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SaltStack is a cloud management platform from the company of the same name in Lehi, Utah.https://dudodiprj2sv7.cloudfront.net/product-logos/ib/BC/PLIX7BKKBM97.PNGSeasoned advice about SaltStackWe use SaltStack to orchestrate and configure complex integration lab environments for instructional workshops. We are developing a full-cycle cloud portable/agnostic DevOps workflow template for Hybris Commerce projects to support full velocity distributed development efforts with CI and CD pipeline.,One tool to provide both configuration management and orchestration at any scale. Modular and extensible code (modules, formulas, packages) with a very active community promotes community-style development within your own organization. Great documentation has made massive strides in the past two years.,Masterless (serverless) and salt-ssh (agentless) features are not as well documented or easy to use as other competitive technologies (ie. Ansible). Debugging YAML+Jinja templated configuration is getting better, but is still occasionally frustrating. Diligent testing on small changes helps, but it's easy to get lost doing too much too fast. Best practices and features have improved a lot in the past year, but much of the community code needs to be updated to take advantage of them.,10,Combined orchestration and configuration management allows one or two engineers to manage all of the Hybris Sysadmin Workshop lab infrastructure for multiple concurrent workshops combined. SaltStack provides in one tool, configuration management which serves the functions of systems management, audit, and change management. Getting ROI from SaltStack or any DevOps tool requires a cultural ambassador to build and develop process requirements and DevOps architecture, and while this can have dramatic bottom line results, people often struggle to adapt, so implementation can be stilted by lack of leadership. DevOps in general should not be pursued as a way to recover operational costs on its own, but rather to use operational savings to subsidize increased quality. SaltStack requires infrastructure investments, and development investments, and time investments for additional testing cycles in the pipeline. The ROI it produces is enabling more, faster parallel development, without sacrificing the ability to maintain testing and quality, or to increase testing and quality while maintaining or reducing the cost of quality process. If you just want more for less and you're willing to ship broken product to get better short term bottom line: just ship broken product, skip the DevOps investment.,Spicing up Linux infrastructure managementI can not provide many details. However, let's say that SaltStack was used for the whole Linux infrastructure. SaltStack is able to provide many benefits within one set of tools: Configuration Management, Orchestration, massive parallel sys administration and remote execution and cloud management. With SaltStack, one is able to manage complex IT infrastructures, consisting of internal and external provides (such as Azure, for example).,Configuration Management Parallel system administration Remote Execution Cloud connectors Orchestration Update and patch management Automation,Managing network hardware should be more native and easy SaltStack should buffer jobs and, when a client returns, make sure it is executed proberly SaltStack should provide basic pillar and states structures to help get newbies started,10,It is hard to measure since SaltStack is free and open-source software SaltStack makes it possible to manage a large server farm with only few staff members,Puppet, CFEngine and Ansible,Kernel-based Virtual MachineSaltStack is AMAZING!!We use SaltStack to manage the configuration on over 100 CentOS virtual machines. It makes it so much easier to set up a new machine, as soon as it's on the network we Salt it and it configures NTP, DNS, user accounts, automounted NFS home drives. We also have base package sets for the different types of machines that we have and SaltStack installs them all based on the group they are in.,Very easy to run a single command against multiple machines at once Low maintenance once after the initial configuration is done Very easy to install and configure clients (minions),There is a little bit of a learning curve to figure out the syntax to the configuration,8,SaltStack has reduced the time it takes to deploy new machines for us 10-fold. It is much easier for us to maintain compliance with industry standards with SaltStack. No negative impacts!,Puppet,NginxSaltStack is recommended!Hospitality Pulse uses SaltStack for the automation of critical infrastructure in our AWS infrastructure (multiple VPCs). We also built a custom software deployment orchestrator on top of SaltStack. SaltStack is a cornerstone piece in our highly available architecture and hands-off server automation.,A superb remote execution framework! SaltStack allows us to easily program numerous functions on top of it. For example, we developed a fast parallel asynchronous deployment tool that handles all software deployment, including interdependent service management. Configuration management is now easy. We take advantage of this to automate (in tandem with AWS tools) the stand-up of all servers and services. It is also relatively easy to create new configuration management states for software not yet supported by the community (e.g. Grafana). Flexibility. Numerous small utilities have been built which simply wrap around SaltStack to allow tedious tasks to become easy.,There are no big issues with SaltStack. I'll highlight a few minor items to consider here. One is version numbers of the software. This can be a little confusing to newcomers. The documentation is good now, but used to be lacking.,10,We manage two complex highly available self-healing (all infrastructure and systems) environments using SaltStack. Only one person is needed to run SaltStack. That is a HUGE return on investment. Building tooling on top of SaltStack has allowed us to share administrative abilities by role - e.g. employee X can deploy software Y. No need to call a sysadmin and etc. Recovery from problems, or time to stand-up new systems is now counted in minutes (usually under eight) rather than hours. This is a strategic advantage for rolling out new services.,,Apache Web Server, MySQLBetter start using SaltStack today - and save lots of your time tomorrow!SaltStack is used in the whole organization as the only service for configuration management, continuous delivery, user management, package management, data distribution etc.,Dynamically generated configuration files with Jinja. Software deployment and configuration automation. Very simple YAMLl/Jinja syntax. It's easy to install and maintain.,Still lots of bugs, but they are being fixed pretty quickly. We sometimes have scaling problems while running hundreds of states across hundreds of servers. Out of box reporting is not clear. For example, I launched installation of the new package across 400 servers, and I only want to know where it FAILED - it's not easy with SaltStack.,9,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.,Puppet Data Center Automation, Ansible and Chef,Buildbot, JIRA Service Desk, Elasticsearch
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SaltStack
22 Ratings
Score 9.4 out of 101
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SaltStack Reviews

