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10 Best DevOps Orchestration Tools For QA In 2022

The Best DevOps Orchestration Tools Shortlist

Here’s the list of the best DevOps orchestration tools that I’ll cover in this article.

  1. QA Wolf

    End-to-end testing solution with a team of QA experts for support

  2. Dynatrace

    Versatile, all-in-one application performance management (APM) solution for observability

  3. QuerySurge

    Best for building tests "on the fly" with large result sets

  4. Rancher

    Nimble solution that lowers the entry barrier for container management adoption

  5. Ansible

    A simple and easy-to-use automation and configuration-management tool

  6. Docker Swarm

    Lightweight, cost-effective tool for running containerized Docker applications

  7. Containership

    Deploy containerized workloads using docker without needing to understand or learn docker

  8. Marathon

    Apache Mesos framework for container orchestration on Mesos

  9. Red Hat OpenShift

    Full-stack solution for building both traditional and cloud-native apps

DevOps tools have become one of the linchpins of the modern software industry. In the age of the customer, they foster fast, reliable, high-quality software delivery models, collapsing the cycle time between software development and deployment. Additionally, DevOps orchestration tools ramp up automation across multiple layers of processes to handle complex, resource-sensitive tasks like provisioning, scalability, load-balancing, and security to create a dynamic workflow that can’t simply be cobbled together.

The best DevOps orchestration tools use automation to streamline and optimize entire IT-driven processes, workflows, and infrastructure. This reduces overall costs, increases productivity, and improves cross-team collaboration by allowing people to work better as a cohesive unit.

When choosing DevOps orchestration tools, it’s essential you understand how to make an informed purchase decision. This article highlights the best orchestration tools that shorten the speed between a great idea and its excellent execution.

Best DevOps Orchestration Tools: Comparison Criteria

Below is the summary of the evaluation criteria that guided my selection of the top ten tools.

  1. User Interface (UI): A tool’s UI/UX interface is typically its first contact with its customer. Therefore, I looked for easy navigation with a clean, inviting, and user-friendly layout.
  2. Usability: DevOps orchestration tools handle fairly complex tasks like configuring build processes. The best tools are relatively simple to use and easy to learn and paired with rich features to work and collaborate effectively.
  3. Integrations: The best DevOps tools have the ability to support a wide range of popular tools and environments. It should offer compatible support for CI tools and version control systems like GitHub, Jenkins, Bitbucket, and Docker. It must build partner ecosystems to provide apps that aren’t in its wheelhouse.
  4. Value for Pricing: Affordability is always a vital factor in making business purchases. Therefore, I look for cost-effectiveness and the value for money a tool provides. 

DevOps Orchestration Tools: Key Features

These are the key features DevOps orchestration tools need to remain competitive.

  1. Integrated automation: In order to be an effective orchestration platform, a tool needs to have automation pervasively interwoven into the fabric of its operations, especially those that have a disproportionate impact on productivity and cost-effectiveness. Examples include test automation and testing tools such as Jenkins, Terraform, Bamboo, among others.
  2. CI/CD pipeline: DevOps tools are largely synonymous with continuous integration and continuous delivery functionality. Therefore, an orchestration tool should be equipped with robust CI/CD pipelines that facilitate the creation and delivery of well-tested, high-quality software at high velocity.
  3. Support for cloud-native technologies: Let’s face it, software has migrated to the cloud. Thus, orchestration tools strive to make the “build once, deploy everywhere” mantra a reality. So, in addition to on-premise system deployment, support for cloud computing should be a centerpiece.
  4. Container management: Orchestration tools must be adept at running microservices and container-based infrastructure. This feature is important as Kubernetes and containers have become the preferred way to modernize legacy apps and build software at scale.

Overviews Of The 10 Best DevOps Orchestration Tools

In this section, I go over each DevOps orchestration software solution, providing a brief description, then highlighting significant features and noteworthy use cases.

1

QA Wolf

End-to-end testing solution with a team of QA experts for support

QA Wolf is a high-quality testing service used to outsource quality engineering tasks. Their service includes an expert team of QA engineers to write, run, and repeat all your critical tests. They are used by companies like Gumroad, MainStreet, Mailchimp, Replay, and Padlet.

QA Wolf does quality engineering (QE) by having their team run tests, investigate failures, and then write up a bug/issue report with repro steps, a video recording, logs, and any other data you need. You can log into the platform to view progress at any time or wait for a scheduled review session. Key services include building a test plan for you, end-to-end test coverage, failure triaging and test maintenance, high-quality bug reports, fast parallel test run infrastructure, and an easy-to-use app for real-time status updates.

