Fabric vs Salt: What are the differences?
Fabric: Simple, Pythonic remote execution and deployment. Fabric is a Python (2.5-2.7) library and command-line tool for streamlining the use of SSH for application deployment or systems administration tasks It provides a basic suite of operations for executing local or remote shell commands (normally or via sudo) and uploading/downloading files, as well as auxiliary functionality such as prompting the running user for input, or aborting execution.; 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..
Fabric and Salt belong to "Server Configuration and Automation" category of the tech stack.
"Python" is the primary reason why developers consider Fabric over the competitors, whereas "Flexible" was stated as the key factor in picking Salt.
Fabric and Salt are both open source tools. It seems that Fabric with 11.4K GitHub stars and 1.73K forks on GitHub has more adoption than Salt with 10.1K GitHub stars and 4.59K GitHub forks.
According to the StackShare community, Fabric has a broader approval, being mentioned in 147 company stacks & 38 developers stacks; compared to Salt, which is listed in 110 company stacks and 20 developer stacks.
What is Fabric?
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.
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 use Fabric for automating deployment and maintenance tasks: bootstrapping and updating application servers (using the "rolling update" pattern), pulling logs from the servers, running manage.py maintenance commands.
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.
Automate everything! I have fabfiles for testing, bootstrapping, deployment, and building. Easy to customize and its pure python.