SaltStack
22 Ratings
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Score 9.4 out of 101
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Jeremy McMillan profile photo
May 01, 2017

User Review: "Seasoned advice about SaltStack"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use SaltStack to orchestrate and configure complex integration lab environments for instructional workshops. We are developing a full-cycle cloud portable/agnostic DevOps workflow template for Hybris Commerce projects to support full velocity distributed development efforts with CI and CD pipeline.
  • One tool to provide both configuration management and orchestration at any scale.
  • Modular and extensible code (modules, formulas, packages) with a very active community promotes community-style development within your own organization.
  • Great documentation has made massive strides in the past two years.
  • Masterless (serverless) and salt-ssh (agentless) features are not as well documented or easy to use as other competitive technologies (ie. Ansible).
  • Debugging YAML+Jinja templated configuration is getting better, but is still occasionally frustrating. Diligent testing on small changes helps, but it's easy to get lost doing too much too fast.
  • Best practices and features have improved a lot in the past year, but much of the community code needs to be updated to take advantage of them.
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.
Read Jeremy McMillan's full review
Valentin Höbel profile photo
May 23, 2017

SaltStack Review: "Spicing up Linux infrastructure management"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
I can not provide many details. However, let's say that SaltStack was used for the whole Linux infrastructure.

SaltStack is able to provide many benefits within one set of tools: Configuration Management, Orchestration, massive parallel sys administration and remote execution and cloud management.

With SaltStack, one is able to manage complex IT infrastructures, consisting of internal and external provides (such as Azure, for example).
  • Configuration Management
  • Parallel system administration
  • Remote Execution
  • Cloud connectors
  • Orchestration
  • Update and patch management
  • Automation
  • Managing network hardware should be more native and easy
  • SaltStack should buffer jobs and, when a client returns, make sure it is executed proberly
  • SaltStack should provide basic pillar and states structures to help get newbies started
SaltStack can be used to manage large server farms and for configuration management. SaltStack does very well with Linux and Unix systems and is also able to manage Windows servers and clients; however, managing Windows is not its biggest strength. SaltStack should not be introduced if the amount of servers to be managed is very small (e.g. less than 3-4).
Read Valentin Höbel's full review
Steven Marshall, RHCSA profile photo
August 05, 2016

User Review: "SaltStack is AMAZING!!"

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use SaltStack to manage the configuration on over 100 CentOS virtual machines. It makes it so much easier to set up a new machine, as soon as it's on the network we Salt it and it configures NTP, DNS, user accounts, automounted NFS home drives. We also have base package sets for the different types of machines that we have and SaltStack installs them all based on the group they are in.
  • Very easy to run a single command against multiple machines at once
  • Low maintenance once after the initial configuration is done
  • Very easy to install and configure clients (minions)
  • There is a little bit of a learning curve to figure out the syntax to the configuration
We use SaltStack all the time but it is really handy when a new zero-day exploit has gets announced and we need to check package versions across a bunch of machines. We can easily check vulnerabilities by issuing one command on the master server. It's just as easy to patch the machines once you have a maintenance window. One command and it's done.
Read Steven Marshall, RHCSA's full review
William Cannon profile photo
August 08, 2016

User Review: "SaltStack is recommended!"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Hospitality Pulse uses SaltStack for the automation of critical infrastructure in our AWS infrastructure (multiple VPCs). We also built a custom software deployment orchestrator on top of SaltStack. SaltStack is a cornerstone piece in our highly available architecture and hands-off server automation.
  • A superb remote execution framework! SaltStack allows us to easily program numerous functions on top of it. For example, we developed a fast parallel asynchronous deployment tool that handles all software deployment, including interdependent service management.
  • Configuration management is now easy. We take advantage of this to automate (in tandem with AWS tools) the stand-up of all servers and services. It is also relatively easy to create new configuration management states for software not yet supported by the community (e.g. Grafana).
  • Flexibility. Numerous small utilities have been built which simply wrap around SaltStack to allow tedious tasks to become easy.
  • There are no big issues with SaltStack. I'll highlight a few minor items to consider here. One is version numbers of the software. This can be a little confusing to newcomers.
  • The documentation is good now, but used to be lacking.
Well Suited:
Configuration Management
Orchestration of Services/Applications in regard to each other or infrastructure
Custom tooling - wonderful event bus for asynchronous event driven actions
Instant remote access (command execution) to tens/hundreds/thousands of servers with very flexible targeting
Ability to put network nodes under configuration management even if they are unable to run a "minion" via proxy minions

