With many diverse server systems to deploy, configure, and maintain for our clients, it is important to have a Managed Configuration and Orchestration platform. There are many different systems in this space like Chef, Puppet, Ansible, Terraform, and Salt Stack. We use and have used many of them, but the preferred system that we love to work with is Salt Stack. So, why do we love Salt Stack?
- It is written in Python and very easy to extend. Many of us are software developers as well, and we love using Python. Salt Stack is a great platform to extend upon and when you need to support a diverse and complex set of needs being able to easily extend the platform is a must.
- It is Open Source. When using a tool for complex issues that are perhaps relatively unique, you will find some issues. Being able to debug and fix the issue ourselves instead of having to wait for a closed source vendor to ‘look into the issue’ helps us move forward with client work instead of being delayed. Our fixes go back into the community pool to make Salt Stack better for everyone.
- It is feature rich. Due to being easy to extend, there are a lot of already deployed extensions making it efficient to migrate existing setups into a managed configuration.
Why are managed system configurations so important?
- The code IS the documentation. This is the general benefit of all managed configuration systems. As long as all configuration and changes are in the managed configuration, that itself becomes a source of knowledge about how the complex infrastructure is setup.
- It becomes very easy to restore and to scale. Since every aspect of an infrastructure’s setup is managed, from its initial deployment and configuration through ongoing maintenance, software release process and decommissioning activities, it is easy to redeploy in case of a catastrophic event. It is also easy to create more of the same infrastructure to increase capacity or to make clones of the infrastructure for other needs such as quality assurance, testing, and simulation.
Typically systems under managed configuration are also left under managed control making them easier to reconfigure and alter from a central management interface making changes across many servers at the same time for greater efficiency and less downtime.
Our team has automation, best practices, and standard operating procedures to help you quickly implement Salt Stack for both new and existing software projects rather than doing the trial and error work yourself to figure it out! We bring our existing library and toolbox of Salt Stack automation to the table.