In this article on Comparing Puppet and Ansible, I will provide a comparison of both of these tools.
In fact, both Ansible, and Puppet are Infrastructure as a Code (IaaC) tools. However, there are certain differences between these tools.
Basically, Puppet and Ansible are both popular tools for automating the configuration management of systems. However, they have some key differences in their approach and features.
Comparing Puppet and Ansible Features and Approaches
The following list shows the differences.
- Language. Basically, Puppet uses declarative language to define the desired state of systems. While Ansible uses a more procedural, “playbook” approach to define tasks to be performed. This means that with Puppet you define what the end state should be. While with Ansible you define the steps to get to that end state.
- Agent vs Agentless. Another point of difference is that the Puppet uses an agent-based architecture, where clients (the “agents”) check in with a central server (the “master”) to ensure their configuration is in compliance with the desired state. In contrast, Ansible uses an agentless architecture, where all the necessary information is pushed to the target machines via SSH. So, no additional software needs to be installed on the target systems.
- Modules. In fact, both Puppet and Ansible use reusable modules to manage the configuration of specific services or applications. However, Ansible modules are generally simpler and focused on doing one thing well. Whereas Puppet modules tend to be more comprehensive. Moreover, they can manage a larger number of resources.
- Scale. Basically, Puppet is designed to handle larger and more complex infrastructures, with thousands of nodes and multiple teams of administrators. Unlike Puppet, Ansible suit more for smaller infrastructures, with a limited number of nodes and administrators.
- Data management. Evidently, Puppet has a built-in data management tool called Hiera that allows you to separate data from code. However, Ansible uses variables, which are defined in playbooks or in inventory files, to manage data.
In summary, both Puppet and Ansible are powerful tools for automating the configuration management of systems. However, they have different approaches and features. Basically, these approaches and features make them better suited for different use cases. Hence, Puppet is more suited for large and complex infrastructures. Whereas, Ansible suits more to smaller infrastructures, and to tasks that can be performed with simple shell commands.
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