SaltStack Overview

SaltStack is the #4 ranked solution in our list of top Network Automation tools. It is most often compared to VMware vRealize Automation (vRA): SaltStack vs VMware vRealize Automation (vRA)

What is SaltStack?

SaltStack is an intelligent IT automation platform that can manage, secure, and optimize any infrastructure—on-prem, in the cloud, or at the edge. It’s built on a unique and powerful event-driven automation engine that detects events in any system and reacts intelligently to them, making it an extremely effective solution for managing large, complex environments. And with the newly launched SecOps offering, SaltStack can detect security vulnerabilities and non-compliant, mis-configured systems. As soon as an issue is detected, this powerful automation helps you and your team remediate it, keeping your infrastructure securely configured, compliant, and up-to-date.

Buyer's Guide

Download the Configuration Management Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: May 2021

SaltStack Customers

IBM Cloud

TD Bank

ScotiaBank

LinkedIn

eBay

Liberty Mutual

Target

Hyatt

Cyxtera

NetApp

Facebook

Lyft

SaltStack Video

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Head of Operations and Infrastructure at a computer software company with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Gave us automation tools that allowed us to standardize our environment.

Pros and Cons

  • "The ability to programmatically describe the desired state of a single, or an entire fleet of servers, on-premises, and in a cloud environment."
  • "A hardened set of tests would be much appreciated."

What other advice do I have?

Take some time to learn the types of problems it can solve and you will easily see the benefits that it can bring.
Sr Engineer/Team Lead at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Serves to automate state, execution, and remediation.

Pros and Cons

  • "I want to build automation that is intelligent, part of the fabric of our environment, and is somewhat self-sustaining. I think SaltStack can help me do this."
  • "Web UI."

What other advice do I have?

Do it and take full advantage of its capability. Be creative and automate everything you can with it.
Find out what your peers are saying about SaltStack, Red Hat, Microsoft and others in Configuration Management. Updated: May 2021.
501,151 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Principal Systems Engineer Lead Dev Ops at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
We can deploy and redeploy code and platform. We can also maintain system compliance.

What other advice do I have?

Adopt it in full, including the API.
Freelance at a tech consulting company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
In liaison with OpenStack, orchestration for Linux machines is valuable. Hands down, the main thing for improvement is Windows orchestration.

What other advice do I have?

Stay away from Windows orchestration. Have an alternative for orchestrating Windows machines. Think about how to prepare test cases when things change. The breaks spread like wildfire.
Systems Administrator, Deployment Specialist Consultant at a tech vendor with 1,001-5,000 employees
Consultant
Configuration management solution that allows conditional remote control operations on different targeted infrastructures.

What other advice do I have?

Make sure you have cross-functional collaboration between your development teams and operations teams. Develop configuration as code in parallel with code development. Use SaltStack to deploy and control both development sandbox environments and also full scale test and production environments.
Senior Consultant at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Consultant
Enables agentless application deployment.

What other advice do I have?

This product is in good shape now and the community support is vibrant. I learned a lot from them while implementing it.
Senior Full Stack Web Developer at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
We have moved from managing a handful of individual servers to being able to manage large scale collections.

What other advice do I have?

If you are planning to use the open source version, plan to allocate more project time than you think you need. However, once it's in place it will save you a great deal of effort.
DevOps Engineer at a tech company with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Uses execution modules to automate processes.

What other advice do I have?

As a DevOps engineer, this CM tool is truly made for system administrator usability rather than for the developer.
CEO at a computer software company with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Executes remote commands on all targets at once with the distributed shell. Upgrades all of our machines with one command using Package Helper.

What other advice do I have?

Read the documentation. There is nothing fancy or special to know before using it.
Senior System Engineer at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Consultant
We used a SaltStack agent as a “Convergence” agent which provided us with management, monitoring, and backup capabilities.
Help Desk Specialist at a computer software company with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
Allows you to control the updates on servers. Enables you to pull information on all computers.

What other advice do I have?

Read the documentation to learn as much as you can.
Technical Architect at a tech company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
We use it for system deployment with AWS, and for OS and application patching.

What other advice do I have?

I have no advice; it depends on infrastructure & application.
IT Engineer Associate - 3rd Rotation at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
It offers interoperability between operating systems and can perform mass automation with triggering.

