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Rancher vs Travis CI: What are the differences?

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.

What is Travis CI? A hosted continuous integration service for open source and private projects. Free for open source projects, our CI environment provides multiple runtimes (e.g. Node.js or PHP versions), data stores and so on. Because of this, hosting your project on travis-ci.com means you can effortlessly test your library or applications against multiple runtimes and data stores without even having all of them installed locally.

Rancher and Travis CI are primarily classified as "Container" and "Continuous Integration" tools respectively.

Some of the features offered by Rancher are:

  • Manage Hosts, Deploy Containers, Monitor Resources
  • User Management & Collaboration
  • Native Docker APIs & Tools

On the other hand, Travis CI provides the following key features:

  • Easy Setup- Getting started with Travis CI is as easy as enabling a project, adding basic build instructions to your project and committing code.
  • Supports Your Platform- Lots of databases and services are pre-installed and can simply be enabled in your build configuration, we'll launch them for you automatically. MySQL, PostgreSQL, ElasticSearch, Redis, Riak, RabbitMQ, Memcached are available by default.
  • Deploy With Confidence- Deploying to production after a successful build is as easy as setting up a bit of configuration, and we'll deploy your code to Heroku, Engine Yard Cloud, Nodejitsu, cloudControl, OpenShift, and CloudFoundry.

"Easy to use", "Open source and totally free" and "Multi-host docker-compose support" are the key factors why developers consider Rancher; whereas "Github integration", "Free for open source" and "Easy to get started" are the primary reasons why Travis CI is favored.

Rancher is an open source tool with 11.8K GitHub stars and 1.31K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Rancher's open source repository on GitHub.

According to the StackShare community, Travis CI has a broader approval, being mentioned in 666 company stacks & 613 developers stacks; compared to Rancher, which is listed in 88 company stacks and 35 developer stacks.

- No public GitHub repository available -

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.

What is Travis CI?

Free for open source projects, our CI environment provides multiple runtimes (e.g. Node.js or PHP versions), data stores and so on. Because of this, hosting your project on travis-ci.com means you can effortlessly test your library or applications against multiple runtimes and data stores without even having all of them installed locally.
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What tools integrate with Rancher?
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What are some alternatives to Rancher and Travis CI?
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.
DC/OS
Unlike traditional operating systems, DC/OS spans multiple machines within a network, aggregating their resources to maximize utilization by distributed applications.
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.
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.
Docker Machine
Machine lets you create Docker hosts on your computer, on cloud providers, and inside your own data center. It creates servers, installs Docker on them, then configures the Docker client to talk to them.
See all alternatives
Decisions about Rancher and Travis CI
Jesus Dario Rivera Rubio
Jesus Dario Rivera Rubio
Telecomm Engineering at Netbeast | 10 upvotes 127.8K views
atNetbeastNetbeast
Mailjet
Mailjet
Intercom
Intercom
Amplitude
Amplitude
Firebase
Firebase
GitHub
GitHub
Bitrise
Bitrise
Travis CI
Travis CI
Objective-C
Objective-C
Android SDK
Android SDK
React Native
React Native
#End2end
#SmartHome

We are using React Native in #SmartHome to share the business logic between Android and iOS team and approach users with a unique brand experience. The drawback is that we require lots of native Android SDK and Objective-C modules, so a good part of the invested time is there. The gain for a app that relies less on native communication, sensors and OS tools should be even higher.

Also it helps us set different testing stages: we use Travis CI for the javascript (business logic), Bitrise to run build tests and @Detox for #end2end automated user tests.

We use a microservices structure on top of Zeit's @now that read from firebase. We use JWT auth to authenticate requests among services and from users, following GitHub philosophy of using the same infrastructure than its API consumers. Firebase is used mainly as a key-value store between services and as a backup database for users. We also use its authentication mechanisms.

You can be super locked-in if you also rely on it's analytics, but we use Amplitude for that, which offers us great insights. Intercom for communications with end-user and Mailjet for marketing.

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Travis CI
Travis CI
CircleCI
CircleCI

I initially chose CircleCI for a personal project because I was not satisified with using Travis CI in the past. When it came time to develop my CI/CD config on Circle, I was pleasantly surprised with the fantastic documentation, invaluable collection of example configs and helpful support provided. The free tier they provide is quite robust for most small projects and the platform is updated frequently with nice features.

Areas where CircleCI could improve:

  • the UI is a bit slow (you can feel the local machine straining to load all the code) and it is not as intuitive as it could be
  • many UI elements receive updates and/or changes that are not always reflected in the current docs
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GitHub
GitHub
Appveyor
Appveyor
Travis CI
Travis CI

I recommend using Travis CI and/or Appveyor in all projects.

Projects using these tools have given me confidence to know that I don't cause any breaking changes. Travis CI and Appveyor have functionality to test components of a project across multiple installation projects to ensure that modifications don't break a project. These tools integrate easily with GitHub and are useful in open source projects that must review contributions from many different people.

