The Top 7 Kubernetes Alternatives for Container Orchestration

Container management is a heated subject when it comes to developing software. Containerization has revolutionized how we look at infrastructure, making it easier to execute software in production. But, you don’t need to become a developer or administrator to take advantage of containers. There are several orchestration tools available that can help you automate the management of your containers.

This article will discuss the most popular container tools to help you manage the system and make your work easier.

Mesosphere DC/OS

First on the list is Mesosphere DC/OS. Mesosphere DC/OS is a data center operating system that makes it easy to deploy, manage, and monitor large-scale containerized applications. Listed below are some of the features that make it one of the top container orchestration tools:

  • It is an open source, enterprise-grade container orchestration and automation system.
  • It abstracts every infrastructure layer into one resource pool and lets you quickly deploy apps across clusters of private clouds, public cloud data centers and hybrid clouds. For example, a VoIP system that facilitates communication between businesses and customers could be running on a cloud server while its load balancer is on-premises.
  • The software can power data centers on-premises as well as cloud public environments such as Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform and Amazon Web Services through its Kubernetes distribution known as Marathon.

Overall, Mesosphere DC/OS is a scalable, secure and high-performance container orchestration system that can be used to manage apps in production. If you are looking for an enterprise-grade container management solution, Mesosphere DC/OS is the right tool.

OpenShift Container Platform

OpenShift is another platform providing the necessary components for managing and deploying containers. In addition, it’s a cloud-based container, so running your applications using OpenShift in the cloud is feasible.

You can use it as an alternative to creating your own infrastructure since it is a platform-as-service (PaaS). It’s also an open source container management platform, allowing you to run Kubernetes on your servers instead of paying for commercial services like Microsoft Azure Cloud Service or AWS. 


Next, we have Docker, open source containerization software for developers to create applications that can run in any environment. Docker lets you bundle your application and its dependencies into a standard device for software development.

These containers are light, portable tools that allow users to deploy their applications in any setting. If you choose Docker, you can build containers that house everything necessary to run your application. This includes all required frameworks and libraries automatically installed after you create your image with Dockerfile protocols. After the image is made, it can be saved to disk or shared with others.

Docker uses images as templates to create new containers using Docker engine commands such as Build -t or run -d.


This list wouldn’t be complete without including Nomad. Nomad can be best described as a cluster management system run within the Nomad Server, which is the core of Nomad. The Nomad Server comes with a REST API and offers the ability to run applications and schedule tasks.

Nomad’s cluster management system lets you install a variety of nodes within your system and offers basic monitoring. functions. Furthermore, you can use it to increase or decrease the size of your cluster according to your requirements.

Amazon ECS

Amazon ECS is a flexible, high-performing, scalable container management solution compatible with Docker containers that let you run your applications on a controlled group of Amazon EC2 instances. Through Amazon ECS, you don’t have to set up and manage the cluster’s management infrastructure or set up tasks. You can use the management tools of AWS Console or SDKs, AWS CLI for tasks and define services. The service will take charge of provisioning the resource containers required for the functions to run.

You can also use third-party schedulers in conjunction with Amazon ECS. They provide users with an easy method to control the distributed application on top of containers that provide platform abstractions and the services provided through Amazon ECS.

Rancher RKE

Rancher RKE is an interface to the command line for Rancher Kubernetes Engine (RKE) and OpenShift. Both are software tools employed to deploy Kubernetes, an open source project that manages containers on several hosts.

OpenShift is an enterprise-class application built on Kubernetes that lets you run both cloud-based and traditional applications. It can run on-premises, in the cloud and in hybrid environments using other platforms, such as Mesos and Docker Swarm. Rancher  is specifically designed for running containers on a large scale but can also run legacy software (like Hadoop) in addition to stateless services such as databases, web applications, etc.


Containership is a container management platform that can be used to manage Docker Swarm, Kubernetes, Mesos, AWS ECS and other containers.

Developers can use it to build groups of containers that have the same storage volume and networks. Containership can also support stateful applications such as databases and message queues by installing persistent data volumes in your cluster with CRDs, similar to how you use StatefulSets with Kubernetes.

Containership can be installed on any cloud platform, including Kubernetes clusters that run using Amazon EC2 Container Service (ECS), Azure Container Service (ACS) and Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE). It can also work with other platforms such as DigitalOcean Droplet, Red Hat OpenShift v3 or Red Hat OpenStack Platform/RDO Atomic Host.

Containerization Tools Are Getting More Popular

These tools for container orchestration are becoming more popular, as they can be used to deploy microservices, applications, containers and even services. 

Container tools are an excellent choice for deploying applications since they’re simple to use. However, you should ensure that each application runs on its own computer so that you don’t face problems in terms of resources. Containerization also makes it possible to upgrade applications or increase/decrease their size according to demand, which is why it is easier to scale than conventional methods like virtual machines (VMs).

Although container management platforms are easy enough to use, you can hire an experienced freelance developer for around $100 an hour to build and manage container-based apps for you. 

Final Thoughts

We hope that this list has given you an understanding of the myriad tools available for containers and how you can use them. There are many additional tools that we didn’t cover here; however, those that we did include were recommended by others who work using containers. Remember that even if something is listed in this article, it doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for every circumstance or individual. Take time to research each container’s pros and cons to make sure it’s right for your needs.


Nahla Davies

Nahla Davies is a technical copywriter and former software specialist and lead programmer at several major technology companies whose clients include Collibra, UpGuard and Netflix. Since 2015 Davies has worked with enterprise clients around the world developing RegTech protocols and best practices. She worked both enterprise side and with sovereign governments acting as a key contributor for notable public projects like DCOM. Since 2020 Davies has taken a less active role in compliance consulting and started sharing my insights as a technical copywriter. Visit to learn more.

Nahla Davies has 14 posts and counting. See all posts by Nahla Davies