Finding the right DevOps tool can be tricky. There are several factors to consider when deciding which solution will work best for your projects. Learn about two of the best solutions: Vagrant and Docker.
Vagrant and Docker are two of the best DevOps tools on the market. They both provide great functionality for developers who want to build and share applications or collaborate with team members on projects.
However, the way each program works is quite different. One is a containerization tool while the other is used to create and provision virtual environments. The two tools are usually used separately, but there are some developers who use the two tools together.
Here’s what you need to know about the differences between these two DevOps software tools to decide whether Vagrant or Docker is right for you.
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What is wanderer?
HashiCorp Wanderer is a tool designed to help developers build and manage virtual machine environments in a centralized workflow. Vagrant can be used to make multiple virtual environments work together using other virtual machines and operating systems. Users can create a self-contained, secure virtual network of virtual machines that can be imaged and shared with other developers to collaborate without sharing a single environment.
What is Docker?
docker is a container management tool that can be used to build, test, and share containerized applications. A Docker container can contain all the data an app needs, including its code, runtime, system tools, system libraries, and settings. These containers can be used with virtual machines to deploy and manage applications.
vagrant vs. Docker: Feature Comparison
|Virtual Machine System||Yes||New|
|Fast start time||New||Yes|
|High resource consumption||Yes||New|
Head-to-head comparison: Vagrant vs Docker
Operating System Compatibility
Vagrant does not work on the host OS. Instead, it runs its own operating system within virtual machines. Vagrant files can contain any operating system, including Windows, Linux, or MacOS.
Docker can run natively on Linux or Windows x86-64. If you want to run docker on a non-compatible operating system, you can do it using a virtual machine. This is an example where some developers choose to use both Docker and Vagrant together.
On startup, Vagrant must load a full virtual machine image and initialize all core processes. This can lead to a slower boot speed, which can be frustrating for some users.
Docker, on the other hand, uses your device’s existing operating system. When you power on that device and system, all core processes are already initialized. This allows it to maintain a much more efficient launch speed. Docker can often launch in seconds, while Vagrant can take several minutes to launch.
Depending on the size of your files, the difference in boot speed may not be that great. However, large Vagrant files can start and run much slower than Docker files. Although, regardless of the file size, Docker can almost always launch at least a little faster.
As discussed above, Vagrant should load a full operating system on startup. In addition to being a slower process, it also consumes more resources at startup and while using the tool.
Docker consumes fewer resources. It only needs to load the libraries necessary for the application, unlike a full operating system. As a result, you can typically run more applications while using less computing power.
Both Vagrant and Docker can provide isolated environments for applications. Vagrant offers a higher degree of isolation than Docker. It provides a completely isolated environment by using a separate operating system.
Docker containers run as isolated processes within the host operating system. Users can adjust their security setting to restrict access to the Docker containers, but they can still communicate with other resources or processes on the host operating system. Some developers have also encountered security vulnerabilities due to links between the host OS and docker containers.
Choosing between Vagrant and Docker
While the two DevOps tools can achieve many of the same core goals, they have very different approaches. If you want fast boot times and lower resource consumption, you’d better choose Docker. If you prefer the ability to build and manage virtual machines to work with collaborations simultaneously but separately, consider Vagrant.
You don’t necessarily have to choose between the two. Some people use Docker on Vagrant. There are scenarios where you need a virtual machine to run Docker, such as on MacOS, and some developers generally prefer to use a VM. In this case, you can use Vagrant to build and manage that virtual machine environment and run Docker in it.