Ansible and Chef are configuration management (CM) tools designed for system administrators and DevOps professionals. Compare their features to determine which one fits your team’s needs and expectations.
Choosing the right thing DevOps tool can be daunting. Ansible and Chef both have their pros and cons, making it challenging to decide which works best for you. Compare the features of these solutions to make your decision easier.
What is Ansible?
Ansible is an easy-to-use CM software tool in the DevOps world. It is an open source client server that many IT, DevOps and sysadmins use for various projects including CM, software provisioning and application deployment.
According to Ansible’s website, the platform includes all the tools needed to implement enterprise-wide automation, something many organizations invest in. IT professionals often perform the same tasks repeatedly. Ansible allows a team to solve problems once and then use automated solutions.
Ansible architecture in DevOps can accelerate IT work, making teams more efficient and productive. It streamlines collaboration, seamlessly integrates IT technologies, and supports automation across private clouds and containerized workloads.
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What is Chef?
chef is an open-source cloud configuration that can translate sysadmin tasks into reusable definitions, also known as cookbooks and recipes.
IT teams working in the cloud, on-premises, or in a hybrid IT environment can automate how infrastructure is configured, deployed, and ultimately managed across their network. Chef DevOps can quickly run dozens, if not hundreds, of servers and allows programmers and system administrators to collaborate.
Chef software uses a pure Ruby, domain specific language (DSL) for its system configurations. It can also automate infrastructure configuration and application deployment.
Comparison of Ansible vs. Chef Features
Many companies consider DevOps implementation because the benefits are too great to ignore. Research shows that companies with these practices Deploy features 200 times more often than other underperforming organizations.
However, an important factor in DevOps implementation is using the right platforms to support the IT team and drive that efficient implementation.
Below are some pros and cons of Ansible vs Chef that can give a better idea of how these two tools compare.
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Common features of Ansible and Chef
Most CM tools support key features a modern IT team needs to manage an ever-changing digital environment. Here are three components that should help Ansible and Chef with CM processes.
A key feature of the Ansible Automation Platform is the Ansible Automation Hub, which helps break cultural silos. What is Ansible automation and what can it do? Content creators can: access to a single source of truth in the hub for enhanced collaboration. Other tools that aid collaboration include Ansible playbooks, automated task blueprints, services, server nodes, and application programming. Essentially, the Ansible platform enables groups to automate, interact and solve problems across their organization.
The Chef Automate platform increases operational visibility in one uniform spot on each team. It enables developers, operations professionals, and security engineers to collaborate to implement any changes to applications or infrastructures. All professionals in the IT team can use Chef Automate to learn how environments are built and validated.
With Ansible, users have access to a Private Automation Hub, where automation administrators can delegate resources and make automation available, while also applying policies and governance. Ansible automation makes it easier for IT professionals to manage demanding environments using the Automation Services catalog† With Ansible, IT professionals can meet any automation compliance or procurement requirements.
The Chef InSpec Feature gives users access to basic language for security and compliance. Software engineers, operations professionals, and security engineers can all understand compliance, security, and policy requirements at every stage of automation development.
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It’s no secret that a DevOps team needs to have the right equipment to run Ansible or Chef. For example, Ansible’s operating machines must be a Linux/Unix host, such as Debian, CentOS, macOS, BSD, or Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Ansible also requires Python 2.7 or 3.5 to run. It can be used on many cloud platforms, including Amazon Web Services (AWS), DigitalOcean, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure.
Chef runs on Windows, enterprise Linux distributions, Cisco IO, FreeBSD, AIX, Solaris, and Nexus. Some of the cloud platforms Chef supports include AWS, HPE Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, Rackspace, and VMware. Ansible and Chef both have similar characteristics when it comes to interoperability.
Choosing Ansible vs. Chef
Determining whether Ansible or Chef is the right tool can be a challenge. Ansible is a good choice if you’re looking for a simple and easy-to-use platform that uses YAML. Beginners and those working on smaller projects may also prefer this option.
Chef, on the other hand, is the best choice if you’re looking for more functionality and a tool that can handle very complex tasks. If your organization has more experience with DevOps, consider Chef.