Configuration management comparison - Ansible vs CFEngine vs Puppet vs Chef

Configuration management comparison

Ansible vs CFEngine vs Puppet vs Chef

Here is a comparison of various configuration management tool. It is work in progress as I try to learn some of the newer tools and reflect in how they differ from the old ones.

Feature Ansible Puppet CFEngine Chef Comments
Feature Ansible Puppet CFEngine Chef Comments
Version being discussed Ansible Puppet 3.7.4 CFEngine 2 Chef Comments
Agent agentless, use ssh agent/daemon agent run from cronjob, then exit. config read from shared file system. no push mechanism Chef Ansible is different from the pack. Being agentless maybe reason why loved by HPC admins
Guiding principle Idempotent (but not guaranteed) Define what, not how One engine to rule them all Got Knife? Comments
"Feel" Did it run? Oh we can run it again, just to be sure :) Facts based. Not alternative truth! giant state machine, hard to troubleshoot what state is in from a spagetti combination of classes and conditions Getting stabbed :) I only like to eat, don't like to cook
Adopters HPC? DevOps, Ruby lovers? SysAdmins
Config YAML, Jinja template YAML, CFEngine's own syntax
Module/code sharing Playbook, written in python, perl, bash, etc. They are copied to nodes for execution. Ruby CFEngine 2 felt pretty monolithic, don't remeber seeing plugin modules. CFEngine 3 may have such support. Knife, Recipe
Cloud support AWS, OpenStack, many others Yes No special provision in CFEngine 2 Yes YMMV? :)

Example Commands in Ansible

Example Commands in PSSH

Parallel SSH 

Readings Ansible

Readings Puppet

Readings CFEngine

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