ANSIBLE VS PUPPET

This blog post is about the comparison between two popular configuration management tools, Ansible and Puppet. The article highlights the key differences and similarities between these tools and provides insights into their features and functionalities. The post includes an introduction to the topic, a detailed comparison of the two tools, and a conclusion discussing their future prospects in the market.
ANSIBLE-VS-PUPPET

With the rise of cloud infrastructure, DevOps practices, and automation, configuration management tools are necessary for IT organizations. Ansible and Puppet are the most widely used tools for automating infrastructure management. In a survey report released by TechRepublic, Ansible is the most commonly used tool for about 41%, followed by Puppet at 31%. However, the demand for tools among professionals and renowned companies is equally remarkable. This article covers a deep Ansible vs Puppet comparison to help you choose the best one for your needs.

Table of content

  1. Introduction
  2. What is Ansible?
  3. Advantages of Ansible
  4. Disadvantages of Ansible
  5. What is Puppet?
  6. Advantages of Puppet
  7. Disadvantages of Puppet
  8. Comparing Ansible vs Puppet: How they are Different
  9. Ansible vs Puppet: Pricing
  10. Comparison: Ansible vs Puppet
  11. Which is better, Puppet or Ansible
  12. FAQs
  13. Conclusion

What is Ansible?

Ansible is a powerful open-source tool popularly employed for automation, configuration management, deployment of applications, and orchestration. It was created by Michael DeHaan in 2012 and later acquired by Red Hat in 2015. Ansible uses SSH to communicate with remote machines, making it agentless and easy to use. It is known for its simple, human-readable syntax and ease of use.

Advantages of Ansible 

  • Ansible requires no software or agent to be installed on the remote machines. This makes it easy to use and manage.
  • Ansible uses a simple and human-readable syntax that is easy to understand and learn.
  • Ansible has a large and active community that provides support and contributes to the development of the tool.
  • Ansible uses a push-based architecture that makes it fast and efficient.

Disadvantages of Ansible 

  • Ansible is not suitable for large-scale environments and can become slow when managing hundreds or thousands of nodes.
  • Ansible works well with Linux and Unix systems but has limited support for Windows.
  • Ansible is less extensible than other tools, and its modules are limited.

What is Puppet?

Puppet is a popular configuration management tool commonly used by many organizations globally for software and infrastructure management. Developed in 2005 by Luke Kanies, Puppet is now maintained by Puppet Labs and is supported on Linux and Windows OS to automate the configuration server. A centralized system defines the system’s desired state to be managed and automated. It uses Domain Specific Language (DSL) to configure the state.

Advantages of Puppet

  • Puppet is a powerful and flexible tool that can be used to manage large and complex environments.
  • Puppet has a large module library that can be used to manage various software and infrastructure components.
  • Puppet has excellent support for Linux and Windows systems.
  • Puppet has a large and active community that provides support and contributes to the development of the tool.

Disadvantages of Puppet

  • Puppet has a steep learning curve, and their syntax is more challenging to understand and learn.
  • Puppet requires the Installation of agents on the client machines, which can be a hassle to manage.
  • Puppet can be resource-intensive and can slow down the client machines.

(Comparing Ansible vs Puppet: How they are Different) 

Both Ansible and Puppet are designed to simplify information technology operations for users by automating regular tasks such as configuring systems, managing updates, etc. Let us compare both based on the following factors.

Ease of Use

Ansible is known for its ease of use because of its more flexible approach. It requires no additional software to be installed on the targets being automated. On the other hand, open-source Puppet and Puppet Enterprise traditionally work on an agent-based approach, requiring additional software installed on each machine.

Flexibility 

Ansible is designed with a focus on simplicity and ease of use. It also emphasizes security and reliability with minimal moving parts. Every part of the Puppet language adds flexibility and convenience to the declaration of resources. Here, you can declare a class to manage many resources at once. 

