Images vs Provisioning Tools

Posted December 20, 2013 3.6k views
I'm a little new to this VPS business so forgive me if this is an obvious question. But it seems that a lot of VPS providers offer the ability to capture image snapshots of system state. What does that mean for provisioning tools like Chef or Puppet? Wouldn't it be a lot easier to deploy a custom image across several droplets than to go through the hassle of setting us a custom Chef recipe?

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If you're new to VPSs, check out Salt (considered by many to be easier to learn than Puppet or Chef). See How To Install Salt on Ubuntu 12.04. For more info. on snapshots, check out DigitalOcean Backups and Snapshots Explained.

"What does that mean for provisioning tools like Chef or Puppet?"

If you're going to clone the EXACT same server across various machines, then snapshots will suffice. Where Chef, Puppet & Salt come in handy, however, is that most folks don't need X amount of the exact same (web) server. What they need are a: database server; web server; load balancer; or clusters of them. Configuration management tools, therefore, exist to allow multiple servers to be configured from one central machine.
by Dave Boucha
In this tutorial, you will install a Salt Master and a Salt Minion on a DigitalOcean droplet running Ubuntu 12.04. You will also begin to explore how Salt works by executing a few simple commands.