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Capistrano vs Docker: What are the differences?


Capistrano and Docker are both widely used tools in the world of software development and deployment. While both tools can be used to deploy applications, they have significant differences in their approach and functionality. In this article, we will explore the key differences between Capistrano and Docker.

  1. Deployment Process: Capistrano is a remote server automation tool, specifically designed to automate the deployment of web applications to servers. It follows a sequential deployment process, where the tasks are executed one after another. On the other hand, Docker is a containerization platform that allows applications to be packaged in lightweight, isolated containers. Docker follows an image-based deployment process, where each application is packaged as a container image and can be deployed as multiple instances across different environments.

  2. Isolation and Portability: Capistrano relies on the underlying server architecture to deploy applications, resulting in dependencies on specific operating systems and server configurations. Docker, on the other hand, provides a consistent and portable environment by encapsulating the application and its dependencies within a container. This ensures that the application runs identically across different environments, making it easier to deploy and manage.

  3. Scalability and Resource Management: Capistrano does not offer built-in support for scaling applications horizontally. It relies on the server's infrastructure for scaling. Docker, on the other hand, provides native support for container orchestration through tools like Kubernetes and Docker Swarm. These tools allow for easy scaling of containers across multiple hosts, providing better resource management and load balancing.

  4. Dependency Management: Capistrano primarily focuses on deploying applications and may require manual management of dependencies and configurations on the server. Docker, on the other hand, allows for easy management of dependencies by encapsulating them within the container image. This ensures that the application has all the necessary dependencies, configurations, and libraries required to run smoothly.

  5. Rollbacks and Versioning: Capistrano provides built-in support for rolling back deployments to previous versions if issues are detected. It also allows for version management, enabling easy switching between different versions of an application. Docker, however, provides more flexibility in terms of rollbacks and versioning. Each container image can be tagged with a unique version, allowing for easy rollbacks and managing multiple versions simultaneously.

  6. Development Environment: Capistrano is primarily used for deployment and automation in production environments. It may not be as suitable for development environments, as it focuses on server automation rather than containerization. Docker, on the other hand, is widely used for creating development environments that closely resemble production environments. It allows developers to create containers with all the necessary dependencies for the development process, providing consistency and reproducibility.

In summary, Capistrano is a remote server automation tool for sequential deployment, while Docker is a containerization platform that provides isolation, portability, scalability, dependency management, and version control. Docker is more suitable for creating consistent development environments and enables easy scaling and management of applications across different environments.

Decisions about Capistrano and Docker
Florian Sager
IT DevOp at Agitos GmbH · | 3 upvotes · 436.2K views

lxd/lxc and Docker aren't congruent so this comparison needs a more detailed look; but in short I can say: the lxd-integrated administration of storage including zfs with its snapshot capabilities as well as the system container (multi-process) approach of lxc vs. the limited single-process container approach of Docker is the main reason I chose lxd over Docker.

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Pros of Capistrano
Pros of Docker
  • 121
    Automated deployment with several custom recipes
  • 63
  • 23
  • 11
    Release-folders with symlinks
  • 9
    Multistage deployment
  • 2
    Cryptic syntax
  • 2
    Integrated rollback
  • 1
    Supports aws
  • 823
    Rapid integration and build up
  • 691
  • 521
    Open source
  • 505
    Testa­bil­i­ty and re­pro­ducibil­i­ty
  • 460
  • 218
  • 185
  • 106
    Upgrading / down­grad­ing / ap­pli­ca­tion versions
  • 88
  • 85
    Private paas environments
  • 34
  • 26
    Limit resource usage
  • 17
    Game changer
  • 16
    I love the way docker has changed virtualization
  • 14
  • 12
  • 8
    Docker's Compose tools
  • 6
    Easy setup
  • 6
    Fast and Portable
  • 5
    Because its fun
  • 4
    Makes shipping to production very simple
  • 3
    Highly useful
  • 3
    It's dope
  • 2
    Very easy to setup integrate and build
  • 2
    HIgh Throughput
  • 2
    Package the environment with the application
  • 2
    Does a nice job hogging memory
  • 2
    Open source and highly configurable
  • 2
    Simplicity, isolation, resource effective
  • 2
    MacOS support FAKE
  • 2
    Its cool
  • 2
    Docker hub for the FTW
  • 2
  • 0

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Cons of Capistrano
Cons of Docker
    Be the first to leave a con
    • 8
      New versions == broken features
    • 6
      Unreliable networking
    • 6
      Documentation not always in sync
    • 4
      Moves quickly
    • 3
      Not Secure

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    - No public GitHub repository available -

    What is Capistrano?

    Capistrano is a remote server automation tool. It supports the scripting and execution of arbitrary tasks, and includes a set of sane-default deployment workflows.

    What is Docker?

    The Docker Platform is the industry-leading container platform for continuous, high-velocity innovation, enabling organizations to seamlessly build and share any application — from legacy to what comes next — and securely run them anywhere

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    What tools integrate with Docker?

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    Blog Posts

    Jul 9 2019 at 7:22PM

    Blue Medora

    DockerPostgreSQLNew Relic+8
    DockerAmazon EC2Scala+8
    What are some alternatives to Capistrano and Docker?
    Fabric is a Python (2.5-2.7) library and command-line tool for streamlining the use of SSH for application deployment or systems administration tasks. It provides a basic suite of operations for executing local or remote shell commands (normally or via sudo) and uploading/downloading files, as well as auxiliary functionality such as prompting the running user for input, or aborting execution.
    Shipit is an automation engine and a deployment tool written for node / iojs. Shipit was built to be a Capistrano alternative for people who don't know ruby, or who experienced some issues with it. If you want to write tasks in JavaScript and enjoy the node ecosystem, Shipit is also for you.
    Ansible is an IT automation tool. It can configure systems, deploy software, and orchestrate more advanced IT tasks such as continuous deployments or zero downtime rolling updates. Ansible’s goals are foremost those of simplicity and maximum ease of use.
    Chef enables you to manage and scale cloud infrastructure with no downtime or interruptions. Freely move applications and configurations from one cloud to another. Chef is integrated with all major cloud providers including Amazon EC2, VMWare, IBM Smartcloud, Rackspace, OpenStack, Windows Azure, HP Cloud, Google Compute Engine, Joyent Cloud and others.
    In a nutshell Jenkins CI is the leading open-source continuous integration server. Built with Java, it provides over 300 plugins to support building and testing virtually any project.
    See all alternatives