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I have a stateless web service running in a Docker container. The web service is single threaded.

We would like to span new instances of the service when the load reaches a given threshold. Is that a job for an orchestration tool?

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Yes. And there are tools out there covering this piece of functionality.

Probably the most popular one is kubernetes (see also ):

Kubernetes (k8s) is an open-source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications.

Depending on the provider for your deployment environment the actual orchestration tool/service may be already included and all you'd provide would be your desired scalability configuration. For example when deploying on the Google App Engine Flexible environment the service scaling settings could look like this:

automatic_scaling:
  min_num_instances: 1
  max_num_instances: 15
  cool_down_period_sec: 180
  cpu_utilization:
    target_utilization: 0.6
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