While the internet uses and its applications are getting bigger and bigger, the automation process also seems preferable than manually handling cloud-based servers. That’s the reason new tools are kept incoming to take over this, so choosing the right tool is essential for everyone.
Therefore we run comparisons between such tools in this blog; lately, we differentiated the docker vs vagrant. And this time, our focus will be to explore differences and use cases of Ansible and Kubernetes.
The key difference you should know between Kubernetes and Ansible.
Ansible is an IT automation tool that can handle dozens of cloud servers. It ends repetitive tasks on cloud servers such as updating, application deployment, cloud provisioning. Ultimately it is a time-saver for many IT-networking tasks. Whereas, Kubernetes is something that can manage your Docker images scaling, deployment, health check, and make them scalable. It also maintains the connection between containers and the cluster of nodes, ensuring that the docker images keep up and running all the time.
Use Ansible if you want to push updates on your servers, and use Kubernetes if you’re going to manage containers such that they keep running if anything goes wrong.
The mentioned difference may not be understandable to you if this is your first attempt to understand the difference between them.
Let’s know first what these tools are by understanding their standard definitions. You will get an idea of how they differ from each other.
What is Ansible?
The traditional definition of Ansible says it is a simple automation engine that handles or automates the updates on large servers. Mainly IT developers use this as it efficiently and accurately configures web servers and applications that otherwise had to handle manually and takes a long-time.
If we simplify this explanation further, suppose you have some cloud-based web servers, and you want to send an update to them it could be anything that usually we have to do otherwise.
So, if you do this task manually then chances are there will be pop-up errors, typically it is going to take a lot of time and effort. Therefore the Ansible tool comes in handy here. You only need to instruct this tool what to update in the servers. It will configure all of them instantly.
Ansible works on the principal IAC (infrastructure as code) which turns your code into a framework, which means you can write anything in codes that you want for your servers, generally, updating, deleting, changing, and further management tasks. It works as a playbook, so repeatable tasks turn out more comfortable.
Ansible is written in Python language, and it uses YAML scripting language. Take a note here that the YAML is the easiest language to learn as well as understand, even a non-programmer person can quickly master this who understands the IT, networking concepts as IP, Host, etc.
Ansible tool first induced in 2012 by Micheal Dehaan, later in 2015 the RED hat took it over, and the Red Hat developers are now handling it. They also brought up an enterprise version (ansible tower) of this tool, which almost cost 10,000$ per each year, unlike Ansible, it is even easy to use. A GUI with drag and drop and libraries for infrastructure are ready to get started on your project quickly.
Ansible can be run on different operating systems such as Linux, CentoOS, Windows, but it always recommends using Linux-based operating systems.
What is Kubernetes?
Kubernetes is a container orchestration tool that is mainly used for handling images on the server. It should be clear here that it does not create any Image itself. It manages already built docker images by scheduling, execution, and general management. Most of its capabilities are focused on backing up an image.
Kubernetes is a container management tool, and there could be so many reasons for why we should use Kubernetes, a few examples are here. As let’s say if you want to schedule a container, then It will find a node to schedule your process on without letting the server down by keeping some copies running to route the traffic until then.
Kubernetes keeps checking the health of the images, or it also can restart or reschedule the changes if needed.
Kubernetes is developed by using Golang language, which is further developed by google. You can read here Golang vs python.
Difference between Kubernetes and Ansible
Both Kubernetes and Ansible work for servers. However, they are entirely different when it comes to their use cases. Let’s see how.
Ansible is used in managing servers. You can do updates to delete files on your servers quickly. Many big web apps use this tool for maintaining such tasks, as they have to run so many servers. When updating them, they don’t want to hire developers to do this.
Because if there are let’s say 500 servers are running and if they hire developers to update their packages as it could be something like a security update. And what do you think? How long does it take a person to update all the servers? Of course, so much time, and it may not be done properly.
Ansible has a server where you write a code in YAML, and it will change it into a framework called a playbook. By means, you can write in the code what to change in all servers, when to change, what to delete, what to update on all servers, or you can control specific servers also.
Once you write the script, then the work will be handled by the Ansible tool. It automates the changes that you asked for, auto-delete, auto-update, and so forth. However, you can control updates with this too, whenever a server needs any updates the ansible will handle this.