Platform Maturity 

Puppet have the edge over Ansible in being platform mature. While Ansible consists essentially of a list of commands that _must_ be run in order, Puppet’s modules are reusable segments that can run in _any_ order and are used modularly. Puppet also runs a `puppet apply` every fifteen minutes (or whatever you set it to), ensuring your servers are under enforcement throughout the day. This helps in Puppet’s ability to work as not just a compliance auditing tool, but a compliance automation one, as well.

Modules 

Puppet Forge is Puppet’s repository. The Ansible repository is called Ansible Galaxy. Forge is huge (almost 6,000 modules) and can be marked as approved or supported by Puppet. This helps you in saving time on the ones that have yet to be proven to work. Ansible Galaxy does not have this feature. Users may have to spend more time and effort changing things manually.

Availability 

Ansible runs with a single active node. This is called a primary instance. If the primary instance does not work, a secondary instance will take its place. Puppet, on the other hand, has a multi-architecture. In case the active master stops working, then the other active master starts working immediately.

Scalability 

Both Ansible and Puppet are highly scalable. They are well-equipped to handle a big increase in nodes without any problem. However, scalability is generally easier in Ansible.

(Ansible vs Puppet: Pricing) 

Both Puppet and Ansible are free and open-source tools. You will have to pay for the commercial versions depending on the support level you require. Let us look at the pricing:

●  How much Does Puppet Enterprise Cost?

Puppet Enterprise is available to try on 10 nodes for free. It costs about $100 per node per year with a standard support plan. Premium support costs $199 per node per year.

How much Does Ansible Tower Cost?

Ansible Tower has three levels of pricing: Self-support costs $5,000 per year for up to 100 nodes. Standard costs $10,000 per year for up to 100 nodes, or $13,000 annually with Ansible Engine. Premium (24×7 support) costs $14,000 annually for up to 100 nodes or $17,500 with Ansible Engine.

(Head-to-Head Comparison: Ansible vs Puppet)

Easy Installation 

The Installation of Ansible is much easier than Puppet. Along with this, its configuration is easy to understand. Users do not require any special system administrator to install it. Any non-programmer or beginner can also run the tool following the guidelines from any machine.

GUI and Dashboards 

Ansible was launched as a command-line tool. But now its user interface is in the enterprise version. Sometimes, GUI is not in sync with the command line, and users cannot perform the same tasks as in the command-line interface. On the other hand, Puppet’s GUI is more interactive than Ansible’s. It manages view and can monitor more complex tasks. There is also a Ruby-written option of using a command-line interface in need. 

Extensibility 

A dedicated support portal with a knowledge base offers two levels of professional support: Standard (included) and Premium. You can also access a technical account manager (TAM) or become involved in the Puppet community by attending events or participating in other channels. Puppet also offers an annual report annually which is a great resource for learning about trends. Ansible offers two levels of professional support for its enterprise version. There are also more than 200 meetups worldwide, a bigger annual gathering of users and contributors called AnsibleFest.

Which is better, Puppet or Ansible?

The future looks promising for both Ansible and Puppet as the demand for automation and infrastructure management continues to grow. However, Ansible’s simpler and easier-to-learn syntax, agentless architecture, and broader use cases give it an edge over Puppet in many scenarios. On the other hand, Puppet is more suitable for large-scale, complex environments with strict security and compliance requirements. Ultimately, the choice between Ansible and Puppet depends on the specific needs and goals of the organization. Professionals skilled in both tools will continue to be in high demand, and those planning to adopt these tools can expect promising career opportunities and competitive salaries.

(FAQs)

1. Which model is followed by Ansible? 

Ansible follows the push model.

2. What is the repository of Ansible and Puppet?

The repository of Ansible is Ansible Galaxy, and the repository of Puppet is Puppet Forge.

3. When was Puppet introduced?

Puppet was introduced in 2005.

4. Is there any role for agents in Ansible?

There are no agents involved in Ansible.

5. Does Puppet have Graphical Line Interface?

Puppet have Graphical Line Interface.

Conclusion

We discussed the two most popular open-source configuration management tools, Ansible and Puppet, and compared them. This article has also highlighted both tools’ key features, advantages and disadvantages, and suitability. We believe that the aim of this article is successfully delivered and you can decide the one best for your needs.

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