Capistrano vs Salt: What are the differences?
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; 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..
Capistrano and Salt belong to "Server Configuration and Automation" category of the tech stack.
Some of the features offered by Capistrano are:
- 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
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.
"Automated deployment with several custom recipes" is the top reason why over 122 developers like Capistrano, while over 41 developers mention "Flexible" as the leading cause for choosing Salt.
Capistrano and Salt are both open source tools. Capistrano with 11.1K GitHub stars and 1.71K forks on GitHub appears to be more popular than Salt with 10.1K GitHub stars and 4.59K GitHub forks.
According to the StackShare community, Capistrano has a broader approval, being mentioned in 293 company stacks & 81 developers stacks; compared to Salt, which is listed in 110 company stacks and 20 developer stacks.
What is Capistrano?
What is Salt?
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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.
Shipit, our deployment tool, is at the heart of Continuous Delivery at Shopify. Shipit is an orchestrator that runs and tracks progress of any deploy script that you provide for a project. It supports deploying to Rubygems, Pip, Heroku and Capistrano out of the box. For us, it's mostly kubernetes-deploy or Capistrano for legacy projects.
We use a slightly tweaked GitHub flow, with feature development going in branches and the master branch being the source of truth for the state of things in production. When your PR is ready, you add it to the Merge Queue in ShipIt. The idea behind the Merge Queue is to control the rate of code that is being merged to master branch. In the busy hours, we have many developers who want to merge the PRs, but at the same time we don't want to introduce too many changes to the system at the same time. Merge Queue limits deploys to 5-10 commits at a time, which makes it easier to identify issues and roll back in case we notice any unexpected behaviour after the deploy.
We use a browser extension to make Merge Queue play nicely with the Merge button on GitHub:
Both Shipit and kubernetes-deploy are open source, and we've heard quite a few success stories from companies who have adopted our flow.
#BuildTestDeploy #ContainerTools #ApplicationHosting #PlatformAsAService
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.
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.
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.
For deploying to a VPS like DigitalOcean. This pairs nicely with https://github.com/cyrusstoller/gardenbed.
Deployment automation all of the websites and apps are deployed to linux via capistrano.