I hope now you will get a better understanding of how Ansible works. Let’s move on the Kubernetes, and see why it is different from Ansible.
Kubernetes is a container-orchestration tool used mostly in managing docker-images. Unlike Ansible, Kubernetes does not provide an infrastructure to make them configuration driven, nor does it establish automation for servers.
Kubernetes is entirely different; it works on the principal so that your docker images will never lay down, it makes them scalable, balances allocations, and distributes traffic. You can assume that suppose a large e-commerce web app, which uses dockers for different functions, one of them assume is for handling the checkout page and if there a huge load on that page the docker image may go down if it runs out of allocations.
Here Kubernetes prevent from this happening by establishing communication between them, it has a feature for this called Pod where you can code for communication between them. Then, they can allocate the resources by changing nodes when needed; it is called load balancing.
Another work example of Kubernetes is you can roll up and roll back your web app. Simply if you have updated the version of an app from version 2.0 to version 3.0 and suddenly you see something wrong there, then Kubernetes can help to get back to version 2.0 without bringing the web app down.
By default, we know containers are not scalable. When we see a container is getting hard loaded we tend to increase the number of containers, and without enabling communication between them it is just a waste; thus Kubernetes is useful in this case also, it makes them auto-communicate by nodes cluster.
Advantages of Ansible and Kubernetes
- Ansible is very lightweight and highly stable; it requires a small space when compared with its competitors such as Chef, puppet.
- Ansible is open-source software, and its CLI mode is free to use for everyone. However, the enterprise version of this tool with GUI, developed by Red hat, costs around 10,000$ per year.
- It is Agentless, unlike Chef, where we have to use the client chef as an agent. The positive impact here that it is more secure.
Easy to learn
- Ansible is simple and easy to learn even for a non-technical person. Because of the YAML language, that makes this tool too straightforward for everyone.
It is a free open source software for everyone.
Kubernetes can help a container to manage and grab the required resources automatically. Therefore you don’t need to do it manually this procedure can be turned into repeatable for many servers.
Kubernetes has a concept for a self-healing tool. You can build infrastructure earlier as a solution for a specific problem in a node.
Kubernetes comes up with GUI support. If you compare this to some of its competitors as Docker swarm, Apache Marathon, they do not have such a feature.
Disadvantages of Ansible and Kubernetes
Low Community support
Ansible is a new tool, the community around is not extensive. That’s to conclude here when a tool does not have a large number of users, then the bugs fixing as well finding process also remain untouched, it means the tool still needs improvements and waiting for users to try, complain their problems, suggest so it can go inside deep to improve.
GUI mode is still under process
Ansible tower ( Drag and Drop version) by Red hat is basically not fully functional yet, only the 85% task a user usually can do through it while the remaining 15% require CLI mode.
Hard to Learn
Learning Kubernetes can be troublesome, even for experts, it requires a strong base over infrastructure, which is rare.
Scaling process is slow.
Kubernetes’ scaling process of a container is slower than its competitor, such as Docker.
Data Volume or resources sharing
In Kubernetes to allocate resources of nodes, both must be in the same pods. It can not share data volume with containers out of pods whereas Docker Swarm can do.
Supportable Could platforms for these tools
Ansible supportable could platforms.
Ansible engine is compatible and installed on several cloud platforms. The List is given below.
|AWS||Atomic||SmartOS||SoftLayer||Univention||VMware||Webfaction||Google Cloud Platform||KVM||Linode||LXC||LXD||Microsoft Azure|
Kubernetes supportable cloud platforms
Like Ansible, Kubernetes also has support for a wide range of cloud platforms. Including
|IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service||Baidu Cloud Container Engine||Azure||CloudStack||GCE|
Kubernetes Vs ansible: Conclusion
Both of these tools are extremely useful, having said that Ansible is the future because it already showed that it’s better than its competitor’s chef, and puppet. The prime reason for this talk is that the chef’s learning curve is so steep that only a programmer is able to understand because it requires in-depth knowledge over ruby. And no two talks here that Puppet now has gotten outdated.
On the other hand, Kubernetes already is on the top when choosing container-orchestration tools, even though Docker has its own product the same as Kubernetes. However, there are so many drawbacks. On top of them, Docker swarm does not support containers that are not built up by docker engine.