Ansible vs Docker Compose

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Ansible

14.4K
11.6K
+ 1
1.3K
Docker Compose

15.3K
11.3K
+ 1
477
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Ansible vs Docker Compose: What are the differences?

Developers describe Ansible as "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. On the other hand, Docker Compose is detailed as "Define and run multi-container applications with Docker". With Compose, you define a multi-container application in a single file, then spin your application up in a single command which does everything that needs to be done to get it running.

Ansible and Docker Compose are primarily classified as "Server Configuration and Automation" and "Container" tools respectively.

"Agentless", "Great configuration " and "Simple" are the key factors why developers consider Ansible; whereas "Multi-container descriptor", "Fast development environment setup" and "Easy linking of containers" are the primary reasons why Docker Compose is favored.

Ansible and Docker Compose are both open source tools. It seems that Ansible with 37.8K GitHub stars and 15.8K forks on GitHub has more adoption than Docker Compose with 16.4K GitHub stars and 2.52K GitHub forks.

According to the StackShare community, Ansible has a broader approval, being mentioned in 955 company stacks & 578 developers stacks; compared to Docker Compose, which is listed in 787 company stacks and 608 developer stacks.

Advice on Ansible and Docker Compose
Needs advice
on
Puppet LabsPuppet LabsChefChef
and
AnsibleAnsible

I'm just getting started using Vagrant to help automate setting up local VMs to set up a Kubernetes cluster (development and experimentation only). (Yes, I do know about minikube)

I'm looking for a tool to help install software packages, setup users, etc..., on these VMs. I'm also fairly new to Ansible, Chef, and Puppet. What's a good one to start with to learn? I might decide to try all 3 at some point for my own curiosity.

The most important factors for me are simplicity, ease of use, shortest learning curve.

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Replies (2)
Recommends
AnsibleAnsible

I have been working with Puppet and Ansible. The reason why I prefer ansible is the distribution of it. Ansible is more lightweight and therefore more popular. This leads to situations, where you can get fully packaged applications for ansible (e.g. confluent) supported by the vendor, but only incomplete packages for Puppet.

The only advantage I would see with Puppet if someone wants to use Foreman. This is still better supported with Puppet.

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Gabriel Pa
Recommends
KubernetesKubernetes
at

If you are just starting out, might as well learn Kubernetes There's a lot of tools that come with Kube that make it easier to use and most importantly: you become cloud-agnostic. We use Ansible because it's a lot simpler than Chef or Puppet and if you use Docker Compose for your deployments you can re-use them with Kubernetes later when you migrate

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Pros of Ansible
Pros of Docker Compose
  • 277
    Agentless
  • 204
    Great configuration
  • 195
    Simple
  • 173
    Powerful
  • 151
    Easy to learn
  • 66
    Flexible
  • 54
    Doesn't get in the way of getting s--- done
  • 34
    Makes sense
  • 29
    Super efficient and flexible
  • 27
    Powerful
  • 11
    Dynamic Inventory
  • 8
    Backed by Red Hat
  • 7
    Works with AWS
  • 6
    Cloud Oriented
  • 6
    Easy to maintain
  • 4
    Because SSH
  • 4
    Multi language
  • 4
    Easy
  • 4
    Simple
  • 4
    Procedural or declarative, or both
  • 4
    Simple and powerful
  • 3
    Consistency
  • 3
    Vagrant provisioner
  • 2
    Fast as hell
  • 2
    Masterless
  • 2
    Well-documented
  • 2
    Merge hash to get final configuration similar to hiera
  • 2
    Debugging is simple
  • 1
    Work on windows, but difficult to manage
  • 1
    Certified Content
  • 121
    Multi-container descriptor
  • 109
    Fast development environment setup
  • 75
    Easy linking of containers
  • 66
    Simple yaml configuration
  • 58
    Easy setup
  • 15
    Yml or yaml format
  • 11
    Use Standard Docker API
  • 7
    Open source
  • 4
    Go from template to application in minutes
  • 4
    Can choose Discovery Backend
  • 2
    Kubernetes integration
  • 2
    Easy configuration
  • 2
    Scalable
  • 1
    Quick and easy

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Cons of Ansible
Cons of Docker Compose
  • 5
    Dangerous
  • 5
    Hard to install
  • 3
    Bloated
  • 3
    Backward compatibility
  • 2
    Doesn't Run on Windows
  • 2
    No immutable infrastructure
  • 8
    Tied to single machine
  • 5
    Still very volatile, changing syntax often

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What is Ansible?

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 Compose?

With Compose, you define a multi-container application in a single file, then spin your application up in a single command which does everything that needs to be done to get it running.

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What companies use Ansible?
What companies use Docker Compose?
See which teams inside your own company are using Ansible or Docker Compose.
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What tools integrate with Ansible?
What tools integrate with Docker Compose?

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What are some alternatives to Ansible and Docker Compose?
Puppet Labs
Puppet is an automated administrative engine for your Linux, Unix, and Windows systems and performs administrative tasks (such as adding users, installing packages, and updating server configurations) based on a centralized specification.
Chef
Chef enables you to manage and scale cloud infrastructure with no downtime or interruptions. Freely move applications and configurations from one cloud to another. Chef is integrated with all major cloud providers including Amazon EC2, VMWare, IBM Smartcloud, Rackspace, OpenStack, Windows Azure, HP Cloud, Google Compute Engine, Joyent Cloud and others.
Salt
Salt is a new approach to infrastructure management. Easy enough to get running in minutes, scalable enough to manage tens of thousands of servers, and fast enough to communicate with them in seconds. Salt delivers a dynamic communication bus for infrastructures that can be used for orchestration, remote execution, configuration management and much more.
Terraform
With Terraform, you describe your complete infrastructure as code, even as it spans multiple service providers. Your servers may come from AWS, your DNS may come from CloudFlare, and your database may come from Heroku. Terraform will build all these resources across all these providers in parallel.
Jenkins
In a nutshell Jenkins CI is the leading open-source continuous integration server. Built with Java, it provides over 300 plugins to support building and testing virtually any project.
See all alternatives