Cloud orchestrators work by combining automated tasks in the cloud into a workflow that delivers services according to customer requests. The tasks include provisioning and deployment of virtual machines, servers, storage, and other computing resources. Orchestration tools often integrate permission checks and security. The orchestration of automated tasks on the cloud delivers immense value to enterprises. 

Getting the right cloud orchestrator is key to your success in the cloud. This cloud orchestrator comparison will help you decide based on your needs.


Chef is an automation tool that helps transform complex cloud infrastructures into code. In short – it brings both servers and services to life. Chef helps to automate configuration, management of apps, and deployment. This handy tool enables enterprises to manage and scale their cloud infrastructure with little to no interruptions or downtime. They can freely move apps and configurations from one cloud to another.

Chef works with a master server and agents installed on managed nodes. Also, it requires the installation of a workstation to control the master. It’s possible to install agents from the workstation via the knife tool. This helps to ease the installation process. You’ll need to know how Git works to configure and operate Chef successfully. You’ll also need to know Ruby since that’s the language it’s based on.  

Major cloud providers are some of the integrations that come with the tool. These include VMWare, Rackspace, Windows Azure, Google Compute Engine, Amazon EC2, IBM Smart Cloud, OpenStack, HP Cloud, and Joylent Cloud.


Puppet is very similar to Chef. You need to install a master server and a client agent in the target nodes. It also includes the option for a standalone client. This is the equivalent of Chef-solo. You can install deployment modules via Puppet commands. Just like Chef, it has a paid Enterprise edition that comes with additional features that include orchestration and reporting. Chef and Puppet differ in their approaches to their basic functions. Chef is more monolithic and integrated, while Puppet has multiple services. This makes Chef much easier to set up, run, and manage.

Puppet is arguably the most popular in this list. It happens to be the most complete tool in terms of modules, available actions, and user interfaces. The tool represents a whole picture of data center orchestration, which encompasses almost every operating system. It comes with deep tools for all the major operating systems.  


This is an open-source orchestration tool from Canonical, the developers of Ubuntu OS. This tool enables enterprises to deploy, scale, and manage software and services residing in the cloud. It significantly reduces workloads for deploying and configuration of a product’s services.

Juju is one of the fastest ways to model and deploy your application on major public clouds. It reduces deployment time from several days to just a few minutes. It works with existing configuration management tools. This enables it to scale up or scale down seamlessly. You don’t need to know anything about the application stack to deploy Juju.

It’s integrated with major cloud providers, including Amazon Web Services (AWS), HP, and Azure. It also includes containers, such as LXC, MAAS, and OpenStack. You can also deploy Juju on IBM SoftLayer by manually provisioning the machines. Then, you tell Juju where the machines are.

You can re-create a production-like deployment on your laptop with local providers on LXC containers. Juju also offers a convenient environment for testing your deployments on any local machine. Enterprises can deploy cloud environments in a matter of seconds using bundles. This saves tons of time and effort.


This cloud orchestrator comparison wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Docker. This tool gives enterprises an open platform to develop, ship, run, and deliver applications quickly. They’re able to separate applications from infrastructure and treat infrastructure like managed applications. Overall, Docker helps enterprises ship code, test, and deploy fast. It reduces the time between writing and running code.

Docker achieves this by combining its lightweight container virtualization platform with tooling and workflows. These help with the management and deployment of applications. Docker allows users to run almost any application in a secure and isolated container. You can run multiple containers seamlessly on your host. Since the containers are lightweight, you’re bound to get more out of your hardware.

Docker containers come with a complete file system containing everything needed to run all your applications. This means that applications will run predictably every time regardless of the environment.

The biggest selling point for Docker is the fact that it’s lightweight. Containers running on a single machine get to share the same OS kernel. They operate seamlessly and share RAM. Image downloads and disk usage is very efficient because images come constructed from layered file systems. This means they can share common files. Docker uses open standards. This allows containers to run on any Linux distro and Microsoft operating system.