SaltStack - Competitors

Salt, Puppet, Chef, and Ansible are the leading configuration management and orchestration tools, each of which takes a different path to server automation. They were built to make it easier to configure and maintain dozens, hundreds or even thousands of servers.

Let us understand how SaltStack competes primarily with Puppet, Chef, and Ansible.

Platforms and Support

Following is a list of all the platforms that support SaltStack and its competitors.

  • SaltStack − SaltStack software runs on and manages many versions of Linux, Windows, Mac OS X and UNIX.

  • Puppet − Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS, Oracle Linux, Scientific Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and Ubuntu.

  • Chef − Chef is supported on multiple platforms such as AIX, RHEL/CentOS, FreeBSD, OS X, Solaris, Microsoft Windows and Ubuntu.

  • Ansible − Fedora distribution of Linux, CentOS, and Scientific Linux via Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL) as well as for other operating systems.

Origin Language

  • SaltStack − Python

  • Puppet − Ruby

  • Chef − Ruby and its CLI uses ruby-based DSL

  • Ansible − Python

Supported Language

  • SaltStack − Any language

  • Puppet − Ruby

  • Chef − Ruby and its CLI uses ruby-based DSL

  • Ansible − Any language

Web UI

  • SaltStack − Web UI offers views of running jobs, minion status and event logs.

  • Puppet − Web UI handles reporting, inventorying and real-time node management.

  • Chef − Web UI lets you search and inventory nodes, view node activity and assign Cookbooks, roles and nodes.

  • Ansible − Web UI lets you configure users, teams and inventories and apply Playbooks to inventories.

Management Tools

  • SaltStack − SaltStack Enterprise is positioned as the main tool for managing the orchestration of cloud and IT operations, as well as DevOps.

  • Puppet − Puppet comes in two flavors, Puppet Enterprise and Open Source Puppet. In addition to providing functionalities of the Open Source Puppet, Puppet Enterprise also provides GUI, API and command line tools for node management.

  • Chef − CFEngine is the configuration management tool.

  • Ansible − Ansible 1.3 is the main tool for management.


  • SaltStack − Salt is designed for high-performance and scalability. Salt’s communication system establishes a persistent data pipe between the Salt master and minions using ZeroMQ.

  • Puppet − Secure as well as high-performance and no agents required.

  • Chef − The most apparent struggle for Chef Server is search; Search is slow and is not requested concurrently from clients.

  • Ansible − Secure, high-performance and no agents required.

Price and Value

  • SaltStack − Free open source version. SaltStack Enterprise costs $150 per machine per year.

  • Puppet − Free open source version. Puppet Enterprise costs $100 per machine per year.

  • Chef − Free open source version; Enterprise Chef free for 5 machines, $120 per month for 20 machines, $300 per month for 50 machines.

  • Ansible − Free open source version; Ansible free for 10 machines, then $100 or $250 per machine per year depending on the support you needed.


  • SaltStack − SaltStack is used by Cisco and Rackspace. It can integrate with any cloud-based platform.

  • Puppet − Puppet is used by Zynga, Twitter, the New York Stock Exchange, PayPal, Disney, Google and so on.

  • Chef − Chef can integrate with cloud-based platforms such as Internap, Amazon EC2, Google Cloud Platform, OpenStack, Microsoft Azure and Rackspace.

  • Ansible − Ansible can deploy to virtualization environments, cloud environments including Amazon Web Services, Cloud Stack, DigitalOcean, and Google Cloud Platform and so on.