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Consul
Consul

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Consul vs Rancher: What are the differences?

What is Consul? A tool for service discovery, monitoring and configuration. Consul is a tool for service discovery and configuration. Consul is distributed, highly available, and extremely scalable.

What is Rancher? Open Source Platform for Running a Private Container Service. Rancher is an open source container management platform that includes full distributions of Kubernetes, Apache Mesos and Docker Swarm, and makes it simple to operate container clusters on any cloud or infrastructure platform.

Consul and Rancher are primarily classified as "Open Source Service Discovery" and "Container" tools respectively.

Some of the features offered by Consul are:

  • Service Discovery - Consul makes it simple for services to register themselves and to discover other services via a DNS or HTTP interface. External services such as SaaS providers can be registered as well.
  • Health Checking - Health Checking enables Consul to quickly alert operators about any issues in a cluster. The integration with service discovery prevents routing traffic to unhealthy hosts and enables service level circuit breakers.
  • Key/Value Storage - A flexible key/value store enables storing dynamic configuration, feature flagging, coordination, leader election and more. The simple HTTP API makes it easy to use anywhere.

On the other hand, Rancher provides the following key features:

  • Manage Hosts, Deploy Containers, Monitor Resources
  • User Management & Collaboration
  • Native Docker APIs & Tools

"Great service discovery infrastructure" is the top reason why over 49 developers like Consul, while over 89 developers mention "Easy to use" as the leading cause for choosing Rancher.

Consul and Rancher are both open source tools. Consul with 16.2K GitHub stars and 2.82K forks on GitHub appears to be more popular than Rancher with 11.8K GitHub stars and 1.31K GitHub forks.

According to the StackShare community, Consul has a broader approval, being mentioned in 131 company stacks & 52 developers stacks; compared to Rancher, which is listed in 88 company stacks and 35 developer stacks.

What is Consul?

Consul is a tool for service discovery and configuration. Consul is distributed, highly available, and extremely scalable.

What is Rancher?

Rancher is an open source container management platform that includes full distributions of Kubernetes, Apache Mesos and Docker Swarm, and makes it simple to operate container clusters on any cloud or infrastructure platform.
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    What are some alternatives to Consul and Rancher?
    etcd
    etcd is a distributed key value store that provides a reliable way to store data across a cluster of machines. It’s open-source and available on GitHub. etcd gracefully handles master elections during network partitions and will tolerate machine failure, including the master.
    Zookeeper
    A centralized service for maintaining configuration information, naming, providing distributed synchronization, and providing group services. All of these kinds of services are used in some form or another by distributed applications.
    SkyDNS
    SkyDNS is a distributed service for announcement and discovery of services. It leverages Raft for high-availability and consensus, and utilizes DNS queries to discover available services. This is done by leveraging SRV records in DNS, with special meaning given to subdomains, priorities and weights (more info here: http://blog.gopheracademy.com/skydns).
    Ambassador
    Map services to arbitrary URLs in a single, declarative YAML file. Configure routes with CORS support, circuit breakers, timeouts, and more. Replace your Kubernetes ingress controller. Route gRPC, WebSockets, or HTTP.
    Kubernetes
    Kubernetes is an open source orchestration system for Docker containers. It handles scheduling onto nodes in a compute cluster and actively manages workloads to ensure that their state matches the users declared intentions.
    See all alternatives
    Decisions about Consul and Rancher
    No stack decisions found
    Interest over time
    Reviews of Consul and Rancher
    Avatar of gonuts
    Michigan Technological University
    Review ofRancherRancher
    1. Consume too much unnecessary resource by just running rancher agent alone;
    2. Hard to recover from system failure
    3. Bad performance of load balancing (compare to dokcer swarm built-in LB or others).
    How developers use Consul and Rancher
    Avatar of etlweather
    etlweather uses RancherRancher

    The whole infrastructure is managed through Rancher. It provides a simple interface to all the underlying tools - Docker, HAProxy (automatically configures load balancer from the containers).

    Avatar of Chris Hartwig
    Chris Hartwig uses ConsulConsul

    All our services use Consul for discovery, configuration and cluster management (auto scaling, health monitoring, dynamic reconfiguration, leader elections)

    Avatar of sapslaj
    sapslaj uses RancherRancher

    Currently looking to move to Swarm or Kubernetes due to a few issues I have with Rancher.

    Avatar of InsideSales.com
    InsideSales.com uses RancherRancher

    We use Rancher for container orchestration and automated deployment pipelines.

    Avatar of Tom Staijen
    Tom Staijen uses ConsulConsul

    Discovery service. Some configuration is stored in consul.

    Avatar of Robert Hao
    Robert Hao uses ConsulConsul

    I used Consul as config center & service discoverer.

    Avatar of Ismael Arenzana
    Ismael Arenzana uses ConsulConsul

    How else do you discover microservices? ;)

    Avatar of Dave Woolfenden
    Dave Woolfenden uses RancherRancher

    Enterprise-grade Kubernetes Distribution

    Avatar of Shiqiang Yu
    Shiqiang Yu uses RancherRancher

    Pull from CI/CD for live demo

    Avatar of exana
    exana uses ConsulConsul

    For service discovery.

    How much does Consul cost?
    How much does Rancher cost?
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