Compare top DevOps tools: Docker, Kubernetes Puppet, Chef, Ansible

DevOps, the software engineering culture initiated to unite developers and operations, has become one of the most essential aspects of the software development lifecycle. It is now an integral part of project planning to delivery, from startups to large enterprises.

With the advent of cloud computing and virtualization platforms, the need for new services has increased. DevOps automates and monitors the software creation process, from integration, testing, release to deployment and management. It reduces development cycles, increases deployment frequency, and complements business objectives.

With the help of DevOps automation or configuration management tools, machine-level changes can be easily defined and deployed in multiserver environments.

But adopting the right DevOps platform or configuration management tool is not as sincere as buying/subscribing to a suite of software tools. There are a number of latest DevOps tools with various features. Read the comparison of DevOps tools: Docker vs Ansible vs Chef vs Kubernetes vs Puppet to make things easier for you.


. Ansible

Ansible is a simple yet powerful server and configuration management tool that can transform an organization’s DevOps by modernizing IT and enabling faster application deployment. It automates configuration management, orchestration, application deployment, cloud provisioning, and a host of other IT requirements.

The difference between Ansible and the previous configuration management tools (Puppet, Chef) is that they probably have a better set of features, but Ansible is much simpler than them. It is mainly used for configuration deployment.

It can be used to make changes to newly deployed machines and reconfigure them. In addition, the Ansible ecosystem is excellent, which comes with the option to write custom applications.

Powered by Red Hat, Ansible Tower enables users to securely manage and control multi-tier deployments. It also helps them with collaboration tools so team members can stay informed via email and Slack with built-in notifications.


. Chef

Chef offers fast, scalable and flexible IT automation, which automates IT at web scale. Chef is also a configuration management tool like Puppet, and uses “recipes” in the form of instructions for configuring the web server, databases, and load balancers. Chef recipes define the infrastructure components and how those components can be deployed, configured, and managed. This diagram shows how to develop, test, and deploy Chef code.

The Chef configuration policy allows users to define infrastructure as code. Your development tools can test configuration updates on workstations, development infrastructure, and cloud instances.

Also read: What is the Digital Information Security in Healthcare Act (DISHA) in India?


packages the configurations in JSON files called ‘cookbooks’ and runs the software in client-server (Chef-server) and ‘Chef-solo’ mode.

3. Docker



the software containerization platform, provides freedom for application/infrastructure developers and IT operations teams to create a model for better innovation and collaboration


It relies on Linux containers (LxC) to create virtual environments and allows users to create, deploy, run, and manage applications within containers. Containers are lightweight as they do not require additional hypervisor loading and run inside the host machine’s kernel. Docker provides consistency across a wide range of development and release cycles and standardizes the environment.

Docker Engine includes a daemon process (the dockerd command), a REST API to specify the interfaces that programs use to interact with the daemon, and a command-line interface (CLI) client.

Due to standardization, developers can analyze and fix bugs more efficiently in applications, and also make changes to Docker images. Users can create a single image and use it at each step during deployment.

Docker’s client-server architecture allows the client to interact with the daemon, which performs tasks such as creating, running, and distributing containers.

Docker allows users to securely build applications both on-premises and in the cloud. Its design is modular so it can be easily integrated with existing environments.

4. Kubernetes

We’re all familiar with the issues businesses traditionally experienced when they had to migrate their servers from one service provider to another, it may be due to a better pricing structure or features. The upgrade and migration became particularly painful as different websites used specific software versions. But containerization has successfully solved this problem.

The focus of DevOps has now shifted to writing scalable applications that can be distributed, deployed, and run effectively anywhere. Where Docker provided the first step in helping developers easily build, ship, and run software, Kubernetes has helped make a big leap by helping DevOps run containers in a cluster, manage applications in different containers, and monitor them effectively as well. It allows vendors to build systems using core Kubernetes technology as it is based on a modular API core.

Kubernetes is an open source system that was developed by Google and then donated to CNCF (Cloud Native Computing Foundation). It helps developers deploy, scale, and manage containerized applications with automation. Kubernetes enables DevOps to efficiently meet customer demands by deploying applications predictably and quickly, scaling them, releasing new features, and limiting hardware usage to only the resources needed.

