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Rancher
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Rancher vs Vagrant: What are the differences?

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; Vagrant: A tool for building and distributing development environments. Vagrant provides the framework and configuration format to create and manage complete portable development environments. These development environments can live on your computer or in the cloud, and are portable between Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.

Rancher and Vagrant are primarily classified as "Container" and "Virtual Machine Management" 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, Vagrant provides the following key features:

  • Boxes
  • Up And SSH
  • Synced Folders

"Easy to use", "Open source and totally free" and "Multi-host docker-compose support" are the key factors why developers consider Rancher; whereas "Development environments", "Simple bootstraping" and "Free" are the primary reasons why Vagrant is favored.

Rancher and Vagrant are both open source tools. Vagrant with 18.6K GitHub stars and 3.74K forks on GitHub appears to be more popular than Rancher with 11.9K GitHub stars and 1.34K GitHub forks.

Airbnb, Shopify, and Coursera are some of the popular companies that use Vagrant, whereas Rancher is used by Redox Engine, Packet, and VCCloud. Vagrant has a broader approval, being mentioned in 802 company stacks & 478 developers stacks; compared to Rancher, which is listed in 89 company stacks and 35 developer stacks.

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 Vagrant?

Vagrant provides the framework and configuration format to create and manage complete portable development environments. These development environments can live on your computer or in the cloud, and are portable between Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.
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What are some alternatives to Rancher and Vagrant?
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.
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Decisions about Rancher and Vagrant
No stack decisions found
Interest over time
Reviews of Rancher and Vagrant
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 Vagrant
Avatar of Airbnb
Airbnb uses VagrantVagrant

"The best way to ensure that local testing was possible was to normalize people’s dev environments. For this we chose Vagrant. This, combined with Chef, allows us to do our local dev in sandboxed Linux instances running locally via VirtualBox in a configuration as similar to production as possible. In addition to making dev environment setup much easier than it used to be, this ensures that each engineer has a consistent environment that is ready to run tests out of the box. The user SSHs into the local linux server and runs spec commands like they would on their host OS, and generally everything Just Works. Most people on our team combine this with Zeus, which allows the Rails environment to be preloaded for lightning fast (relatively speaking) test runs. Both Vagrant and Zeus have their share of issues, but in practice we’ve found them to be a huge time saver."

Avatar of GHA Technologies
GHA Technologies uses VagrantVagrant

Not blazing fast but we pick Vagrant for all our projects because the console mode without gui leads to a low consumption of ram memory making it the best way for DevOps ready environment requiring less configuration.

Avatar of Cyrus Stoller
Cyrus Stoller uses VagrantVagrant

Vagrant allows me to ensure that anyone I'm collaborating with will be able to test my web application in the same environment. I also use Vagrant to setup VMs that I can use to refine my Capistrano recipes.

Avatar of Dynamictivity
Dynamictivity uses VagrantVagrant

We use Virtualbox in combination with Vagrant during development to ensure a consistent test/development environment. This helps to reduce the number of defects when our software goes to production.

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 Software Antelope
Software Antelope uses VagrantVagrant

Building development environments that closely match real world web environments, enabling more rapid and accurate testing and development.

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 Ataccama
Ataccama uses RancherRancher

Orchestration of containers for our environments. Remote deployment from Jenkins.

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

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