Jenkins vs. Kubernetes: Differences You Should Know

by | DevOps

Jenkins vs. Kubernetes

Are you looking for automation and container orchestration tools to help with your business operations? If so, it’s likely you have come across Jenkins and Kubernetes as two of the most popular options.

App deployment practices have altered a lot due to container deployment. The DevOps tools are widely adopted and offer a range of features and capabilities to help businesses manage their applications and containers. However, it’s essential to understand the differences between Jenkins and Kubernetes, as choosing the wrong tool can have significant implications for your business. We will also explore how each tool can benefit businesses in various ways.

Jenkins vs Kubernetes: Comparison by popularity

For businesses looking for a container orchestration platform and automated software testing tool, the options can seem overwhelming. We’ll also look at their popularity in terms of usage and adoption among businesses.

Jenkins: Open Source Automation Server

Jenkins is an open-source automation server that allows developers to easily create CI/CD pipelines. It is used by developers to automate the process of building, testing, and deploying code quickly and efficiently. With a wide variety of plugins available, Jenkins allows developers to customize their workflow and integrate it with other tools.

Kubernetes: Open-source Container Orchestration Platform

Kubernetes is an open-source container orchestration platform that automates containerized application deployment, scaling, and management. It is used to

automate the deployment and scaling of applications in containers across multiple nodes in a cluster. Furthermore, Kubernetes allows developers to create highly resilient distributed systems by taking advantage of powerful features such as declarative configuration, autoscaling, service discovery, load balancing, and health checks.

In terms of popularity, both tools are popular and widely adopted, but they serve different purposes. Jenkins is more popular for CI/CD and software testing, while Kubernetes is more famous for container orchestration and management.

What Is Kubernetes?

Kubernetes, also known as K8s, is an open-source system for automating deployment, scaling, and managing containerized applications. It was initially designed by Google, and is now maintained by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. Kubernetes provides a platform for businesses to deploy, manage, and scale applications based on container technology.

Kubernetes is a flexible container tool adopted by large enterprises and cloud providers. Also, it has become a critical component of modern infrastructure. It has the ability to manage complex workloads, provide high availability, and ensure that applications run smoothly and reliably.

Working of Kubernetes

Kubernetes is a very powerful tool for managing clusters of machines. With Kubernetes, businesses can monitor and control their clusters from one central location, allowing them to get the most out of their cluster infrastructure. It relies on container runtime (typically Docker) and is an effective containerization platform.

Kubernetes Control Plane: The Core of The Cluster Management System

Kubernetes operates on the principle of orchestration, which means that it manages the interactions between different components in a system. In the case of Kubernetes, the components being managed are containers, and the interactions between them are defined by a set of rules and configurations that the user sets.

At the core of Kubernetes is a control plane responsible for managing the system’s state and make appropriate  response to changes. The control plane comprises several components, including the API server, the controller manager, and the scheduler.

Features of Kubernetes

Kubernetes is a container management platform that enables users to quickly and easily build, deploy, and manage applications. As a powerful and feature-rich platform, Kubernetes is a widely used tool for managing Docker containers. Therefore, it will benefit developers who need to manage many containers. Furthermore, Kubernetes offers several key features that make it one of the most popular solutions for container orchestration.

Storage Orchestration

Kubernetes is built on the principle of orchestration, which means that it manages the interactions between different components in a system. In the case of Kubernetes, the components being managed are containers, and the interactions between them are defined by a set of rules and configurations set by the user. Storage orchestration enables the client to expand and centralize their network storage system.


Kubernetes is designed to detect and respond to any issues with its containers, such as a crashing application or missing service. It can then take action to self-heal the system, restarting failed containers or scaling up resources when needed.

Configuration Management

Configuration management can be implemented in Kubernetes through various tools, including Helm charts and kustomize. It ensures that any applications running in a Kubernetes cluster are consistently configured across all nodes and maintain their desired state. By automating configuration management processes and managing them within Kubernetes, DevOps teams can quickly deploy scalable, reliable, and secure applications in the cloud.

Batch Execution

As more organizations adopt Kubernetes as their go-to platform for container orchestration and deployment, batch processing within the Kubernetes environment is becoming increasingly popular. Kubernetes oversees both batch and CI workloads and works on restoring containers that does not function.

