Ansible
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Capistrano

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Ansible vs Capistrano: What are the differences?

What is Ansible? Radically simple configuration-management, application deployment, task-execution, and multi-node orchestration engine. Ansible is an IT automation tool. It can configure systems, deploy software, and orchestrate more advanced IT tasks such as continuous deployments or zero downtime rolling updates. Ansible’s goals are foremost those of simplicity and maximum ease of use.

What is Capistrano? A remote server automation and deployment tool written in Ruby. Capistrano is a remote server automation tool. It supports the scripting and execution of arbitrary tasks, and includes a set of sane-default deployment workflows.

Ansible and Capistrano can be categorized as "Server Configuration and Automation" tools.

Some of the features offered by Ansible are:

  • Ansible's natural automation language allows sysadmins, developers, and IT managers to complete automation projects in hours, not weeks.
  • Ansible uses SSH by default instead of requiring agents everywhere. Avoid extra open ports, improve security, eliminate "managing the management", and reclaim CPU cycles.
  • Ansible automates app deployment, configuration management, workflow orchestration, and even cloud provisioning all from one system.

On the other hand, Capistrano provides the following key features:

  • Reliably deploy web application to any number of machines simultaneously, in sequence or as a rolling set
  • Automate audits of any number of machines (checking login logs, enumerating uptimes, and/or applying security patches)
  • Script arbitrary workflows over SSH

"Agentless" is the top reason why over 251 developers like Ansible, while over 122 developers mention "Automated deployment with several custom recipes" as the leading cause for choosing Capistrano.

Ansible and Capistrano are both open source tools. It seems that Ansible with 37.8K GitHub stars and 15.8K forks on GitHub has more adoption than Capistrano with 11.1K GitHub stars and 1.72K GitHub forks.

PedidosYa, Keen, and New Relic are some of the popular companies that use Ansible, whereas Capistrano is used by New Relic, Movielala, and Repro. Ansible has a broader approval, being mentioned in 955 company stacks & 578 developers stacks; compared to Capistrano, which is listed in 295 company stacks and 81 developer stacks.

What is Ansible?

Ansible is an IT automation tool. It can configure systems, deploy software, and orchestrate more advanced IT tasks such as continuous deployments or zero downtime rolling updates. Ansible’s goals are foremost those of simplicity and maximum ease of use.

What is Capistrano?

Capistrano is a remote server automation tool. It supports the scripting and execution of arbitrary tasks, and includes a set of sane-default deployment workflows.

Want advice about which of these to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

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    What are some alternatives to Ansible and Capistrano?
    Puppet Labs
    Puppet is an automated administrative engine for your Linux, Unix, and Windows systems and performs administrative tasks (such as adding users, installing packages, and updating server configurations) based on a centralized specification.
    Chef
    Chef enables you to manage and scale cloud infrastructure with no downtime or interruptions. Freely move applications and configurations from one cloud to another. Chef is integrated with all major cloud providers including Amazon EC2, VMWare, IBM Smartcloud, Rackspace, OpenStack, Windows Azure, HP Cloud, Google Compute Engine, Joyent Cloud and others.
    Salt
    Salt is a new approach to infrastructure management. Easy enough to get running in minutes, scalable enough to manage tens of thousands of servers, and fast enough to communicate with them in seconds. Salt delivers a dynamic communication bus for infrastructures that can be used for orchestration, remote execution, configuration management and much more.
    Terraform
    With Terraform, you describe your complete infrastructure as code, even as it spans multiple service providers. Your servers may come from AWS, your DNS may come from CloudFlare, and your database may come from Heroku. Terraform will build all these resources across all these providers in parallel.
    Jenkins
    In a nutshell Jenkins CI is the leading open-source continuous integration server. Built with Java, it provides over 300 plugins to support building and testing virtually any project.
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    Decisions about Ansible and Capistrano
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    How developers use Ansible and Capistrano
    Avatar of Cloudcraft
    Cloudcraft uses AnsibleAnsible

    Ansible is the deployment tool for people who don't like deployment tools. It's close to scripting, doesn't pollute your servers with agents or centralized servers, and just makes immediate sense. The entire stack at Cloudcraft.co is orchestrated by Ansible. What does that mean? Beyond the obvious of installing packages and configuring services, Ansible coordinates all the machines into a working deployment: It adds API servers to the loadbancer pool, opens ports on the DB server for the backend servers to connect, gracefully upgrades services in a rolling fashion for zero-downtime deployments etc. And it's so easy to use, it's easier to use than doing things by hand, meaning it's a deployment tool you'll actually use every time!

    Avatar of Scrayos UG (haftungsbeschränkt)
    Scrayos UG (haftungsbeschränkt) uses AnsibleAnsible

    We use Ansible to synchronize the few configuration-options we've taken on our CoreOS-Machines. This makes deployment even easier and the fact that it's Agentless made the decision even easier.

    Avatar of Bob P
    Bob P uses AnsibleAnsible

    Ansible is used in both the development and production deployment process. A playbook couple with a Vagrantfile, easy deploys a local virtual machine that will mirror the setup in production.

    Avatar of sapslaj
    sapslaj uses AnsibleAnsible

    I use Ansible to manage the configuration between all of the different pieces of equipment, and because it's agentless I can even manage things like networking devices all from one repo.

    Avatar of Bùi Thanh
    Bùi Thanh uses AnsibleAnsible
    • Configuration management:
      • deploy/install all web/app environments
      • simple with Galaxy and playbooks.
    • No need any pre-installed agent on remote servers.
    Avatar of Cyrus Stoller
    Cyrus Stoller uses CapistranoCapistrano

    For deploying to a VPS like DigitalOcean. This pairs nicely with https://github.com/cyrusstoller/gardenbed.

    Avatar of GeniusLink
    GeniusLink uses CapistranoCapistrano

    Deployment automation all of the websites and apps are deployed to linux via capistrano.

    Avatar of Nick De Cooman
    Nick De Cooman uses CapistranoCapistrano

    Before Docker, I used Capistrano to deploy all web projects.

    Avatar of douglasresende
    douglasresende uses CapistranoCapistrano

    I use do make deploy my applications into many servers.

    Avatar of Cyril Duchon-Doris
    Cyril Duchon-Doris uses CapistranoCapistrano

    Deployment to remote AWS auto-scaled infrastructure.

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