Kubernetes vs Rancher

Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

Kubernetes

58.8K
50.9K
+ 1
677
Rancher

944
1.5K
+ 1
644
Add tool

Kubernetes vs Rancher: What are the differences?

Introduction

In this article, we will compare the key differences between Kubernetes and Rancher. Both Kubernetes and Rancher are popular tools used in container orchestration, but they have some distinct characteristics that set them apart. Let's explore these differences in detail.

  1. Deployment Flexibility: Kubernetes is a container orchestration platform that can be used to deploy and manage applications across multiple hosts or clusters. It provides a highly flexible and scalable environment for managing containerized workloads. On the other hand, Rancher is an open-source platform that simplifies the management and deployment of Kubernetes clusters. It provides a user-friendly interface and additional features that make it easier to manage and monitor Kubernetes deployments.

  2. Community Support: Kubernetes has a large and vibrant community of developers, contributors, and users. It has become the de facto standard for container orchestration and is backed by major industry players like Google, Microsoft, and Red Hat. Rancher, although it has a growing community, does not have the same level of support as Kubernetes. However, Rancher benefits from the advancements and contributions made to Kubernetes.

  3. Architecture: Kubernetes follows a master-worker architecture, where a central control plane (master) oversees multiple worker nodes. Each worker node runs containerized applications. Rancher, on the other hand, is a management platform that sits on top of Kubernetes. It provides an additional layer of abstraction and simplifies the management of Kubernetes clusters.

  4. Ease of Use and User Interface: Rancher shines in terms of ease of use and user interface. It provides a web-based graphical user interface (GUI) that makes it easy to manage and monitor Kubernetes clusters. Rancher's GUI simplifies tasks like deploying new applications, managing cluster resources, and monitoring performance. Kubernetes, on the other hand, primarily relies on command-line tools for management and can have a steeper learning curve for new users.

  5. Additional Features: Rancher offers additional features and tools that enhance the capabilities of Kubernetes. These include built-in monitoring, logging, and alerting functionalities. Rancher also provides a marketplace for easily installing and managing third-party applications and tools. Kubernetes, on the other hand, focuses more on core orchestration functionality and provides extensibility through its API and ecosystem of third-party tools.

  6. Commercial Support: Kubernetes has commercial backing from various vendors, which provides enterprises with support options and services tailored to their needs. Rancher, being an open-source platform, offers community support and also provides a commercial option called Rancher Support Services for organizations seeking enhanced support and SLAs.

In summary, Kubernetes is a powerful and widely adopted container orchestration platform with a vibrant community and extensive ecosystem. While Rancher simplifies Kubernetes management and adds extra features, it may be more suitable for users seeking an easier-to-use interface and additional capabilities out of the box.

Advice on Kubernetes and Rancher

Hello, we have a bunch of local hosts (Linux and Windows) where Docker containers are running with bamboo agents on them. Currently, each container is installed as a system service. Each host is set up manually. I want to improve the system by adding some sort of orchestration software that should install, update and check for consistency in my docker containers. I don't need any clouds, all hosts are local. I'd prefer simple solutions. What orchestration system should I choose?

See more
Replies (1)
Mortie Torabi
Recommends
on
Docker SwarmDocker Swarm

If you just want the basic orchestration between a set of defined hosts, go with Docker Swarm. If you want more advanced orchestration + flexibility in terms of resource management and load balancing go with Kubernetes. In both cases, you can make it even more complex while making the whole architecture more understandable and replicable by using Terraform.

See more
Decisions about Kubernetes and Rancher
Michael Roberts

We develop rapidly with docker-compose orchestrated services, however, for production - we utilise the very best ideas that Kubernetes has to offer: SCALE! We can scale when needed, setting a maximum and minimum level of nodes for each application layer - scaling only when the load balancer needs it. This allowed us to reduce our devops costs by 40% whilst also maintaining an SLA of 99.87%.

See more
Simon Reymann
Senior Fullstack Developer at QUANTUSflow Software GmbH · | 30 upvotes · 9.3M views

Our whole DevOps stack consists of the following tools:

  • GitHub (incl. GitHub Pages/Markdown for Documentation, GettingStarted and HowTo's) for collaborative review and code management tool
  • Respectively Git as revision control system
  • SourceTree as Git GUI
  • Visual Studio Code as IDE
  • CircleCI for continuous integration (automatize development process)
  • Prettier / TSLint / ESLint as code linter
  • SonarQube as quality gate
  • Docker as container management (incl. Docker Compose for multi-container application management)
  • VirtualBox for operating system simulation tests
  • Kubernetes as cluster management for docker containers
  • Heroku for deploying in test environments
  • nginx as web server (preferably used as facade server in production environment)
  • SSLMate (using OpenSSL) for certificate management
  • Amazon EC2 (incl. Amazon S3) for deploying in stage (production-like) and production environments
  • PostgreSQL as preferred database system
  • Redis as preferred in-memory database/store (great for caching)

