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Which Containerization Option Should You Choose for MongoDB?

Author: Hanan Alsahsan | | October 1, 2020

Containers have a lot going for them in software development. They make it easy to scale application components, fix and update code, and manage complex programs. Kubernetes and Docker are two containerization options that are available for MongoDB. Both offer excellent feature sets and benefits for application development, so choosing between the two can be difficult. Here’s a rundown of the advantages of Docker and Kubernetes, as well as the use cases they’re best suited for.

Kubernetes on MongoDB

Kubernetes is an open-source container orchestration technology that is focused on container management in clustered database environments. You group containers together in a Kubernetes Pod, and can easily manage their resources, updates, and other functionality.

Kubernetes excels at simplifying container management for complex applications that span multiple servers. It offers high availability, automated scaling, and efficient load-balancing on MongoDB. You have tight control over networking and security functions, and your development team can easily work within complex environments. Migration to and from the public cloud, private cloud, hybrid cloud, and on-premises infrastructure is much easier for these applications.

Docker on MongoDB

Docker is an open-source container file format focused on portable and self-sufficient containers. Unlike Kubernetes, Docker is used on a single node rather than a cluster. Many developers turn to Docker as their container option of choice. It uses the Docker Engine runtime environment, which offers significant flexibility in working with many types of development machines. The Docker Hub is a container registry that simplifies the process of storing images. It works best for simple applications that do not require the resources of multiple MongoDB servers. While Docker Swarm offers some features for working on a cluster, this technology falls short in this area.

Good News – You Can Use Both Container Options for MongoDB Applications

Since the focus of Kubernetes and Docker on MongoDB is different, you’re not forced into deciding between the two of them. Leveraging the advantages of both is possible. They work well together and apart, giving your software development team the container flexibility they need for modern applications.

For example, you can use Docker to package the containerized application and use it with individual MongoDB servers. When the software begins to grow in complexity and resource requirements, you can bring Kubernetes in to orchestrate the containers and manage scaling across a MongoDB cluster.

When Kubernetes and Docker work in tandem, they deliver the following benefits:

  • Improve application availability
  • Implement load balancing and application scaling
  • Use an open standard for application packaging
  • Quickly develop and manage containers and images


No matter which containerization option for MongoDB you choose, Datavail is here to help. Our MongoDB specialists have extensive experience with implementing and managing containerized applications, and we’ll assist you with making the right decision for your organization.

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