Batch execution in Kubernetes allows for faster deployment of applications and efficient resource utilization across multiple clusters. It does this by automating processes such as scheduling, running jobs, and monitoring performance. Additionally, it enables automated scaling of resources to meet specific workload requirements.

Service Location and Load Balancing

The service and discovery system allows applications within Kubernetes to communicate with each other. Along with this, Kubernetes also provides load-balancing capabilities. It ensures that requests are spread evenly across multiple nodes or clusters, allowing the cluster to scale horizontally when needed.

Auto scaling

Auto-scaling in Kubernetes refers to the ability of a Kubernetes cluster to automatically adjust the number of replicas of a deployment based on observed metrics such as CPU usage or network traffic. Auto-scaling in Kubernetes can be accomplished using Horizontal Pod Autoscaler (HPA), a built-in Kubernetes feature.

Pros and Cons of Kubernetes

Kubernetes is designed to simplify the deployment of applications and handle failovers and backups with ease. Its main goal is to make the management of complex, distributed systems smoother while retaining the advantages to handle containers.

While Kubernetes does offer efficient deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications, it is not a full-fledged Platform as a Service (PaaS) system.


Scalability: Kubernetes makes it easy to scale applications up or down as needed, allowing businesses to quickly adapt and respond to changing demand. This ensures that resources are not wasted as a result of under-utilized hardware or over-provisioning.

Automation: Kubernetes can automate many manual tasks associated with running and managing applications, such as deployment, scaling, and maintenance. This helps to reduce the need for manual intervention, resulting in greater efficiency and cost savings.

Security: Kubernetes is designed with security in mind, allowing organizations to deploy and manage applications securely. This helps protect against malicious attacks and unintended access or misuse of data and services.


Complexity: Kubernetes is a complex system that requires extensive knowledge and expertise to operate effectively. It works on multiple hosts, and orchestration is complex. As a result, setting up and configuring the system can be a time-consuming and challenging process.

Cost: Kubernetes requires dedicated hardware and software resources, which can add significant expense to an organization’s IT budget.

Limited Support: As Kubernetes is an open-source platform, limited vendor support is available for users who encounter any issues or difficulties. This can make it challenging to resolve problems quickly, resulting in costly downtime.

What Is Jenkins?

Jenkins is an automation and open-source continuous integration platform designed to help businesses develop and deploy their applications quickly and easily. Also, Jenkins is referred as an open source continuous integration server. It is a lightweight and transferable container for software development. It allows developers to make changes and improvements in the application without worrying about compatibility or system security issues.

With Jenkins, businesses can streamline their development process and deploy applications more efficiently. With its rich feature set and flexibility, Jenkins has become essential to any DevOps process. Jenkins is easy to install and platform agnostic. Also, it can effectively distribute tasks across several machines for efficient delivery.

Working of Jenkins

Jenkins operates by monitoring the source code repository for changes and triggering a build and deployment process whenever a change is detected. The build process typically involves compiling the source code, running tests, and generating artifacts that can be deployed to production. Once the build process is complete, Jenkins can deploy the artifacts to production, either automatically or with the approval of a human operator. This deployment can be done on various platforms and infrastructure, including public clouds, private clouds, and on-premises data centers.

Customization and Integration With Other Tools With Jenkins

Jenkins also provides various tools and plugins that allow businesses to customize and extend their functionality. For example, businesses can use plugins to integrate Jenkins with other tools and systems, such as issue trackers, source code repositories, and continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) tools.

Features of Jenkins

Jenkins is an open source tool that can be used to build, test, and deploy software. It has become a popular choice for DevOps engineers because it provides many features and plugins that help streamline the development process. Apart from all the cloud services, it is a robust automation tool used by development teams.

Here are some of the key features of Jenkins:

Jenkins and Continuous Integration and Delivery

Jenkins supports continuous integration and delivery, allowing developers to automate the entire software development process. With Jenkins, developers can automate tasks such as building, testing, and deploying software, reducing the time and effort required to complete these tasks manually.

