Find out what your peers are saying about SaltStack, Microsoft, Red Hat and others in Configuration Management.
279,075 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Find out what your peers are saying about SaltStack, Microsoft, Red Hat and others in Configuration Management.
279,075 professionals have used our research since 2012.
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What is Configuration Management?

Software Configuration Management (SCM) refers to tracking and controlling software changes. SCM tracks software updates. Software engineers will closely monitor software used by the enterprise to stay on top of revision control. SCM assists in detecting and monitoring functional software elements and configurations, tracking version selection and changes, establishing software control and implementing baselines. Software Configuration Management is also known as Software Control Management. SCM is important in IT because new software elements are constantly being added and updated across an enterprise. New operating systems, new databases, new plug-ins, patches, and so forth create an almost constant churn of configuration changes. IT Central Station users are tasked with managing ongoing technical issues in an enterprise. Efficient implementation of Software Configuration Management helps improve productivity by establishing communication and coordination among programmers for ideal functioning of the IT team. A Software Configuration Management system manages the output and functionality of basic components including software objects, program code, test data, test output, design documents, and user manuals. The Software Configuration Management process is intended to increase clarity and open communication among team members. Benefits and advantages of Software Configuration Management allow IT Central Station professionals to reduce redundant work, effectively manage simultaneous updates, track defects with traceability, help with build management and avoid configuration-related issues. Well-coordinated teams should deliver analytics for management and support a smooth functioning organization. Communication is vital in Software Configuration Management because system architecture and decisions affect app development and maintenance, infrastructure, security, auditing, and compliance. IT Central Station IT users are looking for ease of use for the best software fit with their assets, such as ASCII or binary, and look at variables such as compatibility of file size. Vendor support is key when IT closely are evaluating software purchases and is critical during the Proof of Concept (POC) stage, as well as over lifetime of the product.

Best Configuration Management Solutions

Read top reviews of Configuration Management solutions from the IT Central Station community:
Your trust is our top concern, so companies can't alter or remove reviews.
SaltStack
Real User
IT Support at a tech vendor with 51-200 employees
Sep 20 2016

What is most valuable?

The initial learning curve is low. I had a working configuration building fairly complex proprietary Internet servers within a couple of months, well before the rest of our server team was ready for production builds. The developers are very... more»

How has it helped my organization?

We have developed a complete, multi-tiered, stable build system for our Internet servers with SaltStackas the base of the build system. It is stable and easy to modify as we grow and change our needs.

What needs improvement?

We currently use the Salt Cloud module for integration with Amazon Web Services, but I would like to see more integration with AWS, specifically an ability to stably control an ever-expanding and contracting cloud of EC2 instances in a sane... more»
SaltStack
Real User
Lead Devops at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Sep 26 2016

What is most valuable?

Remote execution in itself is a big time saver at any scale. For example, a particular incident happened at one of my previous organizations. We had to do a PoC on a lot of servers, where traffic was to be generated from a few hundred... more»

How has it helped my organization?

Currently, most of our configuration is in SaltStack, so scaling up when necessary with or without Salt Cloud would be real easy. Traditionally, the team here expects the use of Golden AMIs for scaling up the infra, which, though useful, has... more»

What needs improvement?

Personally, I feel that SaltStack has many renderers, but the documentation was a bit lacking renderer. So, if the documentation around renderers is improved, it will help anyone with a very specific use case.
Find out what your peers are saying about SaltStack, Microsoft, Red Hat and others in Configuration Management.
279,075 professionals have used our research since 2012.
SaltStack
Consultant
Systems Administrator, Deployment Specialist Consultant at a tech vendor with 1,001-5,000 employees
Feb 26 2017

What is most valuable?

* Hybrid/multi-cloud infrastructure automation capability * Configuration management * Complex orchestrations * Imperative programming style * Declarative “states” DSL * Simple YAML syntax * Vitality of open source community involvement *... more»

How has it helped my organization?

Preparation of Hybris Commerce HY300 training laboratory environments and Hybris Expert Services demo infrastructure went from days of effort down to hours. Reliability and consistency is no longer a concern.

What needs improvement?

Code maturity is reaching a point where refactoring some internals will be important to maintain the rate of improvement. The software has evolved at a breakneck pace, and there is a lot of legacy code which needs refactoring and cleanup.... more»
Red Hat
User
Systems Engineer with 1,001-5,000 employees
Nov 17 2017

What is most valuable?

The beauty of Ansible.

How has it helped my organization?

There is some overhead in setting up the initial playbooks, but it now takes less time to set up 10 servers than it did to configure one in the past. Also, the setup is consistent because there is not the concern that someone forgot to... more»

What needs improvement?

Because Ansible is establishing SSH sessions to perform tasks, there is a limit on scalability. Speed and the sheer number of open connections start to become issues past a couple hundred servers. There are some workarounds, but that is a key... more»
SaltStack
Real User
Senior Full Stack Web Developer at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Feb 23 2017

What is most valuable?

