Packer vs VMware vSphere: What are the differences?
Developers describe Packer as "Create identical machine images for multiple platforms from a single source configuration". Packer automates the creation of any type of machine image. It embraces modern configuration management by encouraging you to use automated scripts to install and configure the software within your Packer-made images. On the other hand, VMware vSphere is detailed as "Free bare-metal hypervisor that virtualizes servers so you can consolidate your applications on less hardware". vSphere is the world’s leading server virtualization platform. Run fewer servers and reduce capital and operating costs using VMware vSphere to build a cloud computing infrastructure.
Packer and VMware vSphere are primarily classified as "Infrastructure Build" and "Virtualization Platform" tools respectively.
Some of the features offered by Packer are:
- Super fast infrastructure deployment. Packer images allow you to launch completely provisioned and configured machines in seconds, rather than several minutes or hours.
- Multi-provider portability. Because Packer creates identical images for multiple platforms, you can run production in AWS, staging/QA in a private cloud like OpenStack, and development in desktop virtualization solutions such as VMware or VirtualBox.
- Improved stability. Packer installs and configures all the software for a machine at the time the image is built. If there are bugs in these scripts, they'll be caught early, rather than several minutes after a machine is launched.
On the other hand, VMware vSphere provides the following key features:
- Powerful Server Virtualization
- Network Services
- Efficient Storage
"Cross platform builds" is the top reason why over 24 developers like Packer, while over 6 developers mention "Strong host isolation" as the leading cause for choosing VMware vSphere.
Packer is an open source tool with 9.1K GitHub stars and 2.47K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Packer's open source repository on GitHub.
According to the StackShare community, Packer has a broader approval, being mentioned in 115 company stacks & 21 developers stacks; compared to VMware vSphere, which is listed in 56 company stacks and 25 developer stacks.
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