The text that follows contains excerpts from the Service Discovery Inside A Swarm Cluster chapter of the The DevOps 2.1 Toolkit: Docker Swarm book.
Service Discovery In The Swarm Cluster
The old (standalone) Swarm required a service registry so that all its managers can have the same view of the cluster state. When instantiating the old Swarm nodes, we had to specify the address of a service registry. However, if you take a look at setup instructions of the new Swarm (Swarm Mode introduced in Docker 1.12), you’ll notice that we nothing is required beyond Docker Engines. You will not find any mention of an external service registry or a key-value store.