Kubernetes vs Nomad: What to choose in 2023?

Kubernetes vs Nomad, Kubernetes continues to be the industry standard for container orchestration. However, there are several different alternatives out there. Despite being less well-known than Kubernetes, HashiCorp’s Nomad has swiftly gained ground and is now a viable competitor in the container orchestration space. Kubernetes and Nomad will be compared head-to-head in this post, focusing on each of the many capabilities, benefits, use cases, and difficulties.

Container Orchestration Fundamentals

It is transitory when a container is used to operate a single process. As a result, application changes necessitate replacing these containers rather than simply updating them. Containers lack native access to computational resources such as storage and networking since they are virtual software packages designed to operate on any platform.

To manage microservices at scale using container lifecycle management processes, technologies for container orchestration were created.


As an accessible, open-source container orchestration technology, Kubernetes may be used to manage containers on many hosts. Descriptive deployment and automation are two of the platform’s critical benefits for large-scale infrastructure administration.

Kubernetes has fast become a standard container orchestration technology for enterprises using current DevOps and Continuous Delivery frameworks to plan and deploy apps on diverse clusters of real or virtual computers DevOps and Continuous Delivery frameworks.


Nomad from HashiCorp is an easy-to-use, adaptable solution for orchestrating various workloads across various locations and cloud platforms. On-premises and cloud-based platforms can be pooled into a single Nomad infrastructure pool for use by numerous applications.

As a container timetabling and cluster management platform, Nomad focuses on optimising resource consumption through bin-packing rather than being considered a container orchestration and automated tool.

Comparison of Kubernetes vs Nomad

For its success, the container orchestration platform Kubernetes relies on the dynamic ecosystem of numerous loosely-coupled components. However, although Nomad’s architecture is more straightforward, it delivers the same functionality that a more powerful orchestrator does. Some similarities and differences may be seen between the two platforms.

They’re both open-source software designed to handle container orchestration and comparable use cases, Kubernetes and Nomad, respectively. Because of this, both have the following characteristics in common:

Scheduling That Is Automated

In both Nomad and Kubernetes, appropriate hosts for running applications are automatically found by employing a rating system based on predefined functions.

To keep track of which computers are suitable for pod binding, Kubernetes employs filters and scores. To maintain a way of healthy nodes, the platform looks at resource needs, inter-workload interference, policy limitations, and affinity specifications.

Nomad uses an assessment method to modify the state of a node and match it with the desired shape of a task to automate workload scheduling.

Deployments of Auto-Recovery and Self-Healing

In the event of a system failure, both orchestration systems offer a variety of tools and processes for restarting applications and regaining data.

In the event of a worker machine failure, Kubernetes will reschedule pods to the healthiest available node. Scale sets and autoscaling groups are also included in Kubernetes deployment settings, which enable self-healing nodes.

Nomad checks every node’s emergent state to ensure self-healing. After the client node’s state fails, a new assessment is performed, and Nomad tries to reconcile the emerging state with the system’s intended state.

Strategies for Rolling Out and Rolling Back

Both Nomad and Kubernetes allow out-of-the-box rolling upgrades for managing large cluster installations.

To retain an application’s intended state, Kubernetes employs ReplicaSets. Using Kubernetes’ default deployment strategy of rolling updates, it is possible to replace pods one at a time gradually. In addition, Kubernetes allows the deployment to be modified to an earlier desired state by allowing rollbacks.

By restricting parallelism and interacting with HashiCorp’s monitoring, Nomad allows for rolling updates to be implemented. By default, Nomad will use the previously configured update approach in the event of a failed deployment or unsound setup.

Storage Orchestration with Nomad and Kubernetes

Third-party plugins that correspond to the Container Storage Interface (CSI) standard are supported by both Nomad and Kubernetes, allowing applications to connect external storage volumes. Both technologies enable effective storage orchestration to sustain stateful applications by permitting data consumption from cloud environments or bare-metal on-premises infrastructure.

Differences Between Kubernetes and Nomad

Nomad and Kubernetes are both container orchestration solutions, but there are some basic distinctions between the two.

Support for a Variety of Tasks

Kubernetes is designed to manage containers hosting workloads, whereas Nomad is more of a work aggregator that can be used to coordinate the deployment of both classic and containerized apps, as well as scheduling batch processes.

Container Orchestration from Start to Finish

Task scheduling, system integration, routing, feature gates and service discovery are just a few of the many services that Kubernetes provides for container orchestration. While its primary function is to schedule tasks, it can also manage a variety of workloads as an added bonus.


However, Nomad is preferred over Kubernetes for scaling bigger clusters, despite the fact that both technologies are designed for autoscaling in large deployments. While Kubernetes is designed to support clusters of up to 5,000 nodes, Nomad has exceeded the two million container benchmark with production clusters surpassing 10,000 nodes.

Consistency in Deployment

In order to make it simpler for enterprises to test and build apps before deploying them, Kubernetes provides a variety of deployment and management settings. When going live, this might lead to a mess of mismatched configurations and capabilities. For a consistent user experience across many platforms, Nomad makes use of a single, portable library.

Final Thoughts: Which One Is the Best?

Nomad and Kubernetes are good systems for running containerised applications, but they are very different. There are some situations in which one is more suited than the other due to the variations in its design and functionality.

There are several uses for Nomad as an orchestration platform, including managing clusters of legacy apps, conventional batch processes, or even extending the Kubernetes ecosystem by enabling a multi-orchestrator architecture. Additionally, the platform is meant to be neutral by supporting several operating systems, such as Windows. Its simplicity makes it an excellent choice for enterprises that are just getting started with container orchestration.

In contrast, Kubernetes is a fully-fledged container orchestration system built with a major focus on supporting Linux-based containers. The platform is ideal for enterprises that currently use Linux containers and have the necessary ability to handle the complex ecology of the platform’s ecosystem.

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