QA Wolf's software is built on Microsoft Playwright, which is a common product chosen for open-source developments. This gives clients the freedom to carry all their existing tests and data with them should they ever want to bring their testing in-house on the test suite of their choice.

QA Wolf integrates with tools like Stripe, Salesforce, email providers, Auth0, SMS, Github, and even more options through their flexible API.

QA Wolf offers customized pricing upon request with a two-month, risk-free pilot.

Two-month, risk-free pilot

Pricing upon request

2

Dynatrace

Versatile, all-in-one application performance management (APM) solution for observability

Dynatrace is renowned as one of the best orchestration platforms for application performance management (APM). Dynatrace has something for everyone and its vast ecosystem of DevOps and application monitoring tools is impressive. However, its true calling card is observability.

Dynatrace analyzes the behavior of applications but goes much further by drilling deeper into components. Therefore, Dynatrace is ideal for businesses that want to gain visibility into dependencies, performance metrics, and root causes of intractable problems.

As an AIOps, Dynatrace uses its proprietary AI-centered software intelligence platform to collect data while performing real-time monitoring to detect hidden patterns responsible for the root causes of underlying issues. Using its digital performance management (DDPM) system, network administrators can auto-discover their entire IT ecosystem in a matter of moments.

It supports over 600 technologies, most of them critical to DevOps activities such as a slew of Amazon offerings, Ansible Tower, Azure Kubernetes Services, Bitbucket, Docker, Linux, Prometheus, and many more.

This versatile range allows Dynatrace to serve DevOps engineers throughout the software development lifecycle, including relevant activities like continuous integration, continuous delivery, version control, and container orchestration.

However, Dynatrace requires a significant investment in time and effort to develop the skills necessary to master it.

On the plus side, it offers simple and transparent pricing that starts with the following price points: Full-stack monitoring ($69 per month for 8 GB per host); infrastructure monitoring ($21 per month for 8 GB per host); digital experience monitoring ($11 per month); application security ($12 per month for 8 GB per host); and so on.

15 days free trial

From $11/month

3

QuerySurge

Best for building tests "on the fly" with large result sets

QuerySurge is an end-to-end solution equipped with smart data testing software that is capable of automating the validation and testing process of critical data. It is a premier full DevOps solution for continuous data testing and orchestration. QuerySurge DevOps is capable of automating various tasks and processes, including software development, testing and other IT-related operations, effectively reducing the development lifecycle while delivering quality features, updates and fixes that are in alignment with operational goals and objectives.

QuerySurge also offers DevOps for data, also known as DataOps, which is a DevOps-type of automated process for critical data. It essentially applies various DevOps tools and approaches to the validation and testing of data. QuerySurge’s DevOps continuous testing solution executes various automated tests, which are triggered by predefined processes. This is a highly effective strategy as it generally provides immediate feedback on potential risks.

DevOps for Data is a fairly new release from QuerySurge. It enables testers to choose between a RESTful API and a Command Line API, while providing access to more than 60 API calls with close to 100 different properties. QuerySurge’s licensing and pricing options are quite transparent, starting from $11,493/user for the perpetual licensing option or $5,747/user for the subscription package with a minimum of two full users.

Free trial options include 3-day trial in the cloud, 15-day trial download (on-premise), 15-day trial for QuerySurge + BI tester, 15-day trial for QuerySurge + DevOps for data and a 30-day proof of concept (PoC).

From $5,747/user (subscription); $11,493/user (perpetual license). From $21,274/year for group subscription package; $43,069 for group perpetual package.

4

Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS)

Fully-managed Kubernetes

Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) typically operates as a fully managed, cloud-native Kubernetes service. EKS is also tightly integrated with the robust Amazon Web Services (AWS) ecosystem, thus allowing you to take advantage of its efficient computing resources to provision your Kubernetes infrastructure.

But it also provides customers with other choices, including on-premises, hybrid environments, and deployment options with your own tools. This added flexibility means EKS doesn’t require you to migrate your workloads to AWS.

As a Kubernetes orchestration platform, EKS removes the burden of orchestrating the deployment of apps. Like its Azure counterpart, EKS also manages the Kubernetes control panel on your behalf. As a result, you can focus on your web applications instead of worrying about the performance of your nodes.