Plugin Library

Jenkins provides an extensive library of plugins that can be used to extend its capabilities. These plugins provide additional features, such as source code management, artifact repository management, deployment automation, etc. It makes it easy for teams to build complex pipelines without having to write custom scripts.

Configuration and Management

Jenkins features a web-based interface that makes it easy for developers to configure and manage the software development process. Furthermore, the interface is user-friendly, making it simple for even non-technical users to use Jenkins. Using Jenkins, you can effectively build, test and deliver container images. 

Customizable Build Processes

Jenkins allows developers to customize their build processes to meet the specific needs of their projects. With the use of plugins, developers can add additional functionality to Jenkins to support the unique requirements of their projects.

Easy Integration

It is easy to integrate Jenkins with third-party tools and services, such as GitHub, Maven, Docker etc. This helps developers quickly set up a continuous integration (CI) or continuous delivery (CD) pipeline without requiring manual configuration.

Pros And Cons Of Jenkins

Jenkins is highly customizable, supporting various plugins to create continuous integration and delivery pipelines. It has become popular among developers due to its flexibility, scalability, and extensibility. However, Jenkins also has several drawbacks, particularly for container-based applications.


Easy to Install & Configure: Jenkins is easy to install and configure; hence setting up a continuous integration or deployment pipeline is quick and efficient. The web-based interface provides an easy configuration system with fault detection and a feature to request assistance.

Comprehensive GUI: The user interface provided by Jenkins makes it easier for developers to monitor and interact with their pipelines.

Cross-Platform Support: Jenkins can build container-based applications on multiple platforms, including Linux, Windows, and macOS.

Community Support: With an active user community, plenty of support is available when using Jenkins for building container-based applications.


Complex Pipelines: As Jenkins supports many plugins and integrations, building pipelines for container-based applications can become quite complex.

Limited Platforms: While Jenkins does support multiple platforms, many areas still need more support or require additional development effort.

Security Issues: Container-based applications running on Jenkins may be vulnerable to security exploits. The use of plugins and integrations can also increase the risk of security vulnerabilities.

Maintenance Issues: As with any automated system, maintenance is a recurring requirement for Jenkins, and it can become time-consuming if not appropriately managed.

Kubernetes vs Jenkins 

When it comes to DevOps, two of the most commonly used tools are Jenkins and Kubernetes. While both provide automation for your development process, their distinct differences make them better suited for different projects and environments.

Kubernetes vs Jenkins: Key Differences

The key differences between Jenkins and Kubernetes are their use cases and capabilities. Jenkins is focused on automating the software development process, while Kubernetes is focused on automating the deployment and management of containerized applications.

Kubernetes vs Jenkins: Scalability 

In terms of scalability, Jenkins is limited to a single server, while Kubernetes can be used to manage and scale applications across multiple nodes.

Kubernetes vs Jenkins: Resource Utilization

Jenkins is designed for single-server use and consumes more resources than Kubernetes. On the other hand, Kubernetes is a container management tool designed to distribute workloads across multiple nodes. Also, it can be used more efficiently and with less resource utilization.

Kubernetes vs JenkinsUser Interface 

Jenkins boasts a user-friendly interface that allows users to easily create and manage multiple CI/CD pipelines using its plugins. It is also commonly used to build Docker images and run Docker containers for software testing. On the other hand, a key application of Kubernetes is in deploying CI/CD pipelines that keep track of code version control.

To know further, read the article: Kubernetes Vs. Docker Vs. OpenShift: What’s The Difference


In conclusion, both Jenkins and Kubernetes are potent tools for automating the deployment of applications. However, Jenkins is a more mature solution that has been around longer but requires more manual configuration. On the other hand, Kubernetes offers a comprehensive suite of features for containerized application deployments without needing as much manual setup.

Kubernetes is regarded as a complex tool and has a steep learning curve. Ultimately it comes down to your organization’s specific needs when deciding between these two options. For example, if you need something quickly with minimal effort, then Kubernetes might be the best choice. In contrast, if you have more time available or want fine-grained control over your deployments, then Jenkins may be better suited for your use case. Regardless of your chosen platform, automation will help streamline development cycles and improve productivity in any DevOps environment.







Written by Kashif Hassan


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