Kubernetes is portable and can be used with public, private, hybrid, and multi-cloud environments; extensible with being connectable, modular, composable, hookable; And it’s self-healing with features like auto-replication, auto-place, auto-scaling, and auto-restart.

5. Puppet

is an open source configuration management tool, whereby developers and operations teams can securely deliver and operate software (infrastructure, applications) anywhere


It allows users to understand and act on changes taking place in applications along with detailed reports and real-time alerts. Users can identify those changes and troubleshoot the problems.

The infrastructure is treated as code by Puppet, which helps facilitate the review and testing of configurations in all environments: development, test, and production.


contains a daemon called the Puppet agent that runs on client servers. It has another component that contains the configuration for all hosts, called Puppet master. The Puppet agent and Puppet master are securely encrypted using SSL.

Comparing the best DevOps tools: Ansible vs Chef vs Docker vs Kubernetes vs Puppet Sr. No. Docker


Suppose, we have an application called DHN. We have ten developers to contribute to DHN, which is designed to run on Azure. You will have two endpoints: front-end (DHN-Front) and back-end (DHN-API), and we assign five developers to each endpoint. To better understand Puppet vs Chef vs Docker vs Ansible, let’s take an example.

(Note: We can do this in many ways, it’s just an example.)

We would use Docker for DHN-Front and DHN-API. Also, we would prefer Ansible to establish a developer development environment. Ansible will start the VMs, install Docker, search the Docker images for DHN-Front and DHN-API, and configure network ports for various components.

We’ll use Chef or Puppet on the infrastructure side to set up the multiple environments: production, stage, and development. Then the Chef/Puppet will install Docker on the application servers, apply security settings, etc.

Servers and patches can be updated or added using any configuration management tool. At each step, Docker ensures that none of the environments contain any application differences.

The example above was to make a comparison between different DevOps tools: Chef vs Kubernetes vs Puppet vs Ansible vs Docker easier. Below are three more tools that are widely used by DevOps teams:

6. Nagios


is an industry-standard tool that helps DevOps teams monitor desktop and server operating systems, such as service statuses, system metrics, applications, and services. DevOps teams

can detect and identify problems in IT infrastructure and correct them using Nagios log monitoring. These problems can exist due to data link overloads, network connections, switches, etc.

Nagios provides Nagios XI, Nagios Log Server and Nagios Network Analyzer for all monitoring operations. Nagios solutions currently support Windows, Linux, Unix, AIX, Mac OS/X, Solaris, and HP-UX operating systems.

7. Jenkins

is another option for DevOps teams to monitor the execution of repeat jobs. Jenkins offers hundreds of plugins that help the development side of DevOps teams create, deploy, and automate projects.

It is a

standalone, extensible automation server that can be used as a CI (continuous integration) and CD (continuous delivery) server, or it can be converted into a continuous delivery center to build, test, deliver, or deploy software. Jenkins is compatible with Windows, Mac OS X and UNIX operating systems.

It can be

installed via native system packages, Docker, or it can be run independently by a machine with Java Runtime Environment (JRE).

8. Git

Central Repository

Released under the GNU General Public License version 2.0, Git is an open-source distributed version control system that is easy to learn, provides high performance, and can handle projects of all sizes with efficiency and speed.

It provides a number of features including a local branching model, multiple workflows, convenient staging areas, etc.

Git helps DevOps have different local branches independent of each other. It takes a few seconds to create, merge and delete those development lines. With this, you can do things like:

  • DevOps tool 2018

    Create a branch for a new idea, commit multiple times, and rejoin from where it branched out and merge it again

  • .

  • Creation of role-based lines of code for different tasks such as production and testing, etc.
  • Create new branches for all new features and switch between them, deleting the branch by merging features into the main line.
  • Experiment and eliminate when necessary.

Git’s features help it outperform other software configuration management (SCM) tools like Subversion, Perforce, CVS, and ClearCase.

If you have something to add, do it in the comments section.

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