Before we start, it is important to note that comparing the three is not a matter of choosing this or that, as they are fundamentally different technologies.
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What is Ansible?
Ansible is a powerful open-source DevOps tool. It serves as an IT automation engine system and is supported by Red Hat. Eliminating the repetition of tasks enables faster application deployments, adding more room for DevOps teams to focus on strategic work.
Ansible automates configuration management, cloud provisioning, application deployment, orchestration, and several other IT requirements. It allows users to control multi-tier complex deployments as well as security management.
Ansible is much simpler when compared to other DevOps tools and is only used for configuration deployment. It is excellent for use by front-end developers, especially when programming is required.
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What is Kubernetes?
Kubernetes is a DevOps tool with a more complex system that is maintained by Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). This open-source tool by Google can be used to deploy, scale, and maintain containerized applications with automation.
Using Kubernetes, DevOps teams can streamline containers in a cluster and effectively monitor the containers. It also helps with easy problem troubleshooting and executing commands.
Kubernetes is multilayered and applies the Infrastructure as Code principle of DevOps, allowing independent management of each infrastructure layer such as a single container, pods, namespaces, clusters, and nodes along with networking and physical hosts.
Kubernetes is able to fulfill customer demands through predictable and quick application deployment, scaling of these applications, new feature launches, and restricted hardware usage to only the required resources.
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What is Docker?
Docker is an open-source software container technology platform that is based on Linux containers. It allows application and infrastructure developers to come up with a virtual environment that can provide a platform for enhanced innovation.
The modular design of Docker facilitates secure application development, on premises and also on the cloud. Additionally, Docker uses a number of features of the Linux kernel to sandbox processes into existing configurable virtual environments. The applications can run wherever desired without facing compatibility hurdles.
Docker is written in the Go programming language; it is lightweight in nature as it does not require any hypervisor load.
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Ansible vs Kubernetes vs Docker
Let us take a look at some of the differences among Docker, Ansible, and Kubernetes.
Ansible uses Python, while Docker and Kubernetes run on Go. Ansible is easy to implement and works effectively when it comes to configuration management; Docker is easy to understand and isolate; Kubernetes requires well-planned efforts for defining nodes and manual installation.
Out of the three, Kubernetes has an excellent load-balancing concept. In the case of Ansible, we still require a Linux control machine for the management of Windows hosts.
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Ansible vs Kubernetes
Let us discuss the differences between Ansible and Kubernetes. Ansible has to run the installation and configuration programs to the servers one at a time. It only manages to automate installation and configuration to all the servers. However, in the case of Kubernetes, security and multi-host networking needs to be configured, storage has to be attached, and monitoring, auditing, and logging has to be enabled. Moreover, Kubernetes does not support a default high availability (HA) mode.
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Ansible vs Docker
Ansible and Docker cannot be compared for common tasks as configuration management and containerization are entirely different in the two DevOps tools. Nevertheless, let us take a look at some of the differences between Ansible and Docker:
|It is an orchestration tool for managing applications or software in the given environment||It is a containerization tool for isolating applications from the host operating system (OS)|
|Configuration execution is easy and there is no containerization process||There is containerization and no configuration execution|
|It makes several errors during configuration management||Virtualization happens with all precautions and does not make mistakes in the process|
|It does not have many features besides configuration and its management||It creates containers, runs applications and isolates them with the OS, and builds memory for the applications|
|It is not used for large companies and is used for temporary deployments||It is used in large companies because the memory management and application isolation ensures that the applications do not get impacted by attacks faced by the OS|
|It can be repeated and used in any container or application for easy location tracking as well as last time use and activity||It cannot be repeated and tracked for its usage|
|It manages the entire environment as well as the containers or applications, eliminating the need for a user to worry about the environment used in the tool||It does not manage the entire environment; thus, special care of the applications and the environment needs to be taken by the user|
|It manages the applications, making it simple and easy to use||It does not make the containers simple or easy to use; the containers are rather isolated and made for a particular purpose|
|It can configure systems and execute continuous deployments and is primarily meant for orchestration tasks||It makes the companies continuously build and share the applications across different platforms|
|It is a server configuration and automation tool||It is based on virtual machine platforms and containers|
|The developers can complete the automation within hours or days for large deployment||It does not have automation but integrates all developer tools that are shared and reused within the system platforms|
|It does not have any agents, and the configuration is great as it does the management with simple tasks||Its properties are open source, providing an isolating environment, rapid integration, and build up|
|Maintenance is easy as the architecture is simple||Maintenance is not easy, and the architecture is prone to virus attacks|
|There are no portable images and when required, the images should be downloaded and used from other sources||There are open and portable images that can be used for the containerization of applications|
|The user interface (UI) is not very well developed||Docker has a good UI|
Kubernetes vs Docker
Kubernetes is best suited to developing larger apps, and Docker has multicomponent. Kubernetes’s support for Windows server is under the beta phase, while Docker has official support for Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016 and 1709.
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DevOps tools are designed to integrate and provide quick IT service delivery with the help of improved communication between the operators and the developers. In this way, development and operations teams can work in conjunction to deliver software services with the help of these helpful tools.
The conversation around Docker, Ansible, and Kubernetes is often framed as either-or, but it is a common misconception that we have to choose one. They are all fundamentally different technologies that can work together to build, deliver, and scale containerized apps.
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