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      What is Ansible?


      Ansible is an open source configuration management tool that provides a minimalist server automation framework based on YAML definitions. Its simplified infrastructure requirements and accessible syntax helped make Ansible one of the most popular configuration management tools to date.

      Unlike most tools in the same category, Ansible doesn’t require specialized software to be installed on remote nodes. A control machine is set up with the Ansible software, which then communicates with the nodes via standard SSH, using Python to execute remote instructions.

      Ansible provides a large collection of built-in modules to facilitate automating common server tasks such as installing packages, creating and managing users, manipulating files and permissions, and managing services.

      To learn more about Ansible, you can refer to the following resources:



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      What is a Virtual Machine?


      A virtual machine, also commonly referred to as VM, is a guest system running on top of a virtualization software or hypervisor. VirtualBox, VMWare, and QEMU are examples of popular tools that are able to emulate network, disk, and other hardware resources to build virtualized environments that behave as physical computers. These environments are isolated from each other and from the host where the virtualization software is installed, each running distinct operating systems.

      Virtual machines are largely used in cloud computing to distribute hardware resources among smaller-sized, virtual private servers. When compared to containers, virtual machines are more resource-intensive, but that allows them to emulate entire servers and desktops seamlessly.

      Another important use case for virtual machines is within the context of development environments. With virtual machines, developers are able to work on their applications in isolated, pre-configured environments that are independent of their base operating system.



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      What is a Container?


      A container is a minimalist, isolated user-space environment that runs at the operating system level and shares system resources with other instances. Containers are designed to provide a portable and consistent runtime environment for applications, while consuming less resources than a traditional server or virtual machine. This allows for an overall better use of computing resources in multi-component, distributed applications, and highly-available systems.

      Unlike virtual machines, which are typically built on top of computer-emulated hardware and run fully isolated operating systems, containers share resources from the host such as the kernel and the filesystem, which results in a smaller footprint.

      Docker, a popular open source containerization tool, was largely instrumental in spurring the adoption of component-based application design with self-contained micro services. While other containerizing systems exist, Docker became popular for providing a more accessible and comprehensive interface around the technology.

      To learn more about containers, you can refer to the following resources:



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