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Docker Compose
Docker Compose

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Docker Compose vs Rancher: What are the differences?

Docker Compose: 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; 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.

Docker Compose and Rancher can be categorized as "Container" tools.

"Multi-container descriptor", "Fast development environment setup" and "Easy linking of containers" are the key factors why developers consider Docker Compose; whereas "Easy to use", "Open source and totally free" and "Multi-host docker-compose support" are the primary reasons why Rancher is favored.

Docker Compose and Rancher are both open source tools. Docker Compose with 16.4K GitHub stars and 2.52K forks on GitHub appears to be more popular than Rancher with 11.8K GitHub stars and 1.31K GitHub forks.

CircleCI, Harvest, and Leftronic are some of the popular companies that use Docker Compose, whereas Rancher is used by Packet, Redox Engine, and VCCloud. Docker Compose has a broader approval, being mentioned in 787 company stacks & 608 developers stacks; compared to Rancher, which is listed in 88 company stacks and 35 developer stacks.

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.

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 Docker Compose and Rancher?
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.
Docker
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
Docker Swarm
Swarm serves the standard Docker API, so any tool which already communicates with a Docker daemon can use Swarm to transparently scale to multiple hosts: Dokku, Compose, Krane, Deis, DockerUI, Shipyard, Drone, Jenkins... and, of course, the Docker client itself.
Helm
Helm is the best way to find, share, and use software built for Kubernetes.
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.
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Decisions about Docker Compose and Rancher
Sebastian Gębski
Sebastian Gębski
CTO at Shedul/Fresha · | 6 upvotes · 48.7K views
atFresha EngineeringFresha Engineering
Amazon RDS
Amazon RDS
Amazon S3
Amazon S3
Amazon EKS
Amazon EKS
Amazon EC2
Amazon EC2
Ansible
Ansible
Terraform
Terraform
Kubernetes
Kubernetes
Docker Compose
Docker Compose
Docker
Docker

Heroku was a decent choice to start a business, but at some point our platform was too big, too complex & too heterogenic, so Heroku started to be a constraint, not a benefit. First, we've started containerizing our apps with Docker to eliminate "works in my machine" syndrome & uniformize the environment setup. The first orchestration was composed with Docker Compose , but at some point it made sense to move it to Kubernetes. Fortunately, we've made a very good technical decision when starting our work with containers - all the container configuration & provisions HAD (since the beginning) to be done in code (Infrastructure as Code) - we've used Terraform & Ansible for that (correspondingly). This general trend of containerisation was accompanied by another, parallel & equally big project: migrating environments from Heroku to AWS: using Amazon EC2 , Amazon EKS, Amazon S3 & Amazon RDS.

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GitHub
GitHub
nginx
nginx
ESLint
ESLint
AVA
AVA
Semantic UI React
Semantic UI React
Redux
Redux
React
React
PostgreSQL
PostgreSQL
ExpressJS
ExpressJS
Node.js
Node.js
FeathersJS
FeathersJS
Heroku
Heroku
Amazon EC2
Amazon EC2
Kubernetes
Kubernetes
Jenkins
Jenkins
Docker Compose
Docker Compose
Docker
Docker
#Frontend
#Stack
#Backend
#Containers
#Containerized

Recently I have been working on an open source stack to help people consolidate their personal health data in a single database so that AI and analytics apps can be run against it to find personalized treatments. We chose to go with a #containerized approach leveraging Docker #containers with a local development environment setup with Docker Compose and nginx for container routing. For the production environment we chose to pull code from GitHub and build/push images using Jenkins and using Kubernetes to deploy to Amazon EC2.

We also implemented a dashboard app to handle user authentication/authorization, as well as a custom SSO server that runs on Heroku which allows experts to easily visit more than one instance without having to login repeatedly. The #Backend was implemented using my favorite #Stack which consists of FeathersJS on top of Node.js and ExpressJS with PostgreSQL as the main database. The #Frontend was implemented using React, Redux.js, Semantic UI React and the FeathersJS client. Though testing was light on this project, we chose to use AVA as well as ESLint to keep the codebase clean and consistent.

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Interest over time
Reviews of Docker Compose 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 Docker Compose and Rancher
Avatar of Chris Saylor
Chris Saylor uses Docker ComposeDocker Compose

Since our production deployment makes use of the Convox platform, we use this to describe the containers to be deployed via Convox to AWS ECS.

We also use this for our local dev environment (previously used vagrant with chef).

Avatar of Scrayos UG (haftungsbeschränkt)
Scrayos UG (haftungsbeschränkt) uses Docker ComposeDocker Compose

Aside from our Minecraft-infrastructure, we compose it with ... Docker Compose! (kinda obious, eh .. ?) This includes for example the web-services, aswell as the monitoring and mail-infrastructure.

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 sapslaj
sapslaj uses Docker ComposeDocker Compose

Docker Compose is just another part of my "infrastructure as code" initiative and allows me to build isolated pieces of systems with their own volumes and networks.

Avatar of Sathish N
Sathish N uses Docker ComposeDocker Compose

Our application will consist of several containers each communicating with each other. Using docker-compose, we can orchestrate several containers at once.

Avatar of Curabase
Curabase uses Docker ComposeDocker Compose

The core tech in ACS (Azure Container Services) we spin up a Kubernetes cluster and deploy our app into staging and production environments here.

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 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

How much does Docker Compose cost?
How much does Rancher cost?
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