15 Best Docker Alternatives

With the increasing demand for cloud-native applications and services, containerization technology has become a must-have for organizations. Docker is one of the most popular solutions in this space and it offers powerful advantages such as scalability and portability, however there are several alternatives that offer similar or even better features than Docker.

This article will provide an overview of 15 best Docker Alternatives available on the market today. The list includes open source solutions as well as commercial offerings from both established vendors and start-ups, offering users more choice when selecting a container platform to meet their needs.

The selection criteria used by this article include features such as production readiness, security options, ease of use, level of support offered, pricing models and customer feedback. Each solution presented here provides a unique set of capabilities that can help organizations maximize their containerized workloads.


Kubernetes is an open source container orchestration platform that offers a comprehensive set of features for the efficient deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications.

It provides powerful tools for automating complex application tasks such as networking, storage provisioning, service discovery, and security.

Kubernetes also enables users to quickly deploy their applications across multiple nodes in order to decrease resource consumption and improve scalability.

Kubernetes helps with eliminating manual processes associated with deploying containers by providing automated deployment strategies and built-in mechanisms for managing resources.

This includes automatically scheduling deployments based on user input or dynamic conditions, as well as allowing users to access logs generated during runtime easily.

Additionally, its robust authentication system ensures secure communication between services while ensuring container security through role-based access control (RBAC).

Overall, Kubernetes simplifies the process of maintaining distributed applications efficiently throughout their lifecycle by providing reliable automation capabilities and granular control over resources.

Its wide range of features makes it one of the most popular solutions when considering alternatives to Docker.

Apache Mesos

Kubernetes is an excellent platform for containerized deployments and resource scheduling, but Apache Mesos provides a different approach to the same problems.

Although it may not be as well-known or heavily supported as Kubernetes, Apache Mesos does offer several advantages:

  • It allows multiple frameworks to run side by side on the same cluster with no extra configuration.
  • It makes efficient use of resources when scaling up applications due to its support for dynamic sharing and oversubscription of resources.
  • Its “universal scheduler” architecture allows developers to create custom schedulers that are tailored to specific workloads.
  • It offers integration with existing infrastructure components like Marathon and Chronos.

In comparison to Kubernetes, Apache Mesos can give users more control over their environment while also providing scalability and reliability features that make it easier to deploy complex applications in production environments.

The combination of these two technologies gives organizations a powerful toolset for managing their cloud infrastructure efficiently and effectively.


LXD is a powerful Linux container technology that has become increasingly popular as an alternative to Docker.

Unlike its predecessor, LXD offers users the ability to create and manage thousands of containers on single physical machines in parallel with no extra effort or complexity.

It also enables fast scaling by providing strong container orchestration features such as live migration, snapshotting and storage management.

For those who are looking for more control over their infrastructure than what’s offered by Docker, LXD provides granular access controls and user-defined policies.

In addition, it allows developers to customize configurations and settings for each application within a container without having to open up ports.

Finally, thanks to its advanced networking capabilities, LXD can be used for distributed applications running across multiple hosts or datacenters while still being able to interact with one another securely.

The performance gains provided by LXC make it ideal for enterprises seeking high density hosting solutions and faster time-to-market delivery cycles.

Its support for widely used platforms like Ubuntu makes deployment easy while offering flexible scalability options when needed.

Whether you’re managing hundreds of nodes or just need reliable isolation between different parts of your stack, LXD is worth considering as an alternative to Docker.


Rancher is an increasingly popular open-source software platform for deploying and managing containers. It offers users a unified interface that allows them to create and manage Docker clusters, as well as other container technologies such as Kubernetes.

Rancher features powerful scalability capabilities which make it ideal for large-scale deployments, while providing strong security controls to protect applications from malicious activity. Its intuitive graphical user interface also makes it easier for developers to quickly spin up resources and deploy their projects in record time.

The platform supports multiple cloud providers, enabling administrators to switch between different environments with relative ease. This flexibility provides companies with the ability to move workloads across infrastructure without having to reconfigure or rewrite existing code; making it easy to scale out applications when needed.

Additionally, Rancher’s built-in authentication system helps ensure secure access control management within its cluster environment, preventing unauthorized access by third parties.

Rancher has established itself as one of the most reliable and comprehensive solutions for enterprises wanting to run distributed application stacks on-premises or in the cloud. With its robust architecture, scalability options and comprehensive security protocols, organizations can rest assured knowing their data is safe and protected at all times.

Azure Container Instances

Azure Container Instances (ACI) is a container hosting service provided by Microsoft that enables users to deploy and manage docker containers through the Azure portal. ACI offers an efficient way for developers to quickly move their application from development to production without having to go through the time-consuming process of setting up servers or clusters. It also provides cost savings as compared to other services, making it attractive for businesses seeking alternatives to Docker.

