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[ale] Of Ansible, Salt and Rex



I've been looking at simple configuration management tools for a long time.

Puppet always seemed to require more setup and forethought than I could muster
for a small number of systems to be managed - less than 50.  The solution seemed
worse than the problem.

I've read, listened, googled, watched and attended talks on
* Ansible,
* Rex (Rexify) and
* Salt
but can't seem to make a decision based on real facts from real-world installations.

Does anyone have real-world experience with these who could compare the results
and setup?


I love the idea that Ansible is 15 minutes to a working setup. YAML is great
too.  Are there commonly used directory structures to support a clear hierarchy
of types of servers? Perhaps a best practice doc
http://ansible.cc/docs/bestpractices.html# that I've missed?

Salt seems to be similar, but with a "pull" architecture. It can add other
layers of servers to more clearly cross network zones and firewall boundaries.

Rex is based on Perl, which I prefer, but as it common with most things perl,
the best practices only come after a few years of toiling.  Writing perl to
maintain a common /etc/hosts across most of these machines seems like overkill.
YAML is a nice idea, heck, I'll even say a better idea. YAML support was added
last month to Rex. http://rexify.org/

Since the meeting last Thursday, I've read Ansible documents, blog articles, the
git project site and watched a few videos from FOSDEM, UTOS, and a meeting in
Canada.

Please help my decision making process with your facts.