What other advice do I have?

I recommend SaltStack because, for SysOps or DevOps users, automation is a key part of getting your product out and allows for faster time to market.
DevOps Engineer at a tech consulting company with 501-1,000 employees
Consultant
The service automation is the basis of my work.

What other advice do I have?

Read the docs.
Software Engineer at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Consultant
Configuration file templating limits copying and pasting. Agentless exeuction does not support remote actions that require a sudo password.

What other advice do I have?

Look at Digital Ocean's guide for initially setting up the Salt server (https://www.digitalocean.com/community/tutorials/saltstack-infrastructure-installing-the-salt-master). Group your configurations by logical components, serve any environment/deployment-specific variables from pillar files, and keep templates as simple as possible (put logic for assigning variables in the *.sls files where there's likely to be other logic).
Release Engineer at a computer software company with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
I like knowing what state my machines are in, and being able to change their state all at once.

What other advice do I have?

Thoroughly research how SaltStack works; that knowledge has helped me a lot. SaltStack is a one-stop-shop for your datacenter's management, monitoring and state control needs. Using it that way allows you to get the most out of the tool. It is configuration management, but also orchestration, monitoring, and has reactive capabilities.
Lead Devops at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Consultant
Remote execution can generate traffic. It was up and running in minutes.

What other advice do I have?

Create valid states for all environments and keep the difference between these environments minimal. Use test cases as much as possible.
Integration Engineer (DevOps) at a tech company with 51-200 employees
Vendor
It is simple to create Python-based templates and create functions for actions not covered by the Jinja engine.

What other advice do I have?

Be patient and you'll get a great solution.
System and Network Administrator at a tech company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Reactors help with automation. A state can be linked to the status of another state.
Dev Ops Engineer at a computer software company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Configuration is text-based. You can use templates, and it is easily edited.

What other advice do I have?

Have a good plan about how you are going to target your infrastructure; a solid naming convention helps a lot.
Senior System Engineer at a computer software company with 51-200 employees
Vendor
It is fast, making it convenient and practical, allowing me to get information about my servers in no time.

What other advice do I have?

Just install it and use it for remote execution at first. You'll see how powerful it is.
Principal Architect at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
Salt Formulas help to get the configuration needed to install any new package.

What other advice do I have?

Ansible and SaltStack are very good solutions. I prefer SaltStack as its been developed from the ground up and is a lot better than Puppet and Chef.
IT Support at a tech vendor with 51-200 employees
Vendor
The initial learning curve is low. I had a working configuration building fairly complex proprietary Internet servers within a couple of months.

What other advice do I have?

I spent my time learning Saltstack through trial and error, researching the online document system as needed. If you decide to use SaltStack, buy the O'Reilly book called Salt Essentials first. It is not very big, but it explains the concepts required to get a working system very well. I think if I had gotten the book first, I would have cut my initial time spent learning in half.
Senior Devops Engineer at a tech company with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
It offers cross-platform Windows and Linux support. Windows support is ripe with issues that have added hours to our roadmap.

What other advice do I have?

Don’t rely on the SaltStack documentation alone; use Google and other resources to find help, if you are not going for paid support. Windows support is lacking but you can overcome the issues with a bit of ingenuity.
Senior Information Technology Specialist at a tech company with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Deploying new Linux-based ERP servers is now automated, using the same template and standard.

What other advice do I have?

Try it out; it won't cost you anything but some time.
Systems Administrator at a cloud provider with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
It ties into VMware and allows us to script the process of setting up an entire infrastructure.

What other advice do I have?

Define the scope of what you need a configuration management tool to use and then look at all available options and the potential drawbacks of those options. Nothing can beat hiring a sys admin with experience in different technologies.
Infrastructure Architect at a tech vendor with 11-50 employees
Vendor
We use the beacons to alert based on whatever monitoring metric we see fit.

What other advice do I have?

Absolutely, positively, go to YouTube first before looking at the documentation. Documentation gives you a great start of what you need, then you look at the code to see the configurable options.
Senior Consultant IT Infrastructure at a tech consulting company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
With it, I'm able to rollout critical updates on all affected servers regardless of the number of servers.
Buyer's Guide
Download our free Configuration Management Report and find out what your peers are saying about SaltStack, Red Hat, Microsoft, and more!