In terms of security features, ACI uses multiple layers of authentication and authorization protocols in order to protect user data stored within its system. This includes encryption at rest and in transit, role-based access control, auditing capabilities, and more.

Furthermore, since all deployments are managed via the Azure portal, customers can be sure that they have full visibility over all container operations occurring on their platform.

From a cost perspective, ACI is competitively priced when compared to many other cloud providers’ offerings; pricing starts at $0.0017 per hour with no additional fees unless resources are used beyond what was initially allocated at creation time. Additionally, customers receive 1 month free trial access before being required to pay any costs associated with using the service.

Overall, Azure Container Instances provides an excellent alternative for those looking for an easy-to-use container hosting service that offers robust security features and competitive pricing options. With its ability to quickly deploy applications into production environments while utilizing existing infrastructure from the Azure cloud platform, this solution is ideal for businesses needing reliable performance and scalability without breaking the bank.

Amazon Elastic Container Service

Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) is a managed container orchestration service that allows users to easily run, scale, and secure containers on AWS.

ECS provides users with a platform for deploying and managing containerized applications.

With ECS, users can benefit from enhanced scalability, allowing them to quickly and easily scale containerized applications to meet changing demand.

Additionally, ECS offers users a range of security solutions, such as the ability to control access to their applications with security policies and user authentication.

Finally, ECS provides users with a range of tools to streamline the deployment process, including automated deployment and configuration management.


The ever-evolving landscape of cloud infrastructure has made containerized deployment a popular choice for businesses looking to maximize the potential of microservices architecture.

Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) provides an attractive solution for those seeking an easy and cost effective way to manage their containerized workloads.

In addition to its flexibility in terms of scalability, ECS also offers built-in support for orchestration tools such as Kubernetes and Docker Swarm.

However, there are several other options available on the market today which may prove more suitable depending on the needs and requirements of individual organizations.

Azure Container Services (ACS) is Microsoft’s platform for managing container deployments with a focus on rapid provisioning, automated scaling and integrated monitoring capabilities.

Google Cloud Platform’s Kubernetes Engine also allows users to quickly create clusters of virtual machines optimized for running containers while offering features such as autoscaling, high availability and integration with existing storage solutions.

Furthermore, Rancher Labs’ open source project called Rancher is another alternative worth exploring due to its ability to run any type of application or service regardless of underlying operating system or infrastructure provider.

This makes it particularly well suited for hybrid environments where applications need access to resources both on premise and in public clouds like AWS.


When it comes to Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) security is a primary concern for organizations running containerized applications. ECS provides built-in protection through resource isolation and the ability to scan containers for vulnerabilities.

Additionally, users can define permissions at different levels of access – such as specific services, tasks or clusters – ensuring that only authorized personnel are able to view or modify sensitive information.

Furthermore, Amazon’s Virtual Private Cloud feature allows customers to host their workloads in an isolated virtual network, providing an extra layer of protection against malicious actors.

By leveraging these features, businesses can rest assured that their data remains secure while they enjoy the flexibility and scalability offered by cloud computing solutions like ECS.


Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) is a powerful tool for container orchestration and automation, designed to enable organizations to rapidly deploy applications at scale. With ECS, customers can quickly spin up containers on demand or set up predictable scaling operations based on workloads. This scalability makes it easy to respond to changing business needs while keeping costs low.

The service also offers an impressive array of features that make deploying and managing containers more efficient. For starters, users can create templates for their application stacks so they don’t have to manually configure each individual piece every time they need to launch new resources.

Additionally, ECS allows customers to group related tasks into task sets which can then be automatically scaled in response to changes in the environment – such as spikes in traffic or unexpected downtime events – ensuring that the services remain available and responsive even under high load conditions.

Finally, Amazon’s CloudWatch monitoring system enables administrators get real-time insights into how their applications are running – allowing them to identify potential issues before they become serious problems.

All this provides businesses with greater control over their infrastructure and helps them stay agile as their needs evolve over time.

Docker Swarm

Moving on from Amazon Elastic Container Service, Docker Swarm is a powerful container orchestration platform. It works by allowing users to create and manage clusters of containers in an efficient way. Each cluster can contain hundreds or even thousands of nodes, depending on the configuration specified. This makes it perfect for larger deployments with multiple hosts running different services.

Docker Swarm relies heavily on resource scheduling algorithms to ensure that all resources are allocated in the most efficient manner possible. It also provides support for rolling updates, so when changes need to be made to a service they can be rolled out without interruption.

Additionally, this system allows users to easily monitor their applications and see how they’re performing at any given time.

One of the key benefits of using Docker Swarm is its flexibility; it has built-in features that allow users to customize the cluster configuration according to their needs. This means you don’t have to worry about manually configuring each node or setting up complex scripts – everything is taken care of automatically through the software itself.

And with its high scalability and ease-of-use, it’s clear why Docker Swarm has become one of the go-to solutions for container orchestration today.