States, pillars, and custom modules have all taken us a long way in achieving our goals. There is great depth to it and we're looking forward to exploring all of its features.

How has it helped my organization?

We are moving from managing a handful of individual servers to being able to manage large scale collections. If we need to fit a particular use case, SaltStack makes it very easy to provision a new cloud instance quickly and almost effortlessly.

What needs improvement?

There are a number of bugs and regression errors that can make it frustrating at times, but given the flexibility so far I have found adequate workarounds. The GITFS is flawed and requires a lot more work. We were able to construct our own... more»
SaltStack
Consultant
Infrastructure Architect at a tech vendor with 51-200 employees
Sep 18 2016

What is most valuable?

The two most valuable features to us are beacon related. We can use the beacons to alert that a service is stopped, and restart it almost instantly. Also, we can use the beacons to alert based on whatever monitoring metric we see fit. For... more»

How has it helped my organization?

We use it to automatically install software on servers with the minion installed – based on the server name. So we can bring any machine up to spec by simply changing the host name. We have plans to automate it even further; it is just a... more»

What needs improvement?

The online documentation is lackluster at best. It usually only gives one example of how to do something. If you want to see all possibilities, you have to look at the Python code for the SaltStack modules themselves. They are commented... more»
SaltStack
Real User
Head of Operations and Infrastructure at a software R&D company with 51-200 employees
Jul 26 2017

What is most valuable?

The ability to programmatically describe the desired state of a single, or an entire fleet of servers, on-premises, and in a cloud environment.

How has it helped my organization?

SaltStack gave us very useful automation tools that allowed us to standardize our environment, move at a much faster pace through repeatable deployments, and self-documentation of our infrastructure. It allows us to describe the desired state... more»

What needs improvement?

Each new version seems to bring a new set of bugs to the table and upgrading is risky, especially for a tool at the core of the operations and infrastructure. A hardened set of tests would be much appreciated. We have encountered many bugs... more»
SaltStack
Real User
Principal Architect at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
Sep 21 2016

What is most valuable?

The Salt Formulas are very, very helpful, as they help to get the configuration needed to install any new package and configuring the same; very, very simple and easy.

How has it helped my organization?

We have scaled from two servers to about 140 servers in a very short period of time. This would have been a nightmare had it not been for the SaltStack configurations.

What needs improvement?

I think debugging can be improved. In case of errors, the devOps team finds it difficult to read the Python stack traces at times. Although the Salt Formulas have matured recently, they still have some glitches. They are open-source... more»
SaltStack
Real User
Senior Devops Engineer at a tech company with 501-1,000 employees
Sep 18 2016

What is most valuable?

Cross-platform Windows and Linux support: We run a Windows infrastructure within AWS with several key services deployed on Linux instances.

How has it helped my organization?

We have been able to integrate with AWS to deploy continuous delivery services with an extremely quick turnaround time. Salt lets us manage those instances, and control the deployment seamlessly.

What needs improvement?

Windows support and support in general: Getting responses to problems can take weeks or months in my experience. Windows support is advertised as a first-rate supported platform; however, it is ripe with issues that have added countless hours... more»
SaltStack
Real User
Systems Administrator at a cloud provider with 501-1,000 employees
Sep 18 2016

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is Salt Cloud due to its ability to tie into VMware, as well as Salt Orchestration, because it allows us to script the process of setting up an entire infrastructure.

How has it helped my organization?

This product has saved us time in standing up new servers, as well as allowed us to automate the deployment of these servers and the applications that run on them.

What needs improvement?

* Documentation can be hard to find and examples aren't as detailed. In Salt, you can use modules in an SLS file, as well as via command line. A lot of the time, the official documentation only has a command line example and you've got to dig... more»
SaltStack
Real User
Senior Information Technology Specialist at a tech company with 51-200 employees
Sep 18 2016

What is most valuable?

Remote code execution is the most valuable feature; also some of the configuration automation and the automated deployment possibilities it gives us.

How has it helped my organization?

We can now deploy a new (Linux-based) ERP server in 15 minutes; automated, all using the same template and standard. Before this, would take us two hours following a documented procedure.

What needs improvement?

Overall, the documentation is good but improvements can be made in documenting "real world" examples and practical usage. How to's and "best practices" that go a bit further would be really helpful to make sure you're using the product the... more»
SaltStack
Real User
Software Engineer at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Sep 27 2016

What do you think of SaltStack?

Valuable Features Configuration file templating: limits the amount of copy/pasted configuration across services with minor differences Near instant orchestration: no waiting to see if a change worked Well-formatted and detailed command output and logs: make troubleshooting easy and break/fix recovery fast • Improvements to My Organization Developers and systems engineers could work together more closely. • Room for Improvement Salt does not support performing remote actions that require a sudo password with Salt SSH (agentless Salt execution). Ansible does support this feature. • Use of Solution I have used it for two years. • Stability Issues I have not encountered any stability issues in the last year. • Customer Service and Technical Support Official...
SaltStack
Real User
Freelance at a tech consulting company with 51-200 employees
Feb 28 2017

What is most valuable?

