Question

Images vs Provisioning Tools

  • Posted December 20, 2013

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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Accepted Answer

If you’re new to VPSs, check out Salt (considered by many to be easier to learn than Puppet or Chef). <i>See</i> <a href=“https://www.digitalocean.com/community/articles/how-to-install-salt-on-ubuntu-12-04”>How To Install Salt on Ubuntu 12.04</a>. For more info. on snapshots, check out <a href=“https://www.digitalocean.com/community/articles/digitalocean-backups-and-snapshots-explained”>DigitalOcean Backups and Snapshots Explained</a>. <br> <br><b>“What does that mean for provisioning tools like Chef or Puppet?”</b> <br> <br>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.