»Waypoint vs. Kubernetes

Kubernetes (K8s) is a popular open-source platform for running containerized applications.

As a platform, Kubernetes itself runs your applications and determines what machines your applications run on. Kubernetes provides features for health checking, configuration, load balancing, storage, and much much more. You are expected to install Kubernetes onto a set of servers or use a managed service from a cloud provider.

Waypoint is not a platform. Waypoint is a deployment tool and is complimentary to Kubernetes. You can't choose one of Kubernetes or Waypoint alone. Waypoint requires a platform to deploy to and Kubernetes can be that platform. If you are using Kubernetes, Waypoint tries to make it easier to adopt Kubernetes by minimizing the amount of boilerplate you need to get started.

Kubernetes and Waypoint do have some features that overlap: application logs, exec functionality, etc. Waypoint provides these features in a consistent way across multiple platforms, including Kubernetes. Kubernetes provides these features exclusively for applications running within Kubernetes. If you use Waypoint, you're welcome to use either approach. Waypoint does not prevent the Kubernetes-specific features from being used.