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OpenStack vs Vagrant: What are the differences?


OpenStack and Vagrant are both popular open-source tools used for managing infrastructure, but they have key differences in their purpose and functionality.

  1. Deployment Approach: OpenStack is a cloud computing platform that allows users to deploy and manage large-scale virtualized infrastructure. It provides a complete solution for building and managing private, public, and hybrid clouds. On the other hand, Vagrant is a tool for creating and managing lightweight, reproducible, and portable development environments. It focuses on quickly provisioning and configuring virtual machines for development purposes.

  2. Scope and Scalability: OpenStack is designed to handle large-scale infrastructure deployments, with support for thousands of physical servers. It provides extensive networking, compute, and storage capabilities, making it suitable for enterprises and service providers. Vagrant, on the other hand, is intended for smaller-scale deployments, typically used by individual developers or small teams. It excels in providing isolated and consistent development environments.

  3. Orchestration Capabilities: OpenStack includes a powerful orchestration service called Heat, which allows users to define and manage complex infrastructure resources using templates. It provides support for automated scaling, rolling updates, and other advanced deployment scenarios. Vagrant, on the other hand, does not offer built-in orchestration capabilities. It primarily focuses on simplifying the process of building and provisioning virtual machines.

  4. Community and Ecosystem: OpenStack has a large and vibrant community with numerous companies and individuals contributing to its development and maintenance. It has an extensive ecosystem of plugins, tools, and services that further enhance its functionality. Vagrant also has a supportive community, but its ecosystem is relatively smaller in comparison. It provides a range of plugins for integrating with different virtualization and cloud providers.

  5. Integration with Existing Infrastructure: OpenStack is designed to integrate with existing infrastructure components, such as storage systems, networking equipment, and authentication services. It provides APIs and drivers for integrating with a wide range of technologies. Vagrant, on the other hand, focuses on providing a unified interface for managing virtual machines across different providers. While it supports integration with some infrastructure components, it may not have the same level of flexibility as OpenStack in this regard.

  6. Use Cases and Target Audience: OpenStack is commonly used by enterprises and service providers to build and manage large-scale cloud infrastructures. It caters to a wide range of use cases, including traditional IT workloads, big data analytics, and network function virtualization. Vagrant, on the other hand, targets individual developers and small teams who need quick and isolated development environments. It is well-suited for web development, testing, and experimenting with different configurations.

In Summary, OpenStack is a comprehensive cloud computing platform designed for large-scale infrastructure deployments, while Vagrant is a tool for quickly creating and managing development environments. OpenStack focuses on complex orchestration and integration with existing infrastructure, whereas Vagrant prioritizes simplicity and ease of use for individual developers.

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Pros of OpenStack
Pros of Vagrant
  • 56
    Private cloud
  • 38
    Avoid vendor lock-in
  • 22
    Flexible in use
  • 6
    Industry leader
  • 4
    Supported by many companies in top500
  • 4
    Robust architecture
  • 352
    Development environments
  • 290
    Simple bootstraping
  • 237
  • 139
  • 130
  • 84
  • 81
    Synced folders
  • 69
  • 51
  • 44
    Very flexible
  • 5
    Works well, can be replicated easily with other devs
  • 5
    Easy-to-share, easy-to-version dev configuration
  • 3
  • 3
    Just works
  • 2
    Quick way to get running
  • 1
    DRY - "Do Not Repeat Yourself"
  • 1
    Container Friendly
  • 1
    What is vagrant?
  • 1
    Good documentation

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Cons of OpenStack
Cons of Vagrant
    Be the first to leave a con
    • 2
      Can become v complex w prod. provisioner (Salt, etc.)
    • 2
      Multiple VMs quickly eat up disk space
    • 1
      Development environment that kills your battery

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    What is OpenStack?

    OpenStack is a cloud operating system that controls large pools of compute, storage, and networking resources throughout a datacenter, all managed through a dashboard that gives administrators control while empowering their users to provision resources through a web interface.

    What is Vagrant?

    Vagrant provides the framework and configuration format to create and manage complete portable development environments. These development environments can live on your computer or in the cloud, and are portable between Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.

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    What companies use OpenStack?
    What companies use Vagrant?
    See which teams inside your own company are using OpenStack or Vagrant.
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    What tools integrate with OpenStack?
    What tools integrate with Vagrant?

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    What are some alternatives to OpenStack and Vagrant?
    Red Hat OpenShift
    OpenShift is Red Hat's Cloud Computing Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering. OpenShift is an application platform in the cloud where application developers and teams can build, test, deploy, and run their applications.
    Cloud Foundry
    Cloud Foundry is an open platform as a service (PaaS) that provides a choice of clouds, developer frameworks, and application services. Cloud Foundry makes it faster and easier to build, test, deploy, and scale applications.
    Kubernetes is an open source orchestration system for Docker containers. It handles scheduling onto nodes in a compute cluster and actively manages workloads to ensure that their state matches the users declared intentions.
    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
    KVM (for Kernel-based Virtual Machine) is a full virtualization solution for Linux on x86 hardware containing virtualization extensions (Intel VT or AMD-V).
    See all alternatives