Chef vs Packer: What are the differences?
What is Chef? Build, destroy and rebuild servers on any public or private cloud. 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.
What is Packer? Create identical machine images for multiple platforms from a single source configuration. Packer automates the creation of any type of machine image. It embraces modern configuration management by encouraging you to use automated scripts to install and configure the software within your Packer-made images.
Chef can be classified as a tool in the "Server Configuration and Automation" category, while Packer is grouped under "Infrastructure Build Tools".
Some of the features offered by Chef are:
- Access to 800+ Reusable Cookbooks
- Integration with Leading Cloud Providers
- Enterprise Platform Support including Windows and Solaris
On the other hand, Packer provides the following key features:
- Super fast infrastructure deployment. Packer images allow you to launch completely provisioned and configured machines in seconds, rather than several minutes or hours.
- Multi-provider portability. Because Packer creates identical images for multiple platforms, you can run production in AWS, staging/QA in a private cloud like OpenStack, and development in desktop virtualization solutions such as VMware or VirtualBox.
- Improved stability. Packer installs and configures all the software for a machine at the time the image is built. If there are bugs in these scripts, they'll be caught early, rather than several minutes after a machine is launched.
"Dynamic and idempotent server configuration" is the primary reason why developers consider Chef over the competitors, whereas "Cross platform builds" was stated as the key factor in picking Packer.
Chef and Packer are both open source tools. Packer with 9.1K GitHub stars and 2.47K forks on GitHub appears to be more popular than Chef with 5.86K GitHub stars and 2.36K GitHub forks.
Airbnb, Facebook, and Slack are some of the popular companies that use Chef, whereas Packer is used by Instacart, Oscar Health, and Razorpay. Chef has a broader approval, being mentioned in 360 company stacks & 80 developers stacks; compared to Packer, which is listed in 115 company stacks and 21 developer stacks.
Sign up to add or upvote prosMake informed product decisions
What is Chef?
What is Packer?
Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!
Sign up to get full access to all the companiesMake informed product decisions
Sign up to get full access to all the tool integrationsMake informed product decisions