[sdnog] help choosing configuration management utility

Samir S. Omer samir.saif at sudren.edu.sd
Wed Mar 11 06:54:41 SAST 2015

Hi Jaco,

thanks for the useful input you cleared many issues.
I'm not sure what you mean by DSL can you expand on that ?

and from what I understood from you I need the following:
  -Version Control System.
  -Automation Language (puppet)


> Hi Samir,
> I'd definitely suggest you invest some time to find the language (tool) that
> works best for you (and your team!) as you will be spending a lot of time
> initially getting it all setup, and then having to maintain it.  By language
> I do not mean the programming language it's written in (Ruby, Python), but
> the DSL that the tool itself provides.
> Using any of these tools (Puppet, Chef, Salt, Ansible) however is a step in
> the right direction.
> I've been using Puppet since ~2007 for fairly large estates in mostly ISP
> environments.  What makes Puppet great today?  The community (people) to get
> help and it's vast amount of ready to use modules on the Puppet Forge (like
> the Apple App Store, just free!) and for me - the DSL (language).
> Majority of the modules support both CentOS and Ubuntu and majority of the
> use cases of how you want to configure the software is likely to be already
> implemented.  Modules are also being updated and improved all the time, and
> if you come across a feature or functionality that you want to add, you can
> either ask for help to implement it (community) or do it yourself and submit
> a patch for the module.  This for me is great, I get to spend more time on
> other more exciting and interesting challenges that's specific to my
> customers, and that's where you add value!
> To get an idea of how each of the languages let you configure a simple web
> server, take a look at the following modules to configure the Apache web
> server (something which I imagine you'll need to do), review the following
> module implementations:
>  http://docs.ansible.com/list_of_web_infrastructure_modules.html (and in
>  particular the Apache module) (Ansible)
>  https://forge.puppetlabs.com/puppetlabs/apache (Puppet)
>  https://supermarket.chef.io/cookbooks/apache2 (Chef)
>  http://docs.saltstack.com/en/latest/ref/modules/all/salt.modules.apache.html
>  (Salt)
> What makes most sense to you? :-)
> Some links that might be of interest for Puppet:
>  https://forge.puppetlabs.com/ - Puppet Forge
>  https://puppetlabs.com/download-learning-vm - PuppetLabs learning VM with a
>  tutorial to guide you through the concepts
> Another good blog post on Puppet vs Chef vs Ansible:
> http://probably.co.uk/puppet-vs-chef-vs-ansible.html
> Which ever tool you decide to implement, you will need to:
>  - invest time to keep it up to date (current)
>  - be sure to make all changes in the DSL for the systems under its
>  management and not to make changes on the servers itself (otherwise, why
>  bother?)
>  - use Git as source control backend for your code.
> Also, on the topic of OpenStack, I'm not that familiar with it, but this is
> certainly a good read:
> http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2015/02/23/openstack-vs-cloudstack-the-platforms-and-the-cloud-apis/
> as well as this presentation
> http://www.slideshare.net/bizalgo/cloudstack-vs-openstack-vs-eucalyptus-iaas-private-cloud-brief-comparison.
> If I had to build a IaaS infrastructure tomorrow (I've built a European
> wide VDC IaaS offering in the past), I'd look at CloudStack if I had to
> choose from the open source ones.  I'd also advise to start with the
> business requirements first, and then find a technical solution that fits
> the business requirements as closely as possible. :-)
> Good luck, and let us know what you decide to implement!
> Jaco
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Samir S. Omer" <samir.saif at sudren.edu.sd>
> To: sdnog at sdnog.sd
> Sent: Thursday, 5 March, 2015 05:46:14
> Subject: [sdnog] help choosing configuration management utility
> Dear SdNOGgers,
> I'm considering deploying a Configuration Management Utility in my network.
> which software do you recommend for me (Puppet, Chef, Anisble) ?
> also, is there any other factors I should consider before deploying the
> utility?
> on other regard, I like to experiment with OpenStack can you point me to some
> good resources?
> thanks
> Samir
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