The main reason we have chosen Kubernetes over Docker Swarm is related to the following artifacts:

  • Key features: Easy and flexible installation, Clear dashboard, Great scaling operations, Monitoring is an integral part, Great load balancing concepts, Monitors the condition and ensures compensation in the event of failure.
  • Applications: An application can be deployed using a combination of pods, deployments, and services (or micro-services).
  • Functionality: Kubernetes as a complex installation and setup process, but it not as limited as Docker Swarm.
  • Monitoring: It supports multiple versions of logging and monitoring when the services are deployed within the cluster (Elasticsearch/Kibana (ELK), Heapster/Grafana, Sysdig cloud integration).
  • Scalability: All-in-one framework for distributed systems.
  • Other Benefits: Kubernetes is backed by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), huge community among container orchestration tools, it is an open source and modular tool that works with any OS.
See more
Get Advice from developers at your company using StackShare Enterprise. Sign up for StackShare Enterprise.
Learn More
Pros of Kubernetes
Pros of Rancher
  • 164
    Leading docker container management solution
  • 128
    Simple and powerful
  • 106
    Open source
  • 76
    Backed by google
  • 58
    The right abstractions
  • 25
    Scale services
  • 20
    Replication controller
  • 11
    Permission managment
  • 9
    Supports autoscaling
  • 8
    Cheap
  • 8
    Simple
  • 6
    Self-healing
  • 5
    No cloud platform lock-in
  • 5
    Promotes modern/good infrascture practice
  • 5
    Open, powerful, stable
  • 5
    Reliable
  • 4
    Scalable
  • 4
    Quick cloud setup
  • 3
    Cloud Agnostic
  • 3
    Captain of Container Ship
  • 3
    A self healing environment with rich metadata
  • 3
    Runs on azure
  • 3
    Backed by Red Hat
  • 3
    Custom and extensibility
  • 2
    Sfg
  • 2
    Gke
  • 2
    Everything of CaaS
  • 2
    Golang
  • 2
    Easy setup
  • 2
    Expandable
  • 103
    Easy to use
  • 79
    Open source and totally free
  • 63
    Multi-host docker-compose support
  • 58
    Load balancing and health check included
  • 58
    Simple
  • 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
    Scalable
  • 2
    Requires less infrastructure requirements

Sign up to add or upvote prosMake informed product decisions

Cons of Kubernetes
Cons of Rancher
  • 16
    Steep learning curve
  • 15
    Poor workflow for development
  • 8
    Orchestrates only infrastructure
  • 4
    High resource requirements for on-prem clusters
  • 2
    Too heavy for simple systems
  • 1
    Additional vendor lock-in (Docker)
  • 1
    More moving parts to secure
  • 1
    Additional Technology Overhead
  • 10
    Hosting Rancher can be complicated

Sign up to add or upvote consMake informed product decisions

What is 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.

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.

Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

What companies use Kubernetes?
What companies use Rancher?
See which teams inside your own company are using Kubernetes or Rancher.
Sign up for StackShare EnterpriseLearn More

Sign up to get full access to all the companiesMake informed product decisions

What tools integrate with Kubernetes?
What tools integrate with Rancher?

Sign up to get full access to all the tool integrationsMake informed product decisions

Blog Posts

Kubernetesetcd+2
3
1167
Dec 8 2020 at 5:50PM

DigitalOcean

GitHubMySQLPostgreSQL+11
3
2365
PythonDockerKubernetes+7
5
1107
May 21 2020 at 12:02AM

Rancher Labs

KubernetesAmazon EC2Grafana+12
6
1500
Apr 16 2020 at 5:34AM

Rancher Labs

KubernetesRancher+2
3
944
What are some alternatives to Kubernetes and Rancher?
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.
Nomad
Nomad is a cluster manager, designed for both long lived services and short lived batch processing workloads. Developers use a declarative job specification to submit work, and Nomad ensures constraints are satisfied and resource utilization is optimized by efficient task packing. Nomad supports all major operating systems and virtualized, containerized, or standalone applications.
OpenStack
OpenStack is a cloud operating system that controls large pools of compute, storage, and networking resources throughout a datacenter, all managed through a dashboard that gives administrators control while empowering their users to provision resources through a web interface.
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.
DC/OS
Unlike traditional operating systems, DC/OS spans multiple machines within a network, aggregating their resources to maximize utilization by distributed applications.
See all alternatives