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Is there a roadmap for docker swarm?

Where can I find a roadmap for swarm? with regards to new planned features etc?

I’m referring to the baked in swarm mode of operation since 1.12+, not the older project.

I noticed roughly 67 mentions of Kubernates in the recent dockercon agenda, and only 11 references to swarm.

I asked this question several months ago with no answers, can anyone from Docker please chime in here?


you may want to create an issue to update


Keep in mind that roadmap is for the older swarm project, not the swarmkit (swarm mode) project

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I’ll reinforce that this link is to Swarm Standalone. The v1.2.9 release went out a couple weeks ago -

@bitsofinfo opened an issue requesting clarity on SwarmKit roadmap here -

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I would really like to hear from Docker about this as well. I’m worried about where Swarm is headed. I really like it, but I’m not sure what is going to happen to it in the future.

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The other post still has zero response and the same question was asked back in March.

I don’t know if anyone from Docker participates in these forums

I would be also happy to hear something about the swarm roadmap, since we are developing right now a larger software package on swarm. If we have to move within the next say 5 years to Kubernetes, it would be a huge effort and wuold raise big questionmarks…

There was some time ago an explanation from a docker stuff member, that they have sometimes a look around, but they don’t really participate at the discussions as long as they don’t think, that it is really important to do.

So don’t assume any reply from docker itself. If you want an answer, I would assume, that you have to use Docker EE and open a ticket.

@bitsofinfo’s issue received an interesting answer from @bretfisher (Docker captain):

Swarm is alive and well. There’s no roadmap that I know of that’s kept up to date. The docker/swarm links you refer to is Swarm Classic, a solution used before SwarmKit was released in 1.12 (July 2016) that replaced the similarly named Swarm repo. docker/swarm is now deprecated in favor of this repo (aka Swarm Mode, or just Docker Services). Lots of Swarm fans at DockerCon.

I wrote a few months ago about Swarm’s future, which received :clap: from the Docker engineering team.

Also, I gave a session on Swarm production and it was voted a top session and was repeated on the last day. It was a full house:

So true, there is no public roadmap for SwarmKit, though one could argue you might look at recently updated PR’s but that’s not a guaranteed list of future features.

If you want to learn what’s changed recently, you can look at the Docker CE release notes… looking for anything Swarm Mode and Overlay Networking related.

Also of note, as Docker Captains, we were lucky enough to sit with various Docker Inc. product managers At DockerCon 2018 and they were all committed to the future of SwarmKit/Swarm Mode, saying that customers loved it. At this point I think it’s just a question of engineering priorities across the Docker toolset and bugfixes vs. new features… but I can’t speak for Docker Inc. directly :slight_smile:

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@stephanwalter 5 years are an era in our field: it’s impossible that a technology can remain the same, or even survive during this period. If you want to pick a technology to use for the next 5 years…well, you probably need to do it yourself, or just pick the best that you can find around and hope that it will not die during this period.

I’m a longtime swarm (swarmkit - docker services) production user. I started using swarm, and I continue to use it happily, because it’s the uncomplicated orchestration software that balance well features, easiness (abstractions) and flexibility. With it you can have a production level cluster in minutes: have you ever tried setting up a production level kubernetes?

But, obviously, this is only my microservice-based-ecosystem-case, and luckily docker swarm fits well it this environment. In my situation I can replace it with many similar solution without too much hassle because it just provide private network, service discovery and replicas distribution between nodes.
I read your comments in the other topic about swarm future: if you need to build your entire business on swarm probably you need to become an EE customer, or rely on another company services. Because, if you are an open source user you’re always on your own, and this is true with any open source software (nobody works for free). Yes, you can have support from the community but the community doesn’t work for anyone.

For my part, I stopped worrying about “docker swarm future” because:

  • it’s here and it works
  • nobody from Docker Inc. said that it will be deprecated
  • the roadmap isn’t a real problem because I think that Docker Inc wants to keep it simple and add only small/medium improvements during the year
  • if I need more than this I will just switch to another software (or service)
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For me the fact that the experimental API adds the notion of managed plugins deployed to the swarm is a very big thing as it will eventually simplify my environment build scripts to simply do base Docker rather than adding the managed plugin step to the provisioning scripts.

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Looking at it seems that Swarm items are only bug fixes, but not any new features for a while. So we likely won’t get things like Auto-Scaling in the near future.