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Top 10 Open Source Containerization DevOps Tools

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In a way, we can see that DevOps is all about efficiency and at the same time providing its customers with the best of the products available. DevOps can also be defined as the philosophy of efficient development, deployment, and operation using the highest of all possible software available as on the day.

Having said that, let us take a look at all possible DevOps tools available in the space of Containerization, for consumption by Organizations with no further delay. We will try to present each of these tools, explain their features, and also provide you with the reasons why you should be choosing (if you are willing to choose it).

Here we will take a look at each of the DevOps tools in specific, and understand the intricacies of it. Based on its usage, we have also compiled some of the advantages of using it as well. Though the list is exhaustive, it is better you take the time to go through all the available options as this process is believed to be a one-time action for an individual or an organization, and for the impatient, you can definitely go to the tool of your choice directly.

List of Containerization DevOps Tools

#1. Marathon:

Marathon, an Apache Meso framework that was designed solely to manage containers can make your life pretty easy. In comparison to the other prevailing orchestration solutions such as Kubernetes, Docker Swarm, Marathon will allow and ensure that you will be able to scale your container infrastructure by just automating most of the management and also the monitoring tasks.

Over the days, Mesos Marathon has been evolving into a very sophisticated and feature-rich tool. It becomes even more difficult to bring the better of Apache Mesos Marathon into the limelight all by itself.

Following are some of the advantages of using Marathon, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:

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Advantages of Marathon:

  • Apache Mesos Marathon ensures super ultra-high availability. Marathon software will let you run multiple schedules at the same point in time as if one goes down, the system will still keep ticking showing that there is nothing that can stop it. Docker Swarm and Kubernetes also promise high availability, but Marathon takes this to the next level.
  • Marathon has multiple CLI clients that can be separately installed along with Marathon. These CLI clients give you loads of options for managing or scripting the tool in a varied number of complex ways.
  • It is very easy to run locally for development purposes as against Kubernetes
  • Application health checks provide you with all the information in detail that you would require of your instance – like the performance monitoring and stuff.
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#2. Fleet:

CoreOS Container Linux is said to be the topping the charts in the space of Container Operating Systems – which are by default designed to be managed and to be run at humongous scales with the least possible or minimal operational overhead.

Applications with the Container Linux run inside these containers and provide a developer-friendly set of tools for the software deployments. Container Linux runs on nearly almost all the possible combinations of platforms, be it physical, virtual, public, or private cloud spaces.

CoreOS also do provide the fleet functionality based on the fleets cluster manager daemons which do control the CoreOS’s separate system instances at the cluster level itself.

Following are some of the advantages of using Fleet, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:

Advantages of Fleet:

  • CoreOS claims that the configuration values are distributed within the cluster for applications to read them and these values can be programmatically changed, smart applications can reconfigure these automatically. The basis on this point, you will never have to run Chef on all the machines to change just a single configuration value.
  • CoreOS provides you with the highest possible availability at a relatively lower price
  • CoreOS lets you maintain different versions of software on machines, and upgrading these machines is done without any downtime at all
  • CoreOS goes a step further than Docker by replicating the Cluster and Network setting between the Development and Production environments as well, whereas Docker just ensures that these environments are similar but not to the level that CoreOS does this for us.
  • Developer machines can be brought UP and running within seconds, as there would not be a requirement to install all the required software from the scratch one after the other
  • The cost of replicating software like Heroku can be drastically brought down.

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#3. Swarm:

Docker Swarm is native clustering for Docker. It turns a pool of Docker hosts into a single, virtual Docker host. A swarm contains more than one Docker host that run in the Swarm mode, it acts as a manager to manage the membership and workers which would then run the Swarm services. A Swarm cluster consists of Docker Engine deployed on multiple nodes. Manager nodes perform orchestration and cluster management. Worker nodes receive and execute tasks from the manager nodes.

Following are some of the advantages of using Swarm, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:

Advantages of Swarm:

  • Starting with Docker Engine 1.12, Docker Swarm is completely available alongside Docker.
  • If you use the latest Docker, then the Swarm setup is already done for you in the latest versions.
  • Docker Swarm is easily integrated with Docker, it hooks directly into the Docker API and then is compatible with all of the Docker’s tools.

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#4. Docker Hub:

The Docker Hub can be very easily defined as a Cloud repository in which Docker users and partners create, test, store, and also distribute Docker container images. Through the use of Docker Hub, a user can very easily access public, open-source image repositories and at the same time – use the same space to create their own private repositories as well.

