What is Docker Swarm Mode and When Should You Use It?

To enumerate, Docker Containers are faster, portable, provide isolation, use less memory, etc. More than 2,100 enterprises around the world rely on Sumo Logic to build, run, and secure their modern applications and cloud infrastructures. To contextualize our understanding of a Docker Swam, let’s take a step back and define some of the more basic terms surrounding containers and the docker application. No worries—our article on container orchestration tools offers plenty of alternatives.

You can also specify these flags as part of the update, as arguments to
docker service update. When updating a service with docker service update, –placement-pref-add
appends a new placement preference after all existing placement preferences. –placement-pref-rm removes an existing placement preference that matches the


Each node of a Docker Swarm is a Docker daemon, and all Docker daemons interact using the Docker API. Each container within the Swarm can be deployed and accessed by nodes of the same cluster. To see the result of using the template, use the docker service ps and
docker inspect commands.

docker swarm

We can use Docker Swarm to make Docker work across multiple nodes, allowing them to share containers with each other. It’s an environment where you can have various Docker images running on the same host operating system. A Docker Swarm cluster also provides administrators and developers with the ability to add or subtract container iterations as computing demands change.


Swarm mode supports rolling updates where container instances are scaled incrementally. You can specify a delay between deploying the revised service to each node in the swarm. This gives you time to act on regressions if issues are noted. docker swarm You can quickly rollback as not all nodes will have received the new service. An Image is a package of executable files that contains all of the code, libraries, runtime, binaries and configuration files necessary to run an application.

docker swarm

One of the main benefits of Docker Swarms is increasing application availability through redundancy. In order to function, a docker swarm must have a swarm manager that can assign tasks to worker nodes. By implementing multiple managers, developers ensure that the system can continue to function even if one of the manager nodes fails.

Contact Docker

Swarm mode integrates the orchestration capabilities of Docker Swarm into Docker Engine 1.12 and newer releases. For instructions on using Swarm in your dev, test or production environment, refer to the Docker Swarm documentation on docs.docker.com. You can use templates for some flags of service create, using the syntax
provided by the Go’s

docker swarm

Manual rollback is handled at the server side, which allows manually-initiated
rollbacks to respect the new rollback parameters. Note that –rollback cannot
be used in conjunction with other flags to docker service update. An individual task update is considered to have failed if the task doesn’t
start up, or if it stops running within the monitoring period specified with
the –update-monitor flag. First, create overlay network on a manager node using the docker network create
command with the –driver overlay flag. You can reach the nginx server on port 8080 of every swarm node. If you add a
node to the swarm, a nginx task is started on it.

Docker Swarm vs Kubernetes: What are the Differences?

When we create a cluster of one or more Docker Engines its called a swarm mode. A swarm consists of one or more nodes physical or virtual machines running Docker Engine. The manager node knows the status of the worker nodes in a cluster, and the worker nodes accept tasks sent from the manager node. Every worker node has an agent that reports on the state of the node’s tasks to the manager. This way, the manager node can maintain the desired state of the cluster. The following example configures a redis service to roll back automatically
if a docker service update fails to deploy.

  • After you create a service, its image is never updated unless you explicitly run
    docker service update with the –image flag as described below.
  • This can be useful if you need to access private repositories during a build.
  • The demo shows how to build and deploy a Docker Engine, run Docker commands, and install Docker Swarm.
  • If your team can use the tool properly and you have a fitting use case, K8s is likely the better option.
  • You can make credential specs available to Docker Engine running swarm kit worker nodes before a container starts.

Prepend regular container management commands with docker service to list services, view their logs, and delete them. If one of the nodes drops offline, the replicas it was hosting will be rescheduled to the others. You’ll have three Apache containers running throughout the lifetime of the service. At this point, we have successfully used Docker Desktop to deploy our application to a fully-featured Swarm environment on our development machine.

Publish ports

You can get more details about a node by running docker node ls. This shows each node’s unique ID, its hostname, and its current status. 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. The feature comes bundled with Docker and includes everything you need to deploy apps across nodes.

While the platform offers less in-depth control, Docker Swarm has an approximately five times faster deployment time than K8s. K8s deployments rely on the tool’s API and declarative definitions (both differ from standard Docker equivalents). You cannot rely on Docker Compose or Docker CLI to define a container, and switching platforms typically requires you to rewrite definitions and commands.

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The swarm extends my-network to each node running the service. You can use overlay networks to connect one or more services within the swarm. When you create a service without specifying any details about the version of
the image to use, the service uses the version tagged with the latest tag. You can force the service https://www.globalcloudteam.com/ to use a specific version of the image in a few
different ways, depending on your desired outcome. The following service’s containers have an environment variable $MYVAR
set to myvalue, run from the /tmp/ directory, and run as the
my_user user. The following sections provide details about service configuration.