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Ansible vs Octopus Deploy: What are the differences?


This Markdown code provides a comparison between Ansible and Octopus Deploy, highlighting the key differences between the two.

  1. Installation and Architecture: Ansible is a server-agentless configuration management tool, while Octopus Deploy is a server-agent based deployment automation tool. Ansible uses SSH or WinRM to connect to remote servers, while Octopus Deploy requires agents to be installed on target machines. Ansible follows a push-based model, where the controller pushes configurations to the target machines, while Octopus Deploy follows a pull-based model, where agents pull deployments from the Octopus Server.

  2. Supported Platforms: Ansible is platform-agnostic and can be used to manage and configure a wide range of operating systems and platforms. It supports Linux, Unix, macOS, and Windows. On the other hand, Octopus Deploy primarily focuses on deploying applications to Windows servers, with limited support for Linux and macOS.

  3. Configuration Management: Ansible provides a declarative approach to configuration management, where desired states are declared and Ansible takes care of reaching those states. It uses YAML-based playbooks to define tasks and configurations. Octopus Deploy, on the other hand, focuses more on deployment management than configuration management. It allows for more flexibility in defining deployment processes and workflows, but lacks the extensive configuration management capabilities of Ansible.

  4. Scalability and Orchestration: Ansible is designed to work at a large scale and supports orchestrating and managing configurations across thousands of servers. It provides advanced features like dynamic inventory, parallel execution, and rolling updates to handle large-scale deployments efficiently. Octopus Deploy, on the other hand, is more suited for smaller to medium-sized deployments and may not be as scalable as Ansible for large-scale environments.

  5. Integration and Ecosystem: Ansible has a large and active community, with a vast ecosystem of modules, plugins, and integrations available. It can be easily integrated with other DevOps tools and has extensive support for various cloud platforms, containerization technologies, and version control systems. Octopus Deploy has a smaller community and ecosystem compared to Ansible, with limited integrations and plugins available.

  6. Pricing and Licensing: Ansible is an open-source tool under the GNU General Public License (GPL) and is available for free. It also offers a commercial version, Ansible Tower, with additional features and enterprise support. Octopus Deploy is a commercial tool and follows a subscription-based licensing model. It offers different pricing tiers based on the number of target deployment targets and users.

In summary, Ansible is an agentless configuration management tool with broader platform support, extensive configuration management capabilities, and a larger ecosystem. Octopus Deploy, on the other hand, is a deployment automation tool with focus on Windows deployments, flexible deployment workflows, and a more limited ecosystem.

Advice on Ansible and Octopus Deploy
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Puppet LabsPuppet Labs

I'm just getting started using Vagrant to help automate setting up local VMs to set up a Kubernetes cluster (development and experimentation only). (Yes, I do know about minikube)

I'm looking for a tool to help install software packages, setup users, etc..., on these VMs. I'm also fairly new to Ansible, Chef, and Puppet. What's a good one to start with to learn? I might decide to try all 3 at some point for my own curiosity.

The most important factors for me are simplicity, ease of use, shortest learning curve.

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Replies (2)

I have been working with Puppet and Ansible. The reason why I prefer ansible is the distribution of it. Ansible is more lightweight and therefore more popular. This leads to situations, where you can get fully packaged applications for ansible (e.g. confluent) supported by the vendor, but only incomplete packages for Puppet.

The only advantage I would see with Puppet if someone wants to use Foreman. This is still better supported with Puppet.

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Gabriel Pa

If you are just starting out, might as well learn Kubernetes There's a lot of tools that come with Kube that make it easier to use and most importantly: you become cloud-agnostic. We use Ansible because it's a lot simpler than Chef or Puppet and if you use Docker Compose for your deployments you can re-use them with Kubernetes later when you migrate

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Pros of Ansible
Pros of Octopus Deploy
  • 284
  • 210
    Great configuration
  • 199
  • 176
  • 155
    Easy to learn
  • 69
  • 55
    Doesn't get in the way of getting s--- done
  • 35
    Makes sense
  • 30
    Super efficient and flexible
  • 27
  • 11
    Dynamic Inventory
  • 9
    Backed by Red Hat
  • 7
    Works with AWS
  • 6
    Cloud Oriented
  • 6
    Easy to maintain
  • 4
    Vagrant provisioner
  • 4
    Simple and powerful
  • 4
    Multi language
  • 4
  • 4
    Because SSH
  • 4
    Procedural or declarative, or both
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
    Debugging is simple
  • 2
    Merge hash to get final configuration similar to hiera
  • 2
    Fast as hell
  • 1
    Manage any OS
  • 1
    Work on windows, but difficult to manage
  • 1
    Certified Content
  • 30
  • 25
  • 20
    Easy to learn
  • 17
    .Net oriented
  • 14
    Easy to manage releases and rollback
  • 8
    Allows multitenancy
  • 4
    Nice interface

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Cons of Ansible
Cons of Octopus Deploy
  • 8
  • 5
    Hard to install
  • 3
    Doesn't Run on Windows
  • 3
  • 3
    Backward compatibility
  • 2
    No immutable infrastructure
  • 4
    Poor UI
  • 2
    Config & variables not versioned (e.g. in git)
  • 2
    Management of Config

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What is Ansible?

Ansible is an IT automation tool. It can configure systems, deploy software, and orchestrate more advanced IT tasks such as continuous deployments or zero downtime rolling updates. Ansible’s goals are foremost those of simplicity and maximum ease of use.

What is Octopus Deploy?

Octopus Deploy helps teams to manage releases, automate deployments, and operate applications with automated runbooks. It's free for small teams.

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What companies use Ansible?
What companies use Octopus Deploy?
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What are some alternatives to Ansible and Octopus Deploy?
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