Less appropriate use of SaltStack? If you have only one server and want to manage it very poorly resulting in difficult hours of trouble-shooting then don't use SaltStack.
Read William Cannon's full review
Ilya Trushchenko profile photo
January 08, 2016

Review: "Better start using SaltStack today - and save lots of your time tomorrow!"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
SaltStack is used in the whole organization as the only service for configuration management, continuous delivery, user management, package management, data distribution etc.
  • Dynamically generated configuration files with Jinja.
  • Software deployment and configuration automation.
  • Very simple YAMLl/Jinja syntax.
  • It's easy to install and maintain.
  • Still lots of bugs, but they are being fixed pretty quickly.
  • We sometimes have scaling problems while running hundreds of states across hundreds of servers.
  • Out of box reporting is not clear. For example, I launched installation of the new package across 400 servers, and I only want to know where it FAILED - it's not easy with SaltStack.
If your team is OK with Python and coding overall - SaltStack the best choice.
Read Ilya Trushchenko's full review
No photo available
August 05, 2016

Review: "Saltstack is complicated and beautiful - a rare combination"

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use Saltstack to manage ~400 remote nodes, and ~35 server nodes. It handles configuration management, rapid deploys, rapid updates of security vulnerabilities, and targeted data acquisition.
  • 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.
  • Saltstack could use more intermediate-level documentation and tutorials. Most of the information out there tends to leap from "install apache" (the "hello world" of configuration management) straight to the most complex scenarios.
  • Similarly, more outreach to a wider audience would be useful. In the same way that widespread use of git and vim makes these easy stacks to require of new engineers, widespread use of Saltstack by amateurs and dabblers would be helpful for saltstack.
Managing heterogeneous environments of large numbers of nodes, especially nodes which may need sudden changes (security updates, for instance), or frequent replacement, is a strength for Saltstack.

Simplicity is not a strength for Saltstack. In a homogenous environment (all CentOS 7, for example, with no Debian or Windows) I might recommend using Ansible instead - it is less flexible and granular, but simpler to configure.
Read this authenticated review
No photo available
August 01, 2016

SaltStack Review: "Why would you pick Salt over Ansible"

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We've used SaltStack throughout the whole engineering team of our company for provisioning of both AWS instances and baremetal servers. Previously we've been using Fabric for this, but it has become unusable once we've grew beyond 25 servers, and our environment become heterogeneous. Engineers couldn't keep track of what's happening in the server farm any more, and SaltStack and it's declarative language allowed us to bring up instances to desired state in a quick and reliable way.
  • Rich, powerful DSL
  • Highly scalable – fast, parallel deployment to dozens of nodes
  • Strong community
  • Steep learning curve
  • No sandbox, dry run, or execution plan mode. It's hard to iterate quickly during development, and quite easy to break things during development.
  • Copying huge amount of small files is slow and suboptimal — make sure to package your software into tarball/dpkg/your favorite package format if you need to copy it to the instance.
If you need to frequently set up or update a large amount of server instances, Salt and Ansible are probably the two most popular options these days. The key difference is probably the master-minion model of Salt, where minions can pull the state from master, while Ansible emphasizes "push" model (there's Ansible-pull, but it seems to be an afterthought).

In practice, this means with Salt it's trivial to build an AMI which will pull state from master on startup and bring the new instance into service. You can use that instance with AutoScaling group, and voila — you have a scalable cluster on full auto.
Read this authenticated review
No photo available
July 29, 2016

Review: "Saltstack give your operation tasks a sweet taste"

Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
My company is doing web video conferencing and therefore as an important platform distributed in many datacenters all over the world.
Saltstack is used for deployment on the different nodes in a consistent way.
  • Easy to configure and maintain since it is centralized, and there is also discovery
  • Can adapt to a lot of situations with the minimum of configuration. It is easy to write and deploy our own templates and modules
  • The documentation is easy to read and exhaustive
  • Having a centralized master lead to a single point of failure. Having a native distributed architecture would be appreciated
Saltstack is useful when the architecture is complex and repetitive. With Saltstack, there is no need to connect to a single machine (except the master itself), everything can be automated
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SaltStack Scorecard Summary

About SaltStack

SaltStack is a cloud management platform from the company of the same name in Lehi, Utah.

SaltStack Technical Details

Operating Systems: Unspecified
Mobile Application:No