With EKS, you have the best of both worlds, by getting the benefit of AWS-supported products, in addition to the open-source solutions built by the Kubernetes community.

EKS provides an AWS Pricing Calculator to estimate how much you’ll be charged given the resources you’ll consume. As a flat rate, EKS charges customers $0.10 per hour for each Amazon EKS cluster they create.

$0.10/hour for each Amazon

5

Rancher

Nimble solution that lowers the entry barrier for container management adoption

Rancher is an open-source orchestration tool for container management, especially for running containers in production. Rancher is versatile, providing full support for a range of container-based tools such as Kubernetes, Docker Swarm, and Apache Mesos.

Instead of single cloud-hosted environments, Rancher excels in multi-cloud and hybrid deployments, equipping DevOps engineers with a common platform to manage their Kubernetes distributions.

Rancher comes with various installations to suit your cloud infrastructure needs. Among these Kubernetes distributions are K3s for running workloads at the network edge or inside IoT appliances, RKE for running containers, and Hosted Rancher for the control panel.

Rancher performs as a simple, easy-to-use, next-gen platform for full-stack teams that adopt container app deployment. So, Rancher provides your development environment with DevOps tools to facilitate the development process.

In addition to a CLI tool to manage clusters, Rancher has an intuitive GUI with deployment tools such as native Docker API tools. This GUI provides convenience and a streamlined approach to managing a group of clusters from a central location.

Although Rancher is free, you have to pay a fee for support. This makes it an ideal technology for managing Kubernetes clusters for price-sensitive customers.

6

Ansible

A simple and easy-to-use automation and configuration-management tool

Ansible is an open-source, simple to use, and agentless automation tool from Red Hat. It has a light footprint, requiring less maintenance overhead because it doesn’t need any Ansible agent to be installed or deployed on the host machine.

Ansible is used to manage, scale, and automate complex deployments. It is often used for app deployment and continuous delivery pipeline automation. It can be used by those with little or no scripting or coding experience because it uses the declarative configuration in YAML-based files known as Playbooks.

However, you need to use SSH, which is already a dependency, for communication and have Python installed. The downside to agentless automation is that connecting to thousands of boxes across your IT infrastructure via SSH doesn’t particularly scale well.

While Ansible is free, there’s commercial support for the Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform in two editions. The standard edition is designed for enterprise IT processes while the premium version caters to mission-critical DevOps.

Both offer customized pricing upon request.

60-day free trial

$5000/year

7

Docker Swarm

Lightweight, cost-effective tool for running containerized Docker applications

As containers gained preference over virtual machines, they became a vital part of DevOps solutions and workloads. Accordingly, most people familiar with containerization have most likely used or heard of Docker. As an orchestration management tool, Docker Swarm runs on the Docker engine.

You can use Docker Swarm to create, deploy, and manage a cluster (or swarm) of Docker engines.

Since Swarm uses Docker as its native clustering engine, installing Docker is a prerequisite. There isn’t much separation between Docker and Swarm as current versions of Docker now include Swarm mode.

To support load balancing and service discovery, Swarm uses DNS through a DNS server under the hood. Swarm also has a faster deployment time compared to other container orchestration tools.

Although Docker Swarm is useful and lightweight, it is very limited compared to Kubernetes. Docker Swarm doesn’t have in-built monitoring; this can only be achieved through third-party APIs. Also, it lacks the robust features of Kubernetes and its functionality is largely limited because it’s tied to the Docker API.

Swarm offers customized pricing upon request. Contact them for details.

8

Containership

Deploy containerized workloads using docker without needing to understand or learn docker

Containership is an open-source platform geared to help users manage all kinds of multiple host clusters, especially those that run containerized applications like Kubernetes. Containership allows you to nimbly operate across one or many cloud providers or data centers.Operating as a container-as-a-service tech stack component, Containership makes it simple for users to build, manage, and scale their containerized web infrastructure. Its features include multi cloud management, access control, cost management, demand monitoring, performance and capacity analytics. Containership lets you easily navigate movement between cloud hosts with a click of a button. It also has built-in disaster recovery and supports applications with persistent data needs.Containership cloud provides pricing information upon request.

