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Vagrant vs VMware vSphere: What are the differences?

What is 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.

What is VMware vSphere? 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.

Vagrant belongs to "Virtual Machine Management" category of the tech stack, while VMware vSphere can be primarily classified under "Virtualization Platform".

Some of the features offered by Vagrant are:

  • Boxes
  • Up And SSH
  • Synced Folders

On the other hand, VMware vSphere provides the following key features:

  • Powerful Server Virtualization
  • Network Services
  • Efficient Storage

"Development environments" is the top reason why over 354 developers like Vagrant, while over 6 developers mention "Strong host isolation" as the leading cause for choosing VMware vSphere.

Vagrant is an open source tool with 18.6K GitHub stars and 3.74K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Vagrant's open source repository on GitHub.

Airbnb, Shopify, and Coursera are some of the popular companies that use Vagrant, whereas VMware vSphere is used by MIT, CircleCI, and Accenture. Vagrant has a broader approval, being mentioned in 802 company stacks & 479 developers stacks; compared to VMware vSphere, which is listed in 56 company stacks and 24 developer stacks.

- No public GitHub repository available -

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.

What is VMware vSphere?

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.
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    What are some alternatives to Vagrant and VMware vSphere?
    VirtualBox
    VirtualBox is a powerful x86 and AMD64/Intel64 virtualization product for enterprise as well as home use. Not only is VirtualBox an extremely feature rich, high performance product for enterprise customers, it is also the only professional solution that is freely available as Open Source Software under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2.
    Ansible
    Ansible is an IT automation tool. It can configure systems, deploy software, and orchestrate more advanced IT tasks such as continuous deployments or zero downtime rolling updates. Ansible’s goals are foremost those of simplicity and maximum ease of use.
    Packer
    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.
    Terraform
    With Terraform, you describe your complete infrastructure as code, even as it spans multiple service providers. Your servers may come from AWS, your DNS may come from CloudFlare, and your database may come from Heroku. Terraform will build all these resources across all these providers in parallel.
    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.
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    Decisions about Vagrant and VMware vSphere
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    How developers use Vagrant and VMware vSphere
    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 ShadowICT
    ShadowICT uses VMware vSphereVMware vSphere

    We use VMWare vSphere to allow us to virtualise our environment. This means that we don't have to have as many physical servers to split our infrastructure as we would otherwise. vSphere also enables us to move our virtual machines between different servers as required such as if we need to perform essential maintenance on a host while keeping to our belief of having high availability of all of our services wherever possible.

    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 The Independent
    The Independent uses VMware vSphereVMware vSphere

    vSphere provides a central management interface for the entire stack. In addition to application level redundancy, VM level redundancy is offered through HA and DRS.

    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 POROWNEO.PL
    POROWNEO.PL uses VMware vSphereVMware vSphere

    Hypervisor used in a private cloud platform

    Avatar of Codeweavers Ltd
    Codeweavers Ltd uses VMware vSphereVMware vSphere

    Hybrid Physical/Virtual Datacentre

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