Simplifying the Management of Kubernetes with Docker Enterprise Edition

Dec 6 2017

Back in October at DockerCon Europe, we announced that Docker will be delivering a seamless and simplified integration of Kubernetes into the Docker platform. By integrating Kubernetes with Docker EE, we provide the choice to use Kubernetes and/or Docker Swarm for orchestration while maintaining the consistent developer to operator workflow users have come to expect from Docker. For users, this means they get an unmodified, conformant version of Kubernetes with the added value of the Docker platform including security, management, a familiar developer workflow and tooling, broad ecosystem compatibility and an adherence to industry standards including containerd and the OCI.

Kubernetes and Docker

One of the biggest questions that we’ve been asked since we announced support for Kubernetes at  DockerCon EU –  what does this mean for an operations team that is already using Kubernetes to orchestrate containers within their enterprise? The answer is really fairly straightforward  –  Kubernetes teams using Docker EE will have the following:

  • Full access to the Kube API and all Kubernetes constructs
  • Native use of KubeCTL
  • If you are developing in Kube YML, seamless deployment
  • Ability to develop  in Docker with Compose and leverage your best practices around Kubernetes services

Docker Enterprise Edition with support for Kubernetes will be in beta this month and be generally available in February. Those who use Docker for Mac will get access to the first Docker CE edge release with Kubernetes support later this month. Docker for Windows will follow shortly thereafter.

To learn more about how Docker supports Kubernetes for orchestration, watch a quick overview that describes the security and portability benefits realized by using Kubernetes in Docker:

Through Integration, Kubernetes inherits Advanced Capabilities of the Docker Platform

Integrating Kubernetes into Docker EE means that Kubernetes inherits the Docker EE features for integrated management at scale, security and automation for enterprise operations.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Easy Production Install

By leveraging Swarm for cluster management, creating a highly available and fault tolerant Kubernetes environment is much easier and much more secure.

For admins, they can get a cluster up and running with Kubernetes by simply installing Docker EE with a one-line command. Once the cluster is running, Kubernetes is installed as part of Docker EE and runs independently, free of any dependency on swarm. This includes mutually authenticated TLS for all nodes in the cluster with certificate rotation. This built-in security functionality means that only nodes that are authorized to be in the cluster can join.

Nodes once added to the cluster, can be assigned dynamically to run Kubernetes services or Swarm services, allowing a clear separation of concerns for administrators. With this advanced node management, operators can easily troubleshoot and diagnose issues with each orchestrator. Additionally, administrators can change the task allocation setting dynamically on each individual node to align their capacity needs with their workloads.

Secure and Unified Supply Chain

Docker EE delivers end-to-end security across the supply chain from the developer’s laptop to production deployment. With this integration, teams leverage the same supply chain capabilities for both Swarm and Kubernetes deployments. That includes:

  • Secure Image Management: With image scanning and Docker Content Trust, Docker EE provides a way to validate and verify images before being deployed and manage them in a privately hosted image registry.
  • Secure Automation: With policy-based image promotion, organizations remove bottlenecks in the supply chain while enforcing policies such as scanning for vulnerabilities.

Secure Multi-Tenancy

With flexible and granular role-based access controls (RBAC) down to the API-level, admins can integrate AD/LDAP once and support different teams bringing different apps (Windows, Linux, or mainframe) of different app types (microservices, ISV, or traditional), leveraging different orchestrators (Swarm or Kubernetes) all in to the same Docker EE environment with secure isolation between them. That allows development teams to bring their own tools and processes into the same environment.

For users deploying applications to the Docker EE cluster, they get the choice of API in Kubernetes or Swarm, across a common set of nodes and using a common set of container images secured by the Trusted Registry.

Deploy Apps to Kubernetes

A new capability with this upcoming release allows organizations to use existing Docker Compose files and deploy to a Docker EE with Kubernetes environment. The same Docker Compose file can be deployed with either orchestrator by mapping Docker service definitions to native Kubernetes resource types.

Centralized Management

With Docker EE, all of these different applications can be monitored and managed in a single environment that is integrated with centralized logging and monitoring capabilities. IT can manage and secure all applications in a unified operating model that aligns with their current responsibilities.

Infrastructure Independence

Docker EE delivers a consistent experience across certified infrastructure platforms including Linux distributions (RHEL, SLES, CentOS, Ubuntu, Oracle Linux), Windows as well as cloud platforms including AWS,Azure, and IBM Cloud. This means organizations are not locked into an underlying platform and get greater cloud portability.

Watch the video below for a complete demo of Kubernetes in Docker EE.

Sign up for the Beta

If you’re interested in getting an easy-to-manage and secure deployment of Kubernetes with advanced lifecycle management capabilities, visit and sign up for the upcoming Beta.

To learn more about Kubernetes in Docker:


0 thoughts on "Simplifying the Management of Kubernetes with Docker Enterprise Edition"

DockerCon 2022

Registration is now open for DockerCon 2022! Join us for this free, immersive online experience complete with product demos, breakout learning tracks, panel discussions, hacks & tips, deep dive technical sessions, and much more.

Register Now