Updated April 6, 2023
Difference Between Ansible vs Docker
Ansible is an open-source tool for software provisions and configuration management. Also, it deploys the applications. It works in both UNIX and Windows. It was developed by Michael DeHaan in 2012. It is an orchestration tool. Ansible creates consistent environments. Ansible is written in Python, PowerShell, Shell, and Ruby. Docker is a service for virtualization used in OS where software is delivered in containers. Containers have software, libraries, and configuration files. It is written in Go language developed by Solomon Hykes. Docker.Inc owns Docker software. The applications are created, ran and deployed using containers. The application is developed as a package inside the container.
Head to Head Comparison between Ansible vs Docker (Infographics)
Below are the top 15 comparisons between Ansible vs Docker:
Key differences between Ansible vs Docker
Let us discuss some key differences between Ansible vs Docker in the following points:
- Ansible is a tool to build and orchestrate the applications. Ansible can be used to orchestrate Docker containers and AWS tools, virtual machines, create software and deploy them. System administration task is done in Ansible written in YAML format. While Docker has containers to install and deploy applications. Containers do not care about the operating system. The container has only necessary applications of the software, and hence it is lightweight.
- Docker provides the environment to run the application or software and is detached from the host operating system. This is done through containers. Ansible provides the configuration, installation, and deployment of the server. The configuration file is written and it is run on the servers. The installation and configuration are done automatically.
- In simple words, docker helps to keep the applications or software inside the containers, whereas Ansible helps in the configuration of the application of software or application and does not care if it is inside the container or not.
- Docker can be automated using Ansible for the applications as it is an orchestration tool. The docker container is operationalized using a build or deployment process with Ansible. Whereas we cannot automate Ansible using Docker as it serves different purposes conceptually. Docker creates containers and works with them.
- One need not be a programmer to manage configuration in Ansible. But he should know the languages Ruby and Python and should have basic configuration skills. One should know the system administrator to work with Docker. Also, they should know the Go language as Docker works in the Go language.
- Ansible applications are portable and can be used outside the Ansible playbook in a cloud environment or Docker environment. Whereas Docker is not portable, and the only docker should be used for containerization if it is used once in the applications.
Comparison Table of Ansible vs Docker
The table below summarizes the comparisons between Ansible vs Docker:
|Ansible is an orchestration tool used to manage the applications or software in the given environment.||Docker is a containerization technology used to isolate applications from the host OS.|
|Configuration execution is easy to process in Ansible and there is no containerization process.||There is no configuration execution but only containerization.|
|We can call Ansible as immature as it makes many mistakes during the configuration management.||Docker does the virtualization with all the precautions and does not make any mistake in isolating the software or application.|
|Ansible does not have many features. It does the configuration and manages it.||Docker creates the containers, runs the application and isolates it with the OS and develops a memory for the application.|
|Ansible is not used for large enterprises and is used for temporary deployments. For permanent deployments, either Puppet or Chef orchestration tools are used.||Docker is used in many large organizations as it helps to manage memory and isolates the applications so that the applications do not face any attacks faced by OS.|
|Ansible can be repeated and used in any container or application so that the applications can be tracked easily for their location and last time use and activity.||Dockers cannot be repeated and cannot be tracked for its usage. Hence welose track off docker for its location, activity and usage time.|
|Ansible manages the entire environment along with the containers or applications. Hence the user need not worry about the environment used in the tool.||Docker does not manage the entire environment and works only with the assigned environment. Users should take special care of the applications used and the environment in the application.|
|Ansible manages the applications so that they are made simple and easy to use.||Docker does not make the containers simple or easy to use; rather the containers are isolated and made for a purpose.|
|Ansible can configure systems or do continuous deployments. Ansible is meant mainly for orchestration tasks in IT.||Docker does not do the configuration or deployments. It makes the organizations to continuously build and share the applications in different platforms.|
|We can say Ansible as a server configuration and automation tool.||Docker is based on virtual machine platforms and containers.|
|Ansible has automation that helps the developers to complete the automation within hours or days for large deployment.||Docker does not have automation but integrates all the developer tools that are shared and reused within the system platforms.|
|Ansible does not have any agents, and the configuration is great as it does the management with simple tasks.||Docker’s properties are open-source, rapid integration and build up and providing an isolating environment.|
|Maintenance is done easily in Ansible as the architecture is simple.||Maintenance is not easy and the architecture should be checked always as it may have virus attacks.|
|There are no portable images in Ansible, and the images, if needed, should be downloaded and used from other sources.||There are open and portable images in docker that can be used for the containerization of applications.|
|The user interface is not much developed in Ansible and developers should take special care while using UI.||The user interface is good in Docker and the user finds it easy to work in Docker with the UI offered.|
Ansible and Docker cannot be compared for common tasks as they differ from each other in their working. Configuration management and containerization is entirely different, and both do the tasks in an easy manner. For configuration tasks, Ansible is preferred and for containerization tasks, Docker is preferred. Maintenance is important for both.
This is a guide to the top differences between Ansible vs Docker. Here we discuss the Ansible vs Docker key differences with infographics and comparison table. You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more –