Docker swarm mode on Docker Desktop

Docker Swarm is a separate product which you can use to cluster multiple Docker hosts. Prior to Docker version 1.12 it was the only native Docker option for clustering hosts, and it needed a lot of additional setup for distributed state, service discovery and security. Service discovery is handled differently in Docker Swarm and Kubernetes. Swarm containers can connect with each other using virtual private IP addresses and service names, regardless of the hosts on which they are operating. If one of the nodes drops offline, the replicas it was hosting will be rescheduled to the others.

docker swarm icon

Containers effectively guarantee that those applications run the
same way anywhere, allowing us to quickly and easily take advantage of all
these environments. Swarm never creates individual containers like we did in the previous step of this tutorial. Instead, all Swarm workloads are scheduled as services, which are scalable groups of containers with added networking features maintained automatically by Swarm. Furthermore, all Swarm objects can and should be described in manifests called stack files.

Check Docker Swarm status

Homepage features automatic service discovery for containers with the proper labels attached, all configuration options can be applied using dot notation, beginning with homepage. You can now simply check if Redis is responding on all nodes, despite the fact its only running on swarm1 and swarm2. Kubernetes is also modular and compatible with all architecture deployments. It works by grouping containers and naming them as logistical units which can then be used and communicated with individually. By distributing the load amongst containers, Kubernetes allows for increased portability across the system, while dramatically improving scalability and growth.

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Hands down, Docker Swarm is known to have the more quick and simple setup and installation process. Swarm is also easier to pick up, even with less technical knowledge. Kubernetes on the other hand is much more complex to install and has a steeper learning curve. However, because of this, Kubernetes is also able to handle far larger or more complicated deployments. Once you’re past the initial install and get the hang of how it works, Kubernetes offers stronger clusters that are faster and more secure—golden in large production environments. Docker Swarm excels within simple or smaller architectures with less containers.

Initialize Docker swarm

Nodes that show an availability of „active“ with a status of „ready“ are healthy and ready to support your workloads. The Manager Status column indicates nodes that are also acting as swarm managers. The „leader“ is the node with overall responsibility for the cluster. Current versions of Docker include swarm mode for natively managing a cluster
of Docker Engines called a swarm. Use the Docker CLI to create a swarm, deploy
application services to a swarm, and manage swarm behavior.

However, if you want to take your monitoring to the next level, you’ll need to use other third-party logging and monitoring solutions like Atatus. By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct. Find centralized, trusted content and collaborate around the technologies you use most.


The feature comes bundled with Docker and includes everything you need to deploy apps across nodes. Swarm Mode has a declarative scaling model where you state the number of replicas you require. The swarm manager takes action to match the actual number of replicas to your request, creating and destroying containers as necessary. Despite the similar name, the two orchestrators mean very different things by
the term ’service‘.

  • It’s often simpler to install and maintain on self-managed hardware, although pre-packaged Kubernetes solutions like MicroK8s have eroded the Swarm convenience factor.
  • Use Swarm mode if you intend to use Swarm as a production runtime environment.
  • Tools to manage, scale, and maintain containerized applications are called
  • When you assign a task to a node, it can’t be assigned to another node.
  • Atatus is delivered as a fully managed cloud service with minimal setup at any scale that requires no maintenance.

The Google-created Kubernetes (or K8s) and Docker’s own Docker Swarm are the two powerhouse tools for container orchestration. Both are great for managing multiple containers and work docker swarm icon seamlessly with Docker, but the best choice for you will depend on what your needs and preferences are. This shows each node’s unique ID, its hostname, and its current status.


After all, when the container and container orchestration tools are made by the same company, you know they’ll play very well with one another. A service is a group of containers of the same image that enables the scaling of applications. Before you can deploy a service in Docker Swarm, you must have at least one node deployed.

docker swarm icon

Lets create the passwords for the root database and the wordpress database first and store them as a secret available on every Swarm node. After the common sudo apt update & sudo apt upgrade, we install Docker CE. In this write-up, we learned what is Docker Swarm, along with that understood the Swarm mode key concepts and how Docker Swarm works.

Log Monitoring and Management

To run a cluster you just need to install Docker on multiple machines, run docker swarm init to switch to Swarm Mode and docker swarm join to add more nodes to the cluster. Consider the case where a manager node issues directives to various worker nodes. The worker nodes receive tasks from the manager node and the manager node in a cluster is aware of the status of the worker nodes. Every worker node has an agent who reports to the manager on the status of the node’s tasks.

docker swarm icon

When traffic arrives on that port, that traffic is then routed to a container running for that service. While this concept is pretty standard when all nodes are running a service’s container, this concept gets interesting when we have more nodes than we do replicas. Despite not running replicas on all Swarm nodes, the published service will be available on all nodes. With the Kubernetes dashboard, logging and monitoring is built-in and readily available.


The final step is to carry out the duties that the manager node has given to the worker node. A service is a collection of containers with the same image that allows applications to scale. In Docker Swarm, you must have at least one node installed before you can deploy a service. Besides the basic management operations described so far, services come with a rich set of configuration options. These can be applied when creating a service or later with the docker service update command. Prepend regular container management commands with docker service to list services, view their logs, and delete them.

Posted on: 20. April 2023yannik

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