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Ansible
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Serverspec

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Ansible vs Serverspec: 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 Serverspec? Tests for your servers configured by Puppet, Chef or anything else. With Serverspec, you can write RSpec tests for checking your servers are configured correctly Serverspec tests your servers’ actual state by executing command locally, via SSH, via WinRM, via Docker API and so on..

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

Ansible and Serverspec are both open source tools. Ansible with 38.7K GitHub stars and 16.3K forks on GitHub appears to be more popular than Serverspec with 2.27K GitHub stars and 375 GitHub forks.

DigitalOcean, 9GAG, and Typeform are some of the popular companies that use Ansible, whereas Serverspec is used by Groupe La Poste, HERE Technologies, and Travelex. Ansible has a broader approval, being mentioned in 1262 company stacks & 3244 developers stacks; compared to Serverspec, which is listed in 3 company stacks and 3 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 Serverspec?

With Serverspec, you can write RSpec tests for checking your servers are configured correctly. Serverspec tests your servers’ actual state by executing command locally, via SSH, via WinRM, via Docker API and so on.
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      What are some alternatives to Ansible and Serverspec?
      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 Serverspec
      StackShare Editors
      StackShare Editors
      Ansible
      Ansible
      Puppet Labs
      Puppet Labs
      Salt
      Salt

      By 2014, the DevOps team at Lyft decided to port their infrastructure code from Puppet to Salt. At that point, the Puppet code based included around "10,000 lines of spaghetti-code,” which was unfamiliar and challenging to the relatively new members of the DevOps team.

      “The DevOps team felt that the Puppet infrastructure was too difficult to pick up quickly and would be impossible to introduce to [their] developers as the tool they’d use to manage their own services.”

      To determine a path forward, the team assessed both Ansible and Salt, exploring four key areas: simplicity/ease of use, maturity, performance, and community.

      They found that “Salt’s execution and state module support is more mature than Ansible’s, overall,” and that “Salt was faster than Ansible for state/playbook runs.” And while both have high levels of community support, Salt exceeded expectations in terms of friendless and responsiveness to opened issues.

      See more
      Marcel Kornegoor
      Marcel Kornegoor
      CTO at AT Computing · | 5 upvotes · 64.7K views
      atAT ComputingAT Computing
      Python
      Python
      Chef
      Chef
      Puppet Labs
      Puppet Labs
      Ansible
      Ansible
      Google Compute Engine
      Google Compute Engine
      Kubernetes
      Kubernetes
      Docker
      Docker
      GitHub
      GitHub
      VirtualBox
      VirtualBox
      Jenkins
      Jenkins
      Visual Studio Code
      Visual Studio Code
      Fedora
      Fedora
      Red Hat Enterprise Linux
      Red Hat Enterprise Linux
      Debian
      Debian
      CentOS
      CentOS
      Ubuntu
      Ubuntu
      Linux
      Linux
      #ATComputing

      Since #ATComputing is a vendor independent Linux and open source specialist, we do not have a favorite Linux distribution. We mainly use Ubuntu , Centos Debian , Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora during our daily work. These are also the distributions we see most often used in our customers environments.

      For our #ci/cd training, we use an open source pipeline that is build around Visual Studio Code , Jenkins , VirtualBox , GitHub , Docker Kubernetes and Google Compute Engine.

      For #ServerConfigurationAndAutomation, we have embraced and contributed to Ansible mainly because it is not only flexible and powerful, but also straightforward and easier to learn than some other (open source) solutions. On the other hand: we are not affraid of Puppet Labs and Chef either.

      Currently, our most popular #programming #Language course is Python . The reason Python is so popular has to do with it's versatility, but also with its low complexity. This helps sysadmins to write scripts or simple programs to make their job less repetitive and automating things more fun. Python is also widely used to communicate with (REST) API's and for data analysis.

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      Interest over time
      Reviews of Ansible and Serverspec
      No reviews found
      How developers use Ansible and Serverspec
      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.
      How much does Ansible cost?
      How much does Serverspec cost?
      Pricing unavailable
      News about Serverspec
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