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Tim Abbott
Tim Abbott
Founder at Zulip | 12 upvotes 33.8K views
atZulipZulip
CircleCI
CircleCI
Travis CI
Travis CI

We actually started out on Travis CI, but we've migrated our main builds to CircleCI, and it's been a huge improvement.

The reason it's been a huge improvement is that Travis CI has a fundamentally bad design for their images, where they start with a standard base Linux image containing tons of packages (several versions of postgres, every programming language environment, etc). This is potentially nice for the "get builds for a small project running quickly" use case, but it's a total disaster for a larger project that needs a decent number of dependencies and cares about the performance and reliability of their build.

This issue is exacerbated by their networking infrastructure being unreliable; we usually saw over 1% of builds failing due to transient networking errors in Travis CI, even after we added retries to the most frequently failing operations like apt update or pip install. And they never install Ubuntu's point release updates to their images. So doing an apt update, apt install, or especially apt upgrade would take forever. We ended up writing code to actually uninstall many of their base packages and pin the versions of hundreds of others to get a semi-fast, semi-reliable build. It was infuriating.

The CircleCI v2.0 system has the right design for a CI system: we can customize the base image to start with any expensive-to-install packages we need for our build, and we can update that image if and when we want to. The end result is that when migrating, we were able to delete all the hacky optimizations mentioned above, while still ending up with a 50% faster build latency. And we've also had 5-10x fewer issues with networking-related flakes, which means one doesn't have to constantly check whether a build failure is actually due to an issue with the code under test or "just another networking flake".

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Travis CI
Travis CI
CircleCI
CircleCI
Google Cloud Build
Google Cloud Build

I use Google Cloud Build because it's my first foray into the CICD world(loving it so far), and I wanted to work with something GCP native to avoid giving permissions to other SaaS tools like CircleCI and Travis CI.

I really like it because it's free for the first 120 minutes, and it's one of the few CICD tools that enterprises are open to using since it's contained within GCP.

One of the unique things is that it has the Kaniko cache, which speeds up builds by creating intermediate layers within the docker image vs. pushing the full thing from the start. Helpful when you're installing just a few additional dependencies.

Feel free to checkout an example: Cloudbuild Example

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Interest over time
Reviews of Rancher and Travis CI
Avatar of tschellenbach
CEO at Stream
Review ofTravis CITravis CI

In the past we used to run Jenkins. The build server always had weird issues and was a pain to maintain. Travis is a great solution for CI. Their Debug build features makes it trivial to figure out why your build broke. The integration with Github is also very slick. One thing they could improve is the documentation on the .travis.yaml format. All in all, great company and very responsive supports. Over here at getstream.io we're a fan. Keep up the good work guys!

Avatar of gonuts
Michigan Technological University
Review ofRancherRancher
  1. Consume too much unnecessary resource by just running rancher agent alone;
  2. Hard to recover from system failure
  3. Bad performance of load balancing (compare to dokcer swarm built-in LB or others).
How developers use Rancher and Travis CI
Avatar of datapile
datapile uses Travis CITravis CI

Travis CI is our pillar for automated deployment, pull request testing, auto-merging (for non-mission-critical projects), and build testing per commit / release.

It is highly configurable, super cheap, and extremely robust (supports every language and configuration we've thrown at it).

Avatar of P膿teris Caune
P膿teris Caune uses Travis CITravis CI

While we usually run tests before commits, Travis goes further and tests with different Python versions and different database backends. It works great, and, best of all, it is free for open source projects.

Avatar of etlweather
etlweather uses RancherRancher

The whole infrastructure is managed through Rancher. It provides a simple interface to all the underlying tools - Docker, HAProxy (automatically configures load balancer from the containers).

Avatar of Dieter Adriaenssens
Dieter Adriaenssens uses Travis CITravis CI

Travis CI builds and tests every commit. It's also used to deploy Buildtime Trend as a Service to Heroku and the Buildtime Trend Python library to the PyPi repository.

Avatar of Nate Ferrell
Nate Ferrell uses Travis CITravis CI

Travis CI is critical for Linux and macOS CI tests for the Powershell module. Travis runs the same tests we run in AppVeyor in parallel.

Avatar of Andrew Williams
Andrew Williams uses Travis CITravis CI

To ensure that what works locally will also work for someone else. Also used to send code coverage to codeintel

Avatar of sapslaj
sapslaj uses RancherRancher

Currently looking to move to Swarm or Kubernetes due to a few issues I have with Rancher.

Avatar of InsideSales.com
InsideSales.com uses RancherRancher

We use Rancher for container orchestration and automated deployment pipelines.

Avatar of Dave Woolfenden
Dave Woolfenden uses RancherRancher

Enterprise-grade Kubernetes Distribution

Avatar of Shiqiang Yu
Shiqiang Yu uses RancherRancher

Pull from CI/CD for live demo

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