Chef vs Puppet: Comparing DevOps tools

Which of these DevOps solutions is best for your enterprise? Read this helpful feature comparison of Chef and Puppet to learn more.

chef vs puppet
Image: kiwar/Adobe Stock

If you’re looking for DevOps tools, there’s a good chance that Chef and Puppet have come up in your research. Here’s a breakdown of what Chef and Puppet offer and why you might find the DevOps tools well-suited for your business.

SEE: Hiring kit: Back-end Developer (TechRepublic Premium)

What is Chef?

Progress Chef is a configuration management tool that allows for the converting of infrastructure to code and removing many of the manual processes. Chef facilitates efficient management and configuration of a company’s servers.

What is Puppet?

Puppet is another configuration management solution. People use it by defining the desired states of systems in their infrastructure. Puppet then automates what’s necessary to get them to that point and maintain that status.

Chef vs. Puppet: Feature comparison

FeatureChefPuppet
Multimaster systemNoYes
Developer-orientedYesNo
App deploymentNoYes
Reporting capabilitiesYesYes

Head-to-head comparison: Chef vs. Puppet

Configuration setup and language

Both Chef and Puppet use the pull configuration, which automatically takes configurations from the central server without requiring commands.

Chef uses the Ruby programming language. In Chef, the information about everything that must be changed, created or run on a node is included in a recipe. Ruby then tells Chef which actions to take for system configuration.

Puppet software uses its own configuration language, designed for system administrators rather than people with extensive programming experience. Its core purpose is for resource declarations. Users can also group resources into larger configuration units called classes.

Automation

Chef Automate is a supplemental tool people can use to facilitate automation for infrastructure, security and applications. It shows real-time data and helps users collaborate across teams. Chef Automation also has prebuilt profiles for maintaining system compliance, including through software patch deployment and other security measures.

Puppet also provides prebuilt workflows and makes it easy for people to customize to meet workplace requirements. These automations work across cloud-native and hybrid environments.

Availability

Both Chef and Puppet achieve high uptime rates.

If Chef’s main server experiences downtime, a backup server takes over. Chef can also provide automated load balancing and failover for the system architecture’s stateful components.

Puppet uses a multimaster system. If the previously active master goes down, other masters take over for it. You can send commands to a server and have them reconciled by another server without creating conflicts.

Which DevOps tool should you choose?

Consider both of these options while evaluating your company’s current needs and the skills team members have. Some people caution that you’ll need strong Ruby skills to get the most out of Chef, which is a developer-centered tool, and you may find Puppet the better choice if your company’s DevOps team has a wider variety of competencies.

People who have used both products say they experienced a steep learning curve when setting up and managing them. If your company’s decision-makers have narrowed down the potential products to these two, set aside enough time to go through the setup process slowly and remain patient.

The amount of control you want to have over the backend is also worth consideration as you make a choice. Puppet allows you to state the desired states but does not let you tweak how the product reaches and maintains them. If the people using Chef have the necessary Ruby programming knowledge, they can exert more control over what happens in the background.

Puppet is also based on a more traditional approach to server configuration and management. If many of your organization’s leaders prefer to go with a product that feels more familiar, Puppet may be the better choice. Chef is the newer of the two products, and some users describe it as more modern. That could be either a good or bad thing, depending on the needs of your organization.

Bookmark PeakNews For The Latest News Update
+ +