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Ansible vs Chef

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Ansible and Chef both are the most popular configuration management tools. Both tools can accomplish many of the same tasks, they each have different strengths, and they perform their tasks in different ways.

This tutorial will explore the strengths and differences of these tools. Before move further, take a glance at Ansible and Chef.


Ansible is an open-source IT engine that automates application deployment, cloud provisioning, intra service orchestration, and other IT tools.

Ansible is easy to deploy because it does not use any agents or custom security infrastructure on the client-side, and by pushing modules to the clients. These modules are executed locally on the client-side, and the output is pushed back to the Ansible server.

It can easily connect to clients using SSH-Keys, simplifying though the whole process. Client details, such as hostnames or IP addresses and SSH ports, are stored in the files, which are called inventory files. If you created an inventory file and populated it, then Ansible can use it.

Ansible uses the playbook to describe automation jobs, and playbook, which uses simple language, i.e., YAML. YAML is a human-readable data serialization language & commonly used for configuration files, but it can be used in many applications where data is being stored.

A significant advantage is that even the IT infrastructure support guys can read and understand the playbook and debug if needed.

Ansible is designed for multi-tier deployment. Ansible does not manage one system at a time, and it models IT infrastructure by describing all of your systems are interrelated. Ansible is entirely agentless, which means Ansible works by connecting your nodes through SSH (by default). Ansible gives the option to you if you want another method for the connection like Kerberos.


The chef is a powerful automation platform that transforms infrastructure into the code. Whether you are operating in the on-premises, cloud, or a hybrid environment.

Chef automates how the infrastructure is deployed, configured, and managed across your network. A chef is an open-source cloud configuration that translates system administration tasks into reusable definitions, otherwise known as recipes and cookbooks.

Chef runs on different platforms such as Windows, AIX, Enterprise Linux distributions, Solaris, FreeBSD, Cisco IO, and Nexus.

It also supports cloud platforms such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform, OpenStack, IBM Bluemix, HPE Cloud, Microsoft Azure, VMware vRealize Automation, and Rackspace.

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