Cloud Foundry

Cloud Foundry is a popular open source platform for deploying and managing applications on public and private clouds.

It helps simplify the deployment process for developers by taking care of the underlying infrastructure, allowing them to focus on their applications.

Cloud Foundry also provides a cloud services management layer that helps in monitoring and managing the cloud services.

By using Cloud Foundry, organizations can gain more control over their cloud services and reduce costs associated with deploying and managing applications.

Deployment Of Apps

Cloud Foundry is a powerful platform for deploying applications, offering enterprises the flexibility to adopt container orchestration and microservices architecture.

Cloud Foundry allows users to quickly launch services without any manual intervention or scripting on supported public cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. It provides an easy-to-use graphical user interface that simplifies the process of setting up apps in the cloud.

Additionally, there are numerous open source options available for developers who prefer more control over their application deployment process. OpenShift by Redhat, Kubernetes, Docker Swarm and Mesos are just some examples of other viable solutions with similar features as Cloud Foundry but may provide greater portability across different infrastructures.

Ultimately, businesses should assess their needs carefully before deciding which option best meets their requirements when it comes to deploying applications in the cloud. It is worth noting however that there will always be tradeoffs between convenience and cost savings depending on the environment selected.

Cloud Services Management

Cloud Foundry can also be used for cloud services management, allowing businesses to manage their applications and data in the cloud. This is becoming increasingly important as more organizations rely on public clouds such as AWS or Microsoft Azure for hosting their applications and websites.

Serverless computing and container platforms are two of the most popular options when it comes to managing cloud services as they provide a reliable environment with minimal effort required from an IT team. Cloud Foundry provides users with access to these tools through its open source platform, allowing them greater control over how their applications run in the cloud.

Additionally, this platform allows enterprises to scale quickly without having to invest heavily upfront into hardware resources or costly software licenses. Ultimately, cloud services management offers companies a cost-effective solution for running their workloads efficiently in the cloud while maintaining security and reliability.

Hashicorp Nomad

Hashicorp Nomad is an open source workload orchestrator that enables multi cloud deployment and resource scheduling. It provides a highly available, distributed system for managing applications across any infrastructure. The goal of Nomad is to provide a single solution for running all types of jobs on diverse sets of compute resources in order to optimize utilization and reduce operational overhead.

Nomad allows users to submit and manage multiple types of workloads including Docker containers, batch jobs, Java servlets, JavaScript applications, and more. It supports both Linux and Windows operating systems as well as virtual machines such as VMware vSphere or Amazon EC2 instances. In addition, it can be easily integrated with other popular tools like Terraform and Consul to simplify operations even further.

The main features offered by Hashicorp Nomad include:

  • Automation:

  • Automatically scale deployments based on demand; set up automated rollbacks in case of errors; define job specs using HCL syntax; monitor application status continuously

  • Multi-Cloud Deployment:

  • Easily deploy applications/services across different clouds without vendor lock-in; support for AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform (GCP) etc.; quickly move services between different providers

  • Resource Scheduling:

  • Optimize server utilization by automatically scheduling tasks onto the most suitable nodes according to CPU usage stats; schedule long-running processes at regular intervals

  • Automated Provisioning:

Google Container Engine

Following the footsteps of Hashicorp Nomad, Google Container Engine (GKE) is another strong contender for Docker alternatives.

GKE features a robust container security and cluster configuration system that allows users to easily manage their applications and workloads across multiple nodes in an automated fashion. As with any cloud service, GKE offers customers scalability, cost savings, reliability and flexibility when managing their environment.

The core of GKE lies in its powerful Kubernetes engine which provides consistent deployment and management of containers as well as deep integration between various services. In addition, GKE also boasts integrated container-level security capabilities such as role-based access control (RBAC), secure clusters, namespace isolation, encryption at rest and more.

Customers can also take advantage of advanced analytics tools like Stackdriver Monitoring and Logging to ensure consistently high performance of their application deployments on GKE.

GKE makes it easy to deploy large-scale applications without needing dedicated IT staff or resources; all orchestration tasks are handled through automated processes within the cluster itself. This means customer infrastructure can remain agile while scaling up quickly over time to meet ever changing market demands.

From simple single node deployments to full enterprise level clusters spanning multiple data centers around the world – GKE has got you covered!


The open-source container ecosystem is continually evolving, providing organizations with a wide range of options when it comes to choosing the most suitable technology for their needs.

As the saying goes ‘the more the merrier,’ these fifteen alternatives to Docker demonstrate that there are many viable solutions available in the market today.

From Kubernetes and Apache Mesos to LXD and Rancher, each platform has its own unique features and benefits that make them stand out from one another.

Ultimately, businesses must invest time into researching which solution best fits their specific requirements — but rest assured, they will have plenty of options to choose from!

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