Following are some of the advantages of using Docker Hub, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:

Advantages of Docker Hub:

  • Forms the central repository for all the public and private images created by the users
  • Provides central access to all the available Public docker images
  • Users can safely create their own private docker images and save them under the same central repository, the docker hub

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#5. Packer:

Packer is free and open-source software that finds its usage to create identical machine images or containers for various platforms from a singly available source configuration. Having pre-baked machine images is very advantageous because to create them scratch is a very tedious task.

There were not as many tools earlier that could perform this task, and even if there exists such software or a tool – then there would have been a huge learning curve that gets associated with it.

As a result of that, earlier to Packer – the creation of machine images was always a threat to the agility of the operations team and also weren’t used despite their massive benefits. Packer with its invent has been able to replace these for quite a long, as Packer is very easy to use and also automates the process of creation of any kind of machine image. 

Packer encourages modern configuration machines using frameworks like Chef or Puppet to install and also to configure this software that you are planning to Packer-made images. To be very precise, Packer brings the concept of pre-baked images into the modern age, therefore, encouraging untapped potential and also encourage newer and newer opportunities.

Having said all this, let us take a look into the advantages that it has in store for us:

Following are some of the advantages of using Packer, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:

Advantages of Packer:

  • Packer ensure that the infrastructure deployment process is done at a super-fast pace
  • Packer ensures multi-provider portability, meaning it creates identical images for various other platforms that it supports. Using this, a Production setup can run on an AWS, Staging / QA might run on something like OpenStack, and maybe the development on Desktop Virtualization solutions.
  • Packer enforces improved stability as it installs, configures all the software at the time the image is built
  • A machine that is built by Packer can very quickly be launched and tested (smoke tested) to verify that the things are all good and appear to be working.

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#6. Kubernetes:

Kubernetes was built by Google based on its experience of running Containers in various Production environments. With a combination of great software engineers working on the project plus the fact that Google was behind the evolvement of Kubernetes, it is one of the best-suited tools that run some of the largest software services by scale.

This combination ensured that this rock-solid platform can take any scaling needs of an Organization head-on. Kubernetes is an open-source system for deploying, scaling, and also to manage containerized applications. Kubernetes brings both the software design and also software operations together as one single operation by design.

Kubernetes enables the deployment of cloud-native applications anywhere and also manages these deployments exactly, the same way as you like from everywhere. With the Containers, it is very easy to ramp up the application instances to match the spikes in the demand whenever observed.

These containers do obtain these resources from the core host OS, they are considered much lighter weight than those of the traditional Virtual machines. By this, also ensures that the underlying server infrastructure is highly efficiently made use of.

Following are some of the advantages of using Kubernetes, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:

Advantages of Kubernetes:

  • Kubernetes proves high scalability, easier to use container management, and at the same time helps to reduces delay in communication.
  • Building micro-services and adding lifetime replications based on the need is a super easy task with Kubernetes. If the Project demands many more of these and makes changes also, there is not much effort that is needed.
  • Kubernetes manages the balancing load on all the participating nodes via the load balancer and keeps the Master away from being overloaded with all the tasks at once.

#7. Nomad:

Nomad is a Cluster Manager and also a Scheduler that is designed for Micro-services and also to handle batch workloads. It is also distributed, highly available and at the same time scales to thousands of nodes or clusters that can span amongst multiple data centers and regions.

It does provide a common workflow that helps deploy applications across the infrastructure. Developers or any other individuals for that case can provide declarative job specifications to define the way or manner that the applications must be deployed and resources must be allocated.

Nomad accepts requests for executing such jobs, and also finds all the resources that need to run these jobs as well. The scheduling algorithm that is used by Nomad, it ensures that all the constraints that it needs are satisfied and packs applications on the host to help optimize resource utilization.

It additionally supports virtualized, containerized, and also standalone applications that run on major operating systems. Nomad is also finding its application in the production environments as well.

Following are some of the advantages of using Nomad, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:

Advantages of Nomad:

  • Nomad uses bin-packing to optimize application placement onto servers to maximize resource utilization, increase density, and help reduce costs.
  • In addition to providing its support to Linux, Windows, and Mac environments it extends its support towards containerized, virtualized, and standalone applications as well.
  • Simplified operations via Nomad make it safe to handle upgrade jobs, automatically handles machine failures, and also provide a single workflow for application deployments.
  • Nomad has the ability to span across many public and private clouds, to treat all infrastructure as a pool of resources that were used as expendables.
  • Nomad is a single binary that schedules applications and services on Linux, Windows, and Mac. It is an open-source scheduler that uses a declarative job file for scheduling virtualized, containerized, and standalone applications.

