chef, puppet & ansible - comparing leading configuration systems

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Chef, Puppet, & Ansible - Comparing Leading Configuration SystemsFebruary 15th, 2017Ron Harnik - Product Marketing MgrAlex Green - Technical Content Writer

IntroductionAlex GreenTechnical Content WriterRon HarnikProduct Marketing Manager

AgendaWhat are Orchestration Systems? Chef, Puppet & Ansible - an overviewDemonstrate use cases for orchestration systems

Scalr Architecture

Enterprise Scopes

Configuration SystemsThis isnt just writing scripts: Use dev. best practices like version control, testing, batched deployments, use of design patterns Falls under Infrastructure As Code (Iaas): writing code to provision and manage your servers in addition to automating processes.

Why Configuration Systems?Reproduce a server for scaling or testingBuild systems to be platform independent Clearly defined software/scripts Dynamic configurations

Sebastian Stadil () - It's self-documenting infrastructure too.Why Configuration Systems?Automatically configure monitoring when new systems are builtRecover from a disaster quickly (by defining proper application state should be)Get new employees up to speed quickly

ConsiderHeavy planning prior to implementation such as choosing the right toolsBad configurations could get duplicated on all the serversConfiguration drift - when server configurations are modified through hot-fixes without modifying the templates)Maintaining strict discipline isnt easy

Sebastian Stadil () - Under what conditions is maintaining strict discipline dificult?ChefReleased in 2009Written in Ruby - great for Developers and DevOps to finally get alongThe most popular of the orchestration/automation tools on the marketStrong community and collection of resources (Chef Supermarket)

ChefGood:Easier to get productive and stay productive Ideal for complex infrastructure work Bad:Chef takes onboarding time.Collaboration doesn't scale well. Runlist ordering can get messy

AnsibleReleased in 2012Agentless structureSuper simple to use - written in pythonDesigned to be light

Ansible Playbook Structure

AnsibleGood:Great for single point in time changesTime to value is great - helps users define infrastructure fasterStreamline the mundane tasks that sysadmins have to endureBad:Because over SSH, slow at scale

PuppetReleased in 2005Built for the enterprise, incredible supportUses Client/Server Architecture like ChefPuppet Master + Puppet Agents

Puppet Enterprise UI

PuppetGood:Like Chef, Puppet is definitely the DevOps tool to define and deploy company infrastructure to new serversTons of modulesScales across teams wellBad:Hard to pick up and experiment with compared to chef, the terminology was more complicated

Thank You!If you have any questions or feedback on using these configuration management systems feel free to reach out to us at and


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