What users are saying about

Ansible

66 Ratings

SaltStack

22 Ratings

Ansible

66 Ratings
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Score 8.9 out of 101

SaltStack

22 Ratings
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Score 9.4 out of 101

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Likelihood to Recommend

Ansible

Ansible did a great job helping us patch simple security vulnerabilities on many servers. The code for the fix were no more than about 100 lines. We patched each vulnerability in about 10 minutes. We patched both the HeartBleed/OpenSSH along with the Shellshock Bash vulnerability on 200+ servers in a few days.
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SaltStack

SaltStack is a very well architected toolset and framework for reliably managing distributed systems' complexity at varied scale. If the diversity of kind or number of assets is low, or the dependencies are bounded and simple, it might be overkill. Realization that you need SaltStack might come in the form of other tools, scripts, or jobs whose code has become difficult, unreliable, or unmaintainable. Rather than a native from-scratch SaltStack design, be aware that SaltStack can be added on to tools like Docker or Chef and optionally factor those tools out or other tools into the mix.
Jeremy McMillan profile photo

Pros

  • Unlike Puppet or Chef, Ansible doesn’t use an agent on the remote host. Instead it uses SSH which is to be installed on all the systems we want to manage.
  • Ansible is written in Python, which we install on all remote host. This means that we don’t have to setup a client server environment before using Ansible.
  • Ansible can work alongside our other DevOp tool, Chef. This allows us to reach out to existing Chef teams in order to try and organize their work all under the same DevOps umbrella.
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  • Targeting is easy and yet extremely granular - I can target machines by name, role, operating system, init system, distro, regex, or any combination of the above.
  • Abstraction of OS, package manager and package details is far advanced beyond any other CRM I have seen. The ability to set one configuration for a package across multiple distros, and have it apply correctly no matter the distrospecific naming convention or package installation procedure, is amazing.
  • Abstraction of environments is similarly valuable - I can set a firewall rule to allow ssh from "management", and have that be defined as a specific IP range per dev, test, and prod.
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Cons

  • Unlike Chef, Ansible employes a Push methodology rather than Pull. We found that this doesn't scale well for us, thus we had to consider using Ansible Tower in order to scale.
  • Ansible's free training and tutorials do no provide as much depth and ease for first time users trying it out for the first time.
  • From the limited experience we have had with Ansible Tower, the UI is not very user friendly. There's a lot of bells and whistles that can prove o be overwhelming at times.
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  • There is a little bit of a learning curve to figure out the syntax to the configuration
Steven Marshall, RHCSA profile photo

Alternatives Considered

Ansible is a great product, which we really love as it is compatible running along side and with other DevOps tool. The integration features allows other teams to participate in our shared objective. Ansible is easy to use as many programmers are familiar with Python and RHEL. We selected Ansible because its easy barrier to entry and pricing model for new users with not many nodes to manage. We will continue to develop and on-board teams and monitor the scaling abilities of Ansible.
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  • Puppet - ugly and heavy, ruby-based, although has the best set of production-ready modules and can be a good choice for big enterprise.
  • Chef - outdated, ruby-based.
  • Ansible - slow due to ssh transport, but is the best alternative for SaltStack.
Ilya Trushchenko profile photo

Return on Investment

  • Ansible has allowed us to automate the configuration of singleton services like InfluxDB. Previously, the time series database had to be configured by hand which was time-consuming and error-prone.
Chien Huey profile photo
  • Using SaltStack + buildbot, we increased our deployment rate up to several deployments a day.
  • Devops engineers efficiency increased dramatically.
  • As SaltStack produces predictable results and eliminates the need in monotonous manual actions - overall reliability of our IT infrastructure increased.
  • Instead of wasting hours and even days debugging errors on some particular server - it's now easier to reinstall in completely with SaltStack.
Ilya Trushchenko profile photo

Pricing Details

Ansible

General
Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No
Additional Pricing Details

SaltStack

General
Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No
Additional Pricing Details