[Gluster-infra] Switching from salt to ansible ?

Kaushal M kshlmster at gmail.com
Tue Jan 5 05:25:17 UTC 2016

On Mon, Jan 4, 2016 at 9:57 PM, Michael Scherer <mscherer at redhat.com> wrote:
> Hi,
> so over the holidays, I was pondering on moving to ansible from salt.

I'd like this as well, as I'm more familiar with Ansible as well. If
switching to Ansible helps reduce the burden on you, I think we should
do the switch.

> So the reasons are numerous:
> - I am personally much more efficient with ansible than with salt
> (despite using salt for 1 year). While the 2 tools do the same basic
> stuff, there is always some difference (like user vs owner), and there
> is a totally different philosophy when it come to multiple servers
> orchestration (one example is how I do deploy freeipa on salt vs
> ansible).
> - Since I use ansible for most others projects, I do already have a few
> roles for most of the thing I want to deploy (freeipa, nagios, etc), and
> adding features on them and then again on salt is not very efficient.
> - One of the initial reasons to choose salt was a tiny margin of people
> who know it in the community, vs ansible. I suspect this is no longer
> valid. For example, the vagrant image for developper is made using
> ansible, and I know a few people in the dev community who use ansible. I
> still think no one grok salt.
> - Another of the reason of using salt vs ansible is that salt was much
> faster to apply configuration, especially if done on git commit. While
> that's true, I managed to make it good enough on manageiq.org using
> smart post-commit hook, and salt is getting also slower the more stuff
> we add to configuration.
> - salt in epel is still using a old version ( for dependencies reasons
> ). While this is working well enough, it make contributing quite
> difficult, and prevent using some new features that are needed.
> - having a client/server model is something that caused trouble with
> puppet when they decided to support only 1 version of ruby (around the
> ruby 2.0 time frame). And given the transition of python2 and 3 is
> happening right now in Fedora, I foresee this might be the same kind of
> issue for salt.

I think this would be a problem with Ansible as well, as it depends on
python2. I've faced some small hiccups getting ansible to manage Arch
Linux which uses python3 by default.

> - Fedora is using ansible, and while we can't reuse their code that
> much, we can at least take it and adapt.
> Now, there is a few downsides:
> - it mean rewriting most of the stuff we already have
> - it mean that we depend on sshd to be running. IE, if we screwed ssh
> config (happened in the past), we can't just use salt to fix it.
> - it also mean that we will have a ssh key to connect as root on a
> server, and i am not that confortable with the idea (provided that we
> use the regular method of using ansible, ie push based)
> and maybe other I didn't think of.

I've sometime had Ansible modules which failed to run on the remote
host because it lacked some python packages. This could be a problem
for Ansible. I've not faced this with Salt yet, maybe because the
remote hosts need to have salt installed which would pull in all

> Any opinions ?
> --
> Michael Scherer
> Sysadmin, Community Infrastructure and Platform, OSAS
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