Ansible vs Docker: What are the differences?
What is Ansible? Radically simple configuration-management, application deployment, task-execution, and multi-node orchestration engine. Ansible is an IT automation tool. It can configure systems, deploy software, and orchestrate more advanced IT tasks such as continuous deployments or zero downtime rolling updates. Ansible’s goals are foremost those of simplicity and maximum ease of use.
What is Docker? Enterprise Container Platform for High-Velocity Innovation. The Docker Platform is the industry-leading container platform for continuous, high-velocity innovation, enabling organizations to seamlessly build and share any application — from legacy to what comes next — and securely run them anywhere.
Ansible and Docker are primarily classified as "Server Configuration and Automation" and "Virtual Machine Platforms & Containers" tools respectively.
Some of the features offered by Ansible are:
- Ansible's natural automation language allows sysadmins, developers, and IT managers to complete automation projects in hours, not weeks.
- Ansible uses SSH by default instead of requiring agents everywhere. Avoid extra open ports, improve security, eliminate "managing the management", and reclaim CPU cycles.
- Ansible automates app deployment, configuration management, workflow orchestration, and even cloud provisioning all from one system.
On the other hand, Docker provides the following key features:
- Integrated developer tools
- open, portable images
- shareable, reusable apps
"Agentless", "Great configuration " and "Simple" are the key factors why developers consider Ansible; whereas "Rapid integration and build up", "Isolation" and "Open source" are the primary reasons why Docker is favored.
Ansible and Docker are both open source tools. It seems that Docker with 53.8K GitHub stars and 15.5K forks on GitHub has more adoption than Ansible with 37.8K GitHub stars and 15.8K GitHub forks.
Lyft, StackShare, and Shopify are some of the popular companies that use Docker, whereas Ansible is used by PedidosYa, Keen, and New Relic. Docker has a broader approval, being mentioned in 3471 company stacks & 3322 developers stacks; compared to Ansible, which is listed in 955 company stacks and 578 developer stacks.
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