Pricing information upon request

9

Marathon

Apache Mesos framework for container orchestration on Mesos

Marathon is an orchestration tool designed as a fundamental building block for Apache Mesos and Mesosphere’s Datacenter Operating System (DC/OS). As a result, Marathon provides first-class support for Mesos containers using Docker and cgroups.Marathon has a well-designed UI with clean functionality, which provides intuitively clear insight and visibility of what is happening with containers. It binds persistent storage volumes directly to your application, along with providing application and disaster recovery capabilities. Marathon provides other pertinent cloud features including load balancing and service discovery.Marathon is equipped with several HTTP methods, which allows you to perform HTTP or TCP health checks on applications and subscribe to events in order to receive notifications. The availability of endpoints are useful for integrating with external load balancers.Marathon is also compatible with databases such as MySQL and Postgres, with their storage accounted for by Mesos. Querying metrics is as simple as using JSON formats, which can be pushed to monitoring and observability services like Datadog or Graphite studio. Marathon’s API can also integrate with Docker, Prometheus, JBoss Portal, among others.Marathon operates a free version and has not listed other pricing information publicly.

Free Version

Pricing is not listed

10

Red Hat OpenShift

Full-stack solution for building both traditional and cloud-native apps

Red Hat OpenShift is a flagship enterprise container management and Kubernetes platform built for a hybrid-cloud strategy. OpenShift is suitable as either an on-premise or public cloud hosting platform where developers can build, test, run, and deploy apps.

As a platform-as-a-service application tool, OpenShift contains plenty of rich features that makes it useful for developers and DevOps teams who need to straddle both traditional and modernized IT infrastructure. It provides support for popular tools like Java, Jira, Gitlab, and Jenkins.

Most importantly, it allows you to start where you are at and grow from there, automating everything from upgrades, installation, and lifecycle management.

OpenShift provides autoscaling functionality by enabling clustering and allowing the automatic scaling of app resources through adding more instances to your application.

OpenShift has been recognized as a leading multi-cloud container development platform provider by Forrester Wave Report.

OpenShift offers customized pricing upon request.

The 10 Best DevOps Orchestration Tools Summary

Tool Free Option Price
1
QA Wolf

End-to-end testing solution with a team of QA experts for support

Two-month, risk-free pilot

Pricing upon request Visit Website
2
Dynatrace

Versatile, all-in-one application performance management (APM) solution for observability

15 days free trial

From $11/month Visit Website
3
QuerySurge

Best for building tests "on the fly" with large result sets

Free trial options include 3-day trial in the cloud, 15-day trial download (on-premise), 15-day trial for QuerySurge + BI tester, 15-day trial for QuerySurge + DevOps for data and a 30-day proof of concept (PoC).

From $5,747/user (subscription); $11,493/user (perpetual license). From $21,274/year for group subscription package; $43,069 for group perpetual package. Visit Website
4

Not available

$0.10/hour for each Amazon Visit Website
5
Rancher

Nimble solution that lowers the entry barrier for container management adoption

Not available

Visit Website
6
Ansible

A simple and easy-to-use automation and configuration-management tool

60-day free trial

$5000/year Visit Website
7
Docker Swarm

Lightweight, cost-effective tool for running containerized Docker applications

Not available

Visit Website
8
Containership

Deploy containerized workloads using docker without needing to understand or learn docker

Not available

Pricing information upon request Visit Website
9
Marathon

Apache Mesos framework for container orchestration on Mesos

Free Version

Pricing is not listed Visit Website
10
Red Hat OpenShift

Full-stack solution for building both traditional and cloud-native apps

Not available

Visit Website

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Other Options

Here’s a few honorable mentions that didn’t make the list.

  1. Containership - Gives DevOps the ability to deploy containerized workloads using docker, without needing to understand or learn docker. 
  2. Marathon - An Apache Mesos framework for container orchestration on Mesos. 
  3. Cloudify - Uses environment-as-a-service technology to turn existing cloud infrastructure into a self-managed environment. 
  4. GKE: Google Kubernetes Engine is a fully-automatic Kubernetes platform. 

What Do You Think About This List?

This is my top ten DevOps orchestration tools list. It bears the imprint of my personal imprimatur and possible biases. Nevertheless, it was well-researched and based as much as possible on objective fact. Consequently, I'd like to hear your opinion and get your feedback.

I also encourage you to check out a related article on the 10 Best DevOps Automation Tools for Software Development in 2022. And while you’re at it, subscribe to The QA Lead newsletter or listen to any of our top-notch podcasts.

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By Eze Onukwube

Eze has a master's degree in communications with over 10 years of experience as a software engineer. His playground is at the intersection of technology, process improvement, and simplifying IT concepts.

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