker Swarm are ideal for businesses with a big user base and strict SLA requirements. The likelihood of downtime resulting from an impacted data center or network link is greatly decreased if your application is operating across numerous servers and data centers.

What is Docker Compose?

Docker Compose is used to combine several containers into a single service. You can run all of your containers on a single host using docker-compose, and getting started doesn’t need a complicated host configuration. Ports, network, and container capacity are all readily customizable in the YAML file.

Features Of Docker Compose

  • Fast And Easy Configuration With YAML Scripts: Docker Compose provides the configuration process through YAML scripts to speed up the building process of multi- containerized applications with automation.
  • Efficient Collaboration: It provides the seamless collaboration among the team members by sharing the Doker Compose files facilitating consistent development and deployment environments across different platforms.
  • Portability Across Environments: It Ensure your containeried application to run consistently across various environments from development stage to production facilitating portability with containerized principles.
  • Extensive Community And Support: It comes up with providing extensive community support for docker users to seek a wealth of knowledge, resources and having support for troubleshooting issues.
  • Simplified Control: Docker Compose offers a well interactive interface for managing the containerized applications simplifying the control and orchestrating the services with configuration management.

When To Use Docker Compose

The majority of real-world apps consists of many services that are reliant on one another. For instance, your app could operate in one container but rely on a database server that is deployed nearby in another container. Furthermore, before services can be deployed, they often need to be configured with storage volumes, environment variables, port bindings, and other parameters. You may use Compose to package these needs into a customised “stack” of containers for your application. This enhances developer ergonomics, facilitates stack reuse across several settings, and lessens the likelihood of inadvertent misconfiguration.

Similarities Between Docker Compose And Docker Swarm

  • Both of these require your application stack specifications in YAML format.
  • Both of them are designed to work with microservices, or multi-container applications.
  • They both offer a scale option that lets you run several instances of the same docker image, which enables horizontal scaling of your microservice.
  • The same business, Docker, Inc., is in charge of both of them.

Difference between docker compose and docker swarm

Docker Swarm

Docker Compose

Docker Swarm allows you to scale your web application over one or more machines. In contrast.

Docker-compose will execute your web application on a single Docker host.

Scaling your web application using Docker-Compose on a single host is only suitable for testing and development.

Scaling your web app using Docker-Compose on a single server is only practical for testing and development.

Docker Swarm and associated subcommands, such as Docker Swarm and Docker Stack, are integrated into the Docker CLI itself.

Docker-Compose is a standalone binary.

Docker Swarm manages and orchestrates a cluster of Docker containers.

Docker compose is used to construct, distribute and execute independent containers


In conclusion Docker Swarm is a container orchestration tool that manages the Docker application.Docker Compose is used to combine several containers into a single service.Docker allows us to simply bundle our apps into containers.

Docker Compose And Docker Swarm – FAQS

Can I Use Docker Compose With Docker Swarm?

The command may be used to deploy a stack specified in a Docker Compose file in swarm mode. By utilizing swarm orchestration features, this distributes the services specified in the Docker Compose file throughout the swarm.

What Is The Point Of Docker Swarm?

For Docker containers, Docker Swarm is a scheduling and clustering tool. A cluster of Docker nodes may be set up and managed by developers and IT administrators using Swarm as a single virtual system.

What Are The Two Types Of Docker Swarm Services?

Replicated and global services are two types in swarm mode. You provide the swarm manager instructions on how many replica jobs to schedule onto accessible nodes when it comes to replicated services.

How To Check Docker Swarm Status?

After a service has been deployed to your swarm, you may view information about it using the Docker CLI. If you haven’t already, use a terminal and connect to your management node’s host over SSH. For instance, manager1 is the computer used in the lesson.

How Do I Stop Docker Swarm Service?

To Stop the Docker Swarm Service try on running the command `docker service scale <service_name>=0` to scale the service down to zero replicas effectively stopping it. Alternatively you can use the command `docker service rm <service_name>` to remove the service entirely.

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