Ansible
Ansible

4.6K
3.3K
+ 1
1.2K
Chef
Chef

958
620
+ 1
327
Add tool

Ansible vs Chef: 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 Chef? Build, destroy and rebuild servers on any public or private cloud. 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.

Ansible and Chef 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, Chef provides the following key features:

  • Access to 800+ Reusable Cookbooks
  • Integration with Leading Cloud Providers
  • Enterprise Platform Support including Windows and Solaris

"Agentless" is the top reason why over 251 developers like Ansible, while over 104 developers mention "Dynamic and idempotent server configuration" as the leading cause for choosing Chef.

Ansible and Chef are both open source tools. It seems that Ansible with 37.8K GitHub stars and 15.8K forks on GitHub has more adoption than Chef with 5.83K GitHub stars and 2.35K GitHub forks.

PedidosYa, Keen, and New Relic are some of the popular companies that use Ansible, whereas Chef is used by Slack, Shopify, and SendGrid. Ansible has a broader approval, being mentioned in 956 company stacks & 578 developers stacks; compared to Chef, which is listed in 359 company stacks and 80 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 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.

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

Why do developers choose Ansible?
Why do developers choose Chef?

Sign up to add, upvote and see more prosMake informed product decisions

What are the cons of using Ansible?
What are the cons of using Chef?
    Be the first to leave a con
    What companies use Ansible?
    What companies use Chef?

    Sign up to get full access to all the companiesMake informed product decisions

    What tools integrate with Ansible?
    What tools integrate with Chef?

    Sign up to get full access to all the tool integrationsMake informed product decisions

    What are some alternatives to Ansible and Chef?
    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.
    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.
    AWS CloudFormation
    You can use AWS CloudFormation’s sample templates or create your own templates to describe the AWS resources, and any associated dependencies or runtime parameters, required to run your application. You don’t need to figure out the order in which AWS services need to be provisioned or the subtleties of how to make those dependencies work.
    See all alternatives
    Decisions about Ansible and Chef
    No stack decisions found
    Interest over time
    Reviews of Ansible and Chef
    No reviews found
    How developers use Ansible and Chef
    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 Goyoboard
    Goyoboard uses ChefChef

    Out custom recipes makes it simple for developers bootstrap process (using vagrant) and that same recipe is also the one that is used to prep instances

    Avatar of Zinc
    Zinc uses ChefChef

    We use Chef for our configuration management and our service discovery.

    Avatar of EverTrue
    EverTrue uses ChefChef

    Configuration management for any services not provided by AWS.

    Avatar of Hund
    Hund uses ChefChef

    Distributed application deployments and server configuration.

    Avatar of James Salas
    James Salas uses ChefChef

    Configuration and deployment of application

    How much does Ansible cost?
    How much does Chef cost?