Beyond Puppet and Chef: Managing PostgreSQL with Ansible

Velocity 2013 Speaker Series

Think configuration management is simply a decision between Chef or Puppet? PalaminoDB CTO (and Lead DB Engineer for Obama’s 2012 campaign) Jay Edwards (@meangrape) discusses his upcoming Velocity talk about Ansible, an alternative configuration management offering that is quick and easy to start using.

Key highlights include:

  • Unlike Puppet or Chef, Ansible has no notion of a centralized server. [Discussed at 1:30]
  • Ansible lets you get started more quickly and easily by doing everything via SSH. [Discussed at 2:12]
  • It’s also good for small-scale projects, such as home or personal things where no persistent state is required. [Discussed at 2:47]
  • Configuration in Ansible is all handled via markup in YAML files, so no domain-specific languages (DSL) or Ruby knowledge is required. [Discussed at 3:30]
  • Ansible is easily extensible in any language (not just Ruby). [Discussed at 4:50]
  • While it’s less relevant for someone with existing configuration management installations, Ansible could be useful in certain cases, such as Puppet without mcollective set up. [Discussed at 6:11]

You can watch the entire interview here:

This is one of a series of posts related to the upcoming Velocity conference in Santa Clara, CA (June 18-20). We’ll be highlighting speakers in a variety of ways, from video and email interviews to posts by the speakers themselves.


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topic: Web Perf/Ops
  • mpdehaan

    Thanks Jay and Courtney! For those that want to find more about Ansible, you can find us at and

  • Daniel Koffler

    I have one major government client that just chose Ansible over Chef or Puppet. I’m really enjoying the Ansible experience so far.

  • Walid A. Shaari

    As Jay will not be considering CFEngine, I would say for the first point about centralisation, it is the default way for CFEngine to have autonomous nodes , and for the Configuration point using Yaml, CFEngine is doing data driven configurations using sketchs and what they call Content Driven Policy. which you can define things in data structures in JSON/YAML or whatever.

  • extesy

    I would recommend to choose Salt Stack over Ansible. They have similar features, but Salt’s community and support is so much better than mpdehaan’s censorship.

    • Doshbot

      What exactly do you mean by “censorship”?

      • mpdehaan

        He opened a RFE ticket and I closed it :)