AWS OpsWorks vs Chef: What are the differences?
AWS OpsWorks: Model and manage your entire application from load balancers to databases using Chef. Start from templates for common technologies like Ruby, Node.JS, PHP, and Java, or build your own using Chef recipes to install software packages and perform any task that you can script. AWS OpsWorks can scale your application using automatic load-based or time-based scaling and maintain the health of your application by detecting failed instances and replacing them. You have full control of deployments and automation of each component ; 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.
AWS OpsWorks and Chef can be primarily classified as "Server Configuration and Automation" tools.
Some of the features offered by AWS OpsWorks are:
- AWS OpsWorks lets you model the different components of your application as layers in a stack, and maps your logical architecture to a physical architecture. You can see all resources associated with your application, and their status, in one place.
- AWS OpsWorks provides an event-driven configuration system with rich deployment tools that allow you to efficiently manage your applications over their lifetime, including support for customizable deployments, rollback, partial deployments, patch management, automatic instance scaling, and auto healing.
- AWS OpsWorks lets you define template configurations for your entire environment in a format that you can maintain and version just like your application source code.
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
"Devops" is the top reason why over 27 developers like AWS OpsWorks, while over 104 developers mention "Dynamic and idempotent server configuration" as the leading cause for choosing Chef.
Chef is an open source tool with 5.83K GitHub stars and 2.35K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Chef's open source repository on GitHub.
According to the StackShare community, Chef has a broader approval, being mentioned in 359 company stacks & 80 developers stacks; compared to AWS OpsWorks, which is listed in 73 company stacks and 18 developer stacks.
I'm just getting started using Vagrant to help automate setting up local VMs to set up a Kubernetes cluster (development and experimentation only). (Yes, I do know about minikube)
I'm looking for a tool to help install software packages, setup users, etc..., on these VMs. I'm also fairly new to Ansible, Chef, and Puppet. What's a good one to start with to learn? I might decide to try all 3 at some point for my own curiosity.
The most important factors for me are simplicity, ease of use, shortest learning curve.
I have been working with Puppet and Ansible. The reason why I prefer ansible is the distribution of it. Ansible is more lightweight and therefore more popular. This leads to situations, where you can get fully packaged applications for ansible (e.g. confluent) supported by the vendor, but only incomplete packages for Puppet.
The only advantage I would see with Puppet if someone wants to use Foreman. This is still better supported with Puppet.
If you are just starting out, might as well learn Kubernetes There's a lot of tools that come with Kube that make it easier to use and most importantly: you become cloud-agnostic. We use Ansible because it's a lot simpler than Chef or Puppet and if you use Docker Compose for your deployments you can re-use them with Kubernetes later when you migrate
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