#8. OpenVZ:

OpenVZ can be described as a Container-based Virtualization solution for Linux environments. It does it by creating multiple secure and isolated Linux servers termed as the Virtual Private Servers (VPS) on a single physical machine. Each of these containers (VPS) performs or executes instructions as if they are run on a standalone server.

The only way that OpenVZ containers differ from the traditional Virtual machines is that they run on the same OS Kernel as of the host itself but in turn, allows multiple Linux variants in individual Containers, and because of this running of these containers is done with very less overhead. With the same, it also provides greater efficiency and manageability than the traditional old Virtualization technologies.

Following are some of the advantages of using OpenVZ, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:

Advantages of OpenVZ:

  • Since that OpenVZ uses a single Linux Kernel implementation, it has the utmost possibility to scale well. It can scale up to thousands of CPUs and TBs of RAM.
  • Very low Virtualization overhead again because of the single Linux Kernel implementation.
  • Live migration of Virtual Private Servers (VPS) from one physical host to another without even shutting them down during the process.
  • Resource management is done in a very efficient manner with OpenVZ and alongside that resource isolation, performance and security are its other core attributes.
  • IPsec is very much supported inside these containers since the Kernel version v2.6.32
  • Container hardware remains independent as OpenVZ restricts container access to physical devices.

#9. Solaris Containers:

The very first thing that might hit your mind is the very name of the tool as Solaris and Containers are two words from two different extremes, but let me clarify that it is very much possible in this decade.

Over the past few years, the discussion over Containers usually happened with Docker, CoreOS, and LXD on Linux (to some extent over Windows and Mac OSX too) but with Solaris (Oracle’s UNIX like OS) have had containers for quite a long time now. Though with the confusion that the name creates, Solaris Containers are pretty hardly identical to those of Docker, CoreOS containers.

These do similar things as virtualizing software inside isolated environments curtailing the overhead of having a hypervisor or a VMware instance. Though the world might be considering Docker and the like for their Linux environments Solaris Containers are also interesting enough to gain knowledge all about.

There is a plan to bring Docker to Solaris Containers as confirmed by Oracle – which only means that Solaris Containers can be seen more on the mainstream Containers and DevOps space.

Following are some of the advantages of using Solaris Containers, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:

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Advantages of Solaris Containers:

  • Configuration is pretty easy, until and unless you are able to point and click your way through the Enterprise Manager Ops Center to manage the Solaris Containers.
  • Virtual resources are managed pretty well and easy with Solaris Containers as compared to Docker and CoreOS.

#10. CloudSlang:

CloudSlang, an open-source software tool that finds its usage in the orchestration space is one of the cutting-edge technologies available for Organizations with DevOps implementations. It is one such tool that can perform the orchestration activity on almost anything that you can imagine in an ageless manner.

There is a possibility that an individual can re-use a ready-made workflow or design a custom workflow altogether – which can further be reusable, shareable, and are also very easy to understand as well.

Following are some of the advantages of using CloudSlang, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:

Advantages of CloudSlang:

  • One of the biggest advantages of using CloudSlang is that it is an Open source tool that is available for orchestrating cutting-edge technologies.
  • Use, Re-use, or Customize the readymade YAML-based workflows.
  • These workflows are further powerful, shareable amongst members, and are extremely easy to understand by others.
  • The content that is available with CloudSlang is easy to understand as it uses YAML-based DSL.
  • It is an Open source-based orchestration tool with readymade workflows.


In this article, we have tried to understand the concept of Containerization and also we have gone through the exhaustive list of Containerization DevOps tools present in the current market. We have tried to provide a lot of details about the tools themselves and also tried to provide the industry proved advantages of using these tools for your Organization. Hope the details provided are all that you were looking for and keep us updated on what can be changed, improved, or corrected (if any).

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Last updated: 06 Apr 2023
About Author

Ravindra Savaram is a Technical Lead at Mindmajix.com. His passion lies in writing articles on the most popular IT platforms including Machine learning, DevOps, Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, RPA, Deep Learning, and so on. You can stay up to date on all these technologies by following him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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