SaltStack vs Ansible: A Complete Comparison in 2024


When it comes to automating server management and configuration, two commonly discussed tools are SaltStack and Ansible. Both options have their strengths and offer distinct features to meet various requirements and preferences in the field of infrastructure as code. In this blog post, we will compare SaltStack and Ansible, looking at their architectures, user-friendliness, performance metrics, and community support. Our goal is to make it easy for readers to understand the differences between these two tools.

We will examine the unique features of each tool to understand how they handle automation tasks, scalability challenges, and integration with existing systems in a simplified manner for the reader. If you’re someone who needs to make a decision about which tool to implement, or if you’re just curious about automation technology, this comparison will provide valuable insights to help you find the best fit for your needs. Let’s explore the world of SaltStack and Ansible, comparing their approaches and evaluating their positions in the competitive landscape of server management and configuration.

What is SaltStack?

SaltStack, also referred to as Salt, is a user-friendly open-source tool for managing configurations and executing commands remotely. Users can easily automate the maintenance and deployment of their IT infrastructures across various environments. SaltStack was created by Thomas Hatch in 2011 and is based on Python. This system is capable of efficiently managing a large number of machines at the same time, making it ideal for environments that require fast and scalable operations.



What Is Ansible?

Ansible is a widely-used open-source tool that simplifies IT automation. It is commonly used for tasks such as application deployment, configuration management, and orchestrating complex operational processes. Ansible, created by Michael DeHaan in 2012, was later acquired by Red Hat in 2015 and has since become a crucial component of Red Hat’s automation tools.



Detailed Comparison of SaltStack and Ansible Features





Master-minion model, requiring a master server

Agentless, uses SSH or WinRM for connections


Uses YAML combined with Jinja

Primarily uses YAML for playbook configurations


Highly scalable, handles thousands of nodes

Scalable but may require tweaks for large setups

Execution Model

Event-driven and asynchronous


Setup and Use

More complex setup, steeper learning curve

Simple and easy to set up, lower learning curve

Management Style

Push and pull methods supported

Mainly push-based management


Highly flexible with extensible modules

Extensible with modules and custom scripts


Very fast due to parallel execution capabilities

Generally fast, though can be slower in large scale due to synchronous nature

Community Support

Strong community, backed by VMware

Very large community, backed by Red Hat

Tool Integration

Integrates with other VMware tools

Extensive integrations, especially in Red Hat ecosystem

Primary Use Cases

Suitable for very large, dynamic environments

Ideal for simpler, straightforward environments

Benefits of Using SaltStack:

SaltStack, also known as Salt, is an open-source infrastructure automation platform that excels in managing and automating the configuration of diverse systems at scale. With SaltStack, you can define infrastructure as code, allowing for consistent provisioning and configuration.

Here are some of the benefits of using SaltStack:

  • Powerful configuration management: SaltStack offers a powerful and flexible configuration management system that can be used to manage a wide range of systems and applications.
  • Robust provisioning: SaltStack can be used to automate the provisioning of new systems, making it a valuable tool for DevOps and cloud computing environments.
  • Efficient orchestration: SaltStack can be used to orchestrate complex processes across multiple systems, making it a valuable tool for managing IT infrastructure.
  • Secure: SaltStack offers a number of security features, including role-based access control and encryption, to help protect your systems and data.
  • Scalable: SaltStack is designed to scale to large environments, making it a good choice for organizations with a large number of systems to manage.

Benefits of Using Ansible:

Ansible is a popular open-source automation tool known for its simplicity and agentless architecture. It automates tasks through playbooks written in YAML, enabling IT teams to describe the desired state of their systems and applications.

Here are some of the benefits of using Ansible:

  • Simple and easy to use: Ansible is a simple and easy-to-use tool that can be quickly learned and adopted by IT teams of all sizes.
  • Agentless: Ansible is an agentless tool, which means that it does not require agents to be installed on the systems being managed. This makes it easy to deploy and manage Ansible, and it also reduces the attack surface of your systems.
  • Flexible: Ansible is a flexible tool that can be used to automate a wide range of tasks, from simple configuration management to complex orchestration.
  • Widely supported: Ansible is a widely supported tool with a large and active community. This makes it easy to find help and resources, and it also ensures that Ansible will continue to be developed and maintained for the foreseeable future.

Comparison of Numerical Features: SaltStack vs Ansible




Adoption Rate

50,000+ contributors, used by more than 50% of Fortune 100 companies

1 million+ active users in online community forum

Performance Metrics

Completes tasks up to 2 times faster than traditional manual processes

Proven to manage configurations across 10,000+ systems simultaneously

Scalability Metrics

Supports up to 10,000+ systems simultaneously

Supports up to 100,000+ systems simultaneously

Community Engagement

Active community forum with over 1 million users

Active community forum with over 50,000 users

Platform Support

Supports a wide range of platforms, including Linux, Windows, macOS, and Unix

Supports a wide range of platforms, including Linux, Windows, macOS, Unix, and cloud platforms

Cost Savings

Reported up to 40% reduction in operational costs

Reported up to 50% reduction in operational costs

Downtime Reduction

Reported 70% decrease in unplanned downtime

Reported 50% decrease in unplanned downtime

Deployment Speed

Accelerates application deployment by 3 times

Accelerates application deployment by 2 times

Security Enhancements

Enforced role-based access control reduces security breaches by 45%

Role-based access control reduces security breaches by 35%

Learning Curve Success

50% reduction in the time required to become proficient

30% reduction in the time required to become proficient

Configuration Accuracy

90% decrease in configuration errors

80% decrease in configuration errors


Ultimately, SaltStack and Ansible provide robust options for automating and overseeing IT infrastructures, addressing specific operational requirements. SaltStack is well-suited for big, intricate environments due to its event-driven and scalable architecture. It’s perfect for enterprises that require real-time data processing and fast execution. Its ability to handle a large number of nodes makes it excellent for dynamic IT environments.

On the other hand, Ansible’s architecture doesn’t require an agent and its YAML scripting is easy to understand, making it a great choice for teams looking to automate with minimal effort. Its operations are designed to ensure reliability and consistency, making it suitable for both small projects and large enterprises looking for efficient management and deployment. When deciding between SaltStack and Ansible, there are a few things to consider such as the size of your environment, the skills of your team, and your existing infrastructure. However, both options have strong communities and plenty of resources available to help you make the most of them.

About Parkar Digital

Parkar Digital, a Gold Certified Microsoft Azure partner, provides technology solutions for Digital Healthcare, Digital Retail & CPG. Our solutions are powered by the Parkar platforms built using Cloud, Opensource, and Customer experience technologies. Our goal is to empower a customer-first approach with digital technologies to deliver human-centric solutions for the clients.


Amit Gandhi

As the Co-Founder and CTO for Parkar Digital, Amit leads the Technology and Engineering teams and is responsible for designing and implementing innovative technology solutions for clients across various industries.​

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Parkar Digital is a digital transformation and software engineering company headquartered in Atlanta, USA, and has engineering teams across India, Singapore, Dubai, and Latin America.

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