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Google Anthos

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Google Anthos vs Rancher: What are the differences?


Google Anthos and Rancher are both popular container management platforms that offer a range of features to help organizations manage and deploy their applications. However, there are key differences between the two platforms that set them apart. Below are six key differences between Google Anthos and Rancher.

  1. Integration with Cloud Providers: One major difference between Google Anthos and Rancher is their integration with cloud providers. Google Anthos is developed by Google and is tightly integrated with Google Cloud, allowing users to easily leverage Google Cloud's services and features. On the other hand, Rancher is cloud-agnostic and supports multiple cloud providers, giving users the flexibility to deploy their applications on a wide range of cloud platforms.

  2. Multi-Cluster Management: Anthos has a strong emphasis on multi-cluster management, providing users with the ability to manage and deploy applications across different clusters and on-premises environments. It offers a unified control plane that allows for centralized management and consistent policies across clusters. Rancher, while also supporting multi-cluster management, provides additional features such as centralized authentication and access control, making it easier to manage large-scale deployments.

  3. Enterprise-Grade Security: Google Anthos offers a comprehensive set of security features, including built-in security scanning, vulnerability management, and compliance controls. It also integrates with Google's Identity and Access Management (IAM) for fine-grained access control. Rancher, on the other hand, provides similar security features but also offers additional features such as encryption at rest and in-transit, making it an attractive choice for organizations with stringent security requirements.

  4. Managed Kubernetes Services: Anthos comes with Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) as the underlying managed Kubernetes service, which provides a fully managed and scalable Kubernetes environment. Additionally, Anthos also supports hybrid and multi-cloud deployments, allowing users to easily manage their Kubernetes clusters across different environments. Rancher, on the other hand, is often used as a management platform for existing Kubernetes clusters and can integrate with various managed Kubernetes services from different cloud providers.

  5. Application Lifecycle Management: Anthos provides a set of tools and features for application lifecycle management, including continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) pipelines, canary deployments, and blue-green deployments. These features enable developers to easily manage the release and rollout of their applications. While Rancher also provides similar features for application lifecycle management, it offers additional integration with popular CI/CD tools, making it a popular choice among development teams.

  6. Cost and Licensing: Google Anthos has a specific cost structure and licensing model, which is based on a subscription pricing model. Anthos has different pricing tiers based on the number of clusters, making it suitable for organizations of different sizes. Rancher, on the other hand, provides a free and open-source version (Rancher Community Edition) and a commercial version (Rancher Enterprise Edition) with additional features and support. This flexible licensing model allows organizations to choose the edition that best fits their requirements and budget.

In summary, the key differences between Google Anthos and Rancher lie in their integration with cloud providers, multi-cluster management capabilities, security features, managed Kubernetes services, application lifecycle management features, and cost and licensing models.

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Pros of Google Anthos
Pros of Rancher
  • 3
    Operations support by Google SRE
  • 2
    Host Cloud Run (managed knative) anywhere
  • 1
    Policy enforcement via ACM
  • 1
    Automatic k8s upgrades
  • 1
    Access to Google Kubernetes Marketplace
  • 103
    Easy to use
  • 79
    Open source and totally free
  • 63
    Multi-host docker-compose support
  • 58
    Load balancing and health check included
  • 58
  • 44
    Rolling upgrades, green/blue upgrades feature
  • 42
    Dns and service discovery out-of-the-box
  • 37
    Only requires docker
  • 34
    Multitenant and permission management
  • 29
    Easy to use and feature rich
  • 11
    Cross cloud compatible
  • 11
    Does everything needed for a docker infrastructure
  • 8
    Simple and powerful
  • 8
    Next-gen platform
  • 7
    Very Docker-friendly
  • 6
    Support Kubernetes and Swarm
  • 6
    Application catalogs with stack templates (wizards)
  • 6
    Supports Apache Mesos, Docker Swarm, and Kubernetes
  • 6
    Rolling and blue/green upgrades deployments
  • 6
    High Availability service: keeps your app up 24/7
  • 5
    Easy to use service catalog
  • 4
    Very intuitive UI
  • 4
    IaaS-vendor independent, supports hybrid/multi-cloud
  • 4
    Awesome support
  • 3
  • 2
    Requires less infrastructure requirements

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Cons of Google Anthos
Cons of Rancher
  • 3
  • 10
    Hosting Rancher can be complicated

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What is Google Anthos?

Formerly Cloud Services Platform, Anthos lets you build and manage modern hybrid applications across environments. Powered by Kubernetes and other industry-leading open-source technologies from Google.

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 companies use Google Anthos?
What companies use Rancher?
See which teams inside your own company are using Google Anthos or Rancher.
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Blog Posts

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