It's been a while since we last covered these two leading IT automation solutions—suffice to say, both SaltStack and Ansible have evolved significantly since then. Let's take a fresh look at how they compare when it comes to enterprise-grade IT automation and orchestration.
In a few short years DevOps has gone from a fringe movement to a must-have for any IT leader. There's a lot of buzz around it, but there's alot of practical knowledge in there as well. Provisioning environments, deploying applications, maintaining infrastructures--these are all critical yet delicate tasks traditionally done by hand. What if we could get a machine to do all that stuff for us, not just saving hours of work but also removing the element of human error?
Configuration management (CM) and Remote Execution tools are fast becoming the tools of choice for many a sysadmin or devops pro. If you consider that the point of computing is to make our data management easier, then CM tools make are the next level of that logic – they make it easier to manage the large groups of servers that make it easier to manage our data. CM tools are great for all sorts of routine activities in the data center: automation of scripts on a number of servers, remote execution and deployment, provisioning and installing the same software on a bunch of new servers, and so on. CM tools will enable you to execute stuff like: “I have this command I want to run across 100 servers. I want the command to run on all of them within a five second window.
The sysadmin or devops pro of today typically needs to manage a large numbers of servers, often automating some tasks or performing the same action several times over, like installing and provisioning a new server, rebooting a set of servers at specific times every day, deploying the same package to a group of servers, and so on. For such busy folks, Configuration Management (CM) tools like Ansible and Salt are absolute lifesavers.
Cyber resilience is a fundamental change in understanding and accepting the true relationship between technology and risk. IT risk (or cyber risk, if you prefer) is actually business risk, and always has been. And the cybersecurity industry, for what it's worth, has generally avoided this concept because it goes against the narrative that their respective offerings—whether it's a firewall, IDS, monitoring tool, or otherwise—would be the one-size-fits-all silver bullet that can keep businesses safe. But reality tells a different story.