Configuration management: We were using SaltStack for orchestration in liaison with OpenStack. It was good for Linux machines, but the Windows experience was fragile.

How has it helped my organization?

They put in a few patches for Windows machine orchestration, but the experience was still painful.

What needs improvement?

Hands down, the main thing for improvement is Windows orchestration. Repo is very limited and multiple issues occur when installing vendor products. Other areas would be to build test cases, with ease, for states. I haven’t found one.... more»
SaltStack
Real User
Sr Engineer/Team Lead at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Jun 08 2017

What is most valuable?

* Bulk/Remote execution * Event/Reactor system * Configuration Management These features serve as the most critical pieces for automating anything, not just state, but also execution and remediation. I don’t want to build automation that just... more»

How has it helped my organization?

SaltStack provides the capability necessary to truly streamline our SDLC and environment management. From a high level, it allows coders to code, testers to test (automated testing too), and admins to admin in the most inter-connected and... more»

What needs improvement?

* Web UI * Maintenance of their code
SaltStack
Real User
Release Engineer at a software R&D company with 501-1,000 employees
Sep 27 2016

What do you think of SaltStack?

Valuable Features Configuration management Remote execution Grain & mine I like knowing what state my machines are in, and I like being able to change their state all at once. • Improvements to My Organization Some of what we do, we could not do without SaltStack. • Room for Improvement Sometimes it feels like there are more moving parts than is necessary, and maybe something simpler would do. • Use of Solution I have used it for two years. • Stability Issues As long as the versions matched, we have not encountered any horrible stability issues so far. :) • Scalability Issues The opposite: It does better with more nodes than it does with fewer, in my opinion. • Customer Service and Technical Support The docs, though sometimes cryptic, are excellent...
SaltStack
Real User
Dev Ops Engineer at a software R&D company with 501-1,000 employees
Sep 21 2016

What is most valuable?

* Extensibility and flexibility * Open source * Active community Also, the text-based configuration is very important to discern differences in version control. It also means it is easily configured with templates, and easily edited.

How has it helped my organization?

Salt lets you run commands on hundreds of servers at once; and sync up software, tools, and scripts across your infrastructure.

What needs improvement?

The flexibility can hurt sometimes, as there are so many ways to accomplish the same task. I don’t want to give the wrong impression; the flexibility helps more often than it hurts. However, when there are multiple choices to a complex... more»
SaltStack
Real User
DevOps Engineer at a tech company with 51-200 employees
Feb 23 2017

What is most valuable?

Execution modules. It is designed for system administrators rather than for developers. It covers maximum functionality and makes automation easy.

How has it helped my organization?

As it provides maximum functionality, it keeps automation short and sweet. This helps writing automation in a modular format. SaltStack helped us in optimizing infrastructure related tasks, such as operations.

What needs improvement?

There should be some mechanism to push agents to the target device. Also, it should focus on managing networking devices. In order to manage Salt minions from a Salt master, we have to install the Salt agent. As of now, there is no mechanism... more»
SaltStack
Real User
Help Desk Specialist at a software R&D company with 501-1,000 employees
Nov 24 2016

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are: * Setting configurations options dynamically for servers * Pulling information about all computers

How has it helped my organization?

We are able to control updates on servers to streamline the process

What needs improvement?

There is still development for states and pillars. The software is open-source so it allows for extreme customizability. If there is something that you think could be improved, you can code it. Our company is currently working on a few... more»
Red Hat
Real User
Senior DevOps/Build Engineer at a tech vendor with 1,001-5,000 employees
Feb 26 2017

What do you think of Ansible?

Valuable Features I like Ansible because it is: Easy to use. Easy to read. Easy to maintain. Easy to support. It works without an agent. • Improvements to My Organization It has made software installation and updates much easier. Tasks including changing or checking configurations and files have been improved especially considering the big scope of servers. • Room for Improvement It could work with a larger number of servers. • Use of Solution I've been working with Ansible since v0.7 and still use v2.2. • Stability Issues We only encountered issues with syntax, as sometimes it was changed and then one has to adapt. • Scalability Issues There were a few scalability issues. I had no problems as long as the number of servers was less than 500. When the number...
SaltStack
Real User
System and Network Administrator at a tech company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Sep 25 2016

What is most valuable?

* Reactors, because of the automation help they provide (reacting to custom events). * State dependency trees, because a state can be linked to the status of another state, allowing you to particularize the behaviour of the software in some... more»

How has it helped my organization?

For example, with automation, before SaltStack, user management to access servers by SSH was done "by hand". The risk was leaving life-long access for some users, who were no longer with the company.

What needs improvement?

Integration in BASH Scripts: Maybe I’m just lazy, but I've not been able to find a mapping between state execution success/failure and Salt command return codes.
Find out what your peers are saying about SaltStack, Microsoft, Red Hat and others in Configuration Management.
279,075 professionals have used our research since 2012.
29
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