Docker vs Rancher: What are the differences?
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.
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.
Docker can be classified as a tool in the "Virtual Machine Platforms & Containers" category, while Rancher is grouped under "Container Tools".
Some of the features offered by Docker are:
- Integrated developer tools
- open, portable images
- shareable, reusable apps
On the other hand, Rancher provides the following key features:
- Manage Hosts, Deploy Containers, Monitor Resources
- User Management & Collaboration
- Native Docker APIs & Tools
"Rapid integration and build up", "Isolation" and "Open source" are the key factors why developers consider Docker; whereas "Easy to use", "Open source and totally free" and "Multi-host docker-compose support" are the primary reasons why Rancher is favored.
Docker and Rancher are both open source tools. Docker with 53.8K GitHub stars and 15.5K 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, Docker has a broader approval, being mentioned in 3471 company stacks & 3322 developers stacks; compared to Rancher, which is listed in 88 company stacks and 35 developer stacks.
lxd/lxc and Docker aren't congruent so this comparison needs a more detailed look; but in short I can say: the lxd-integrated administration of storage including zfs with its snapshot capabilities as well as the system container (multi-process) approach of lxc vs. the limited single-process container approach of Docker is the main reason I chose lxd over Docker.