Kuberetes vs Mararthon - how they fare

August 19, 2015

Kubernetes(k8s) is trying to evolve itself as the defacto standard for container management. Backed by google it has all the odds to succeed. Marathon is another such application which can be used on top of mesos for container management and has been around for a while. In this post we will try to see how they fare against each other.

Feature Kubernetes(K8s) Marathon K8s +’s Marathon +’s
Ability to run Docker and other container types no, only docker as on date yes -1 +1
Ability to run non container applications no, only docker containers yes. can run non-containerized applications too -1 +1
Working with Mesos yes yes +1 +1
Working with other underlying infra yes, not bound to mesos. Can work independently and also with other platforms like OpenStack no, strongly tied to mesos +1 -1
Run containers with automatic recovery of failed containers yes yes +1 +1
Ability to run co-scheduled, co-located containers yes no +1 -1
Ability to launch sidekick containers yes no +1 -1
REST API yes yes +1 +1
UI no yes -1 +1
Batteries included rolling updates and upgrades yes sort of. was introduced in later versions +1 +1
Service discovery, load balancing, inbuilt yes no. need to integrate with consul, haproxy +1 -1

* as on 19/08/15

Running K8s on top of Mesos

With the Mesos integration layer, K8s acts as a Mesos framework, scheduling pods as Mesos tasks. K8s-Mesos integrates the K8s scheduler API with the Mesos scheduler API, matching up requested pods to resource offers. Each scheduled pod is also a Mesos task. From a user’s perspective, the integration is transparent. Mesos is the “gold standard” for large-scale production clusters running containers. This integration would give best container management experience with best in class Mesos resource scheduler.

So, Kubernetes or Marathon?

If you are only into containers, then K8s may be the way to go. Because

  • K8s was built ground up with the sole aim of deploying, orchestrating and maintaining containers drawing on over ten years of experience running containers at massive scale @ Google.
  • Personally, i feel being backed by google and now collaborating with Mesosphere, it has more muscle power and mileage to outlast marathon.
  • The recently formed Cloud Native Computing Foundation, where both Google and Mesosphere are part of have made K8s as the seed technology along with Mesos. This vindicates the point mentioned above.
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