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AWS OpsWorks
AWS OpsWorks

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AWS OpsWorks vs Salt: 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 ; Salt: Fast, scalable and flexible software for data center automation. 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..

AWS OpsWorks and Salt belong to "Server Configuration and Automation" category of the tech stack.

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, Salt provides the following key features:

  • Remote execution is the core function of Salt. Running pre-defined or arbitrary commands on remote hosts.
  • Salt modules are the core of remote execution. They provide functionality such as installing packages, restarting a service, running a remote command, transferring files, and infinitely more
  • Building on the remote execution core is a robust and flexible configuration management framework. Execution happens on the minions allowing effortless, simultaneous configuration of tens of thousands of hosts.

"Devops" is the top reason why over 27 developers like AWS OpsWorks, while over 41 developers mention "Flexible" as the leading cause for choosing Salt.

Salt is an open source tool with 10.1K GitHub stars and 4.59K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Salt's open source repository on GitHub.

According to the StackShare community, Salt has a broader approval, being mentioned in 110 company stacks & 20 developers stacks; compared to AWS OpsWorks, which is listed in 73 company stacks and 19 developer stacks.

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What is AWS OpsWorks?

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 

What is 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.
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Why do developers choose AWS OpsWorks?
Why do developers choose Salt?

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    What tools integrate with AWS OpsWorks?
    What tools integrate with Salt?
    What are some alternatives to AWS OpsWorks and Salt?
    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.
    AWS Elastic Beanstalk
    Once you upload your application, Elastic Beanstalk automatically handles the deployment details of capacity provisioning, load balancing, auto-scaling, and application health monitoring.
    AWS Config
    AWS Config is a fully managed service that provides you with an AWS resource inventory, configuration history, and configuration change notifications to enable security and governance. With AWS Config you can discover existing AWS resources, export a complete inventory of your AWS resources with all configuration details, and determine how a resource was configured at any point in time. These capabilities enable compliance auditing, security analysis, resource change tracking, and troubleshooting.
    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.
    AWS CodeDeploy
    AWS CodeDeploy is a service that automates code deployments to Amazon EC2 instances. AWS CodeDeploy makes it easier for you to rapidly release new features, helps you avoid downtime during deployment, and handles the complexity of updating your applications.
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    Decisions about AWS OpsWorks and Salt
    StackShare Editors
    StackShare Editors
    Salt
    Salt
    Puppet Labs
    Puppet Labs
    Ansible
    Ansible

    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
    Interest over time
    Reviews of AWS OpsWorks and Salt
    Review ofSaltSalt

    For automating deployment or system admin tasks, Shell/Perl are more than enough. Specially Perl one liners, that I use heavily, even to make changes in xml files. But quite often the need is to just check the state of system and run scripts without fear. Thats where I actually needed some scripting language with "state mechanism" associated with it. Salt provided me above similar kind of experience. I tested salt first on a small scenario. Installation of 60 RPMS on a machine. I was pleased that I could achieve that in around 25 lines of code using salt. And eventually I was also able to keep data and code separate. This was another plus point. henceforth I was able to use salt to deploy a large potion Datacenter (apps deployment). I am still working towards orchestration and finding it quite promising. The use of pure python whenever needed to deal with more complex scenario is awesome.

    How developers use AWS OpsWorks and Salt
    Avatar of Refractal
    Refractal uses SaltSalt

    When it comes to provisioning tens to hundreds of servers, you need a tool that can handle the load, as well as being extremely customisable. Fortunately, Salt has held that gauntlet for us consistently through any kind of issue you can throw at it.

    Avatar of FAELIX
    FAELIX uses SaltSalt

    We've built something using SaltStack and Debian Linux to help us deploy and administer at scale the servers we provide for our part- and fully-managed hosting customers.

    Avatar of Runbook
    Runbook uses SaltSalt

    Everything is deployed via Salt. From configurations to Docker container builds.

    Avatar of Aspire
    Aspire uses SaltSalt

    Simple configuration of vagrant for development environments.

    Avatar of SAP Hybris
    SAP Hybris uses SaltSalt

    configuration manager and orchestrator for deployment

    Avatar of thanawatsenawat
    thanawatsenawat uses AWS OpsWorksAWS OpsWorks

    Automate deploy application without SMTP.

    Avatar of Hund
    Hund uses AWS OpsWorksAWS OpsWorks

    Chef server deployments.

    How much does AWS OpsWorks cost?
    How much does Salt cost?
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