Octopus Deploy vs Salt: What are the differences?
Octopus Deploy: Automated deployment for .NET. Octopus works with your build server to enable reliable, secure, automated releases of ASP.NET applications and Windows Services into test, staging and production environments, whether they are in the cloud or on-premises; 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..
Octopus Deploy belongs to "Deployment as a Service" category of the tech stack, while Salt can be primarily classified under "Server Configuration and Automation".
Some of the features offered by Octopus Deploy are:
- Deploy on-premises or to the cloud, securely
- Built for .NET developers
- Configuration and scripting
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.
"Powerful" is the primary reason why developers consider Octopus Deploy over the competitors, whereas "Flexible" was stated as the key factor in picking 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.
Lyft, LinkedIn, and Hulu are some of the popular companies that use Salt, whereas Octopus Deploy is used by Starbucks, Olo, and Huddle. Salt has a broader approval, being mentioned in 110 company stacks & 20 developers stacks; compared to Octopus Deploy, which is listed in 47 company stacks and 15 developer stacks.
What is Octopus Deploy?
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.
Using this in an environment with about 10 separate development teams. All the teams love this product and how easy it is to get started. It's very well put together, elegant, simple UI that is powerful to use, easy to understand and follow. I HIGHLY recommend this product to any shop.
It says it's for .NET and it's geared for that. But you could use it for just about any type of deployment given it's capabilities to deploy via FTP.
This is our CD platform. We use TFS for gated-checks and release builds. A release build packages all our components, pushes these packages to Octopus and triggers a release into our Development environment. A suite of integration tests are run and finally if all is successful the team gets a notification on Slack that a new release is available. This can then get promoted through all our non-production environments, Finally, we use offline deployments as we are not yet allowed to promote all the way to production from Octopus. Offline deployments are great as they allow us to retain our tried and tested deployment process but instead, humans become the tentacles when deploying in prod and pre-prod.
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.