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Fleet

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Fleet vs Microcontainers: What are the differences?

Developers describe Fleet as "Container management and deployment for your cluster". Fleet is a low-level cluster engine that feels like a distributed init system. With fleet, you can treat your CoreOS cluster as if it shared a single init system. On the other hand, Microcontainers is detailed as "Tiny, Portable Docker Containers". A Microcontainer contains only the OS libraries and language dependencies required to run an application and the application itself. Nothing more. Rather than starting with everything but the kitchen sink, start with the bare minimum and add dependencies on an as needed basis.

Fleet and Microcontainers can be primarily classified as "Container" tools.

Some of the features offered by Fleet are:

  • Deploy docker containers on arbitrary hosts in a cluster
  • Distribute services across a cluster using machine-level anti-affinity
  • Maintain N instances of a service, re-scheduling on machine failure

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

  • Size — MicroContainers are small. As shown above, without changing any code the image is 22 times smaller than a typical image.
  • Fast/Easy Distribution — Because the size is so much smaller, it’s much quicker to download the image from a Docker registry (eg: Docker Hub) and therefore it can be distributed to different machines much quicker.
  • Improved Security — Less code/less programs in the container means less attack surface. And, the base OS can be more secure (more below).

Fleet and Microcontainers are both open source tools. It seems that Fleet with 2.45K GitHub stars and 309 forks on GitHub has more adoption than Microcontainers with 1.56K GitHub stars and 137 GitHub forks.

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What is Fleet?

Fleet is a low-level cluster engine that feels like a distributed init system. With fleet, you can treat your CoreOS cluster as if it shared a single init system.

What is Microcontainers?

A Microcontainer contains only the OS libraries and language dependencies required to run an application and the application itself. Nothing more. Rather than starting with everything but the kitchen sink, start with the bare minimum and add dependencies on an as needed basis.

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    What are some alternatives to Fleet and Microcontainers?
    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 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.
    Helm
    Helm is the best way to find, share, and use software built for Kubernetes.
    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.
    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.
    See all alternatives