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Puppet vs. Ansible: What's the Difference?

The main difference between Puppet and Ansible is that Puppet is built for complexity, scale, and long-term deployment, while many use Ansible for smaller, simpler deployments. Additionally, Puppet uses desired state automation – Ansible is built to be task-based, and can only be used declaratively with more effort.

Read on and get the solution brief for more information on Puppet vs. Ansible for use cases like continuous compliance.



Puppet vs. Ansible: Understanding Desired State & Task-Based Automation

The flexibility and free availability of task-based automation makes it a tempting option. Ansible playbooks or Puppet plans can orchestrate tasks for a wide variety of on-premises and cloud infrastructure operations.

However, maintaining desired state in heterogeneous operating systems and middleware environments with thousands of systems can quickly become tedious and complex. Operators end up expending more effort maintaining automation tools rather than system state – with no significant savings.

With Puppet, just a few lines of desired state code can do the work of tens or even hundreds of lines of playbook commands and logic. Puppet is designed to keep systems in desired state, reliably and securely, without any additional effort. That means your security teams, as well as auditors, clearly see configuration policies and how they’re enforced.

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Puppet vs. Ansible For Automation

While Ansible’s task automation alone can be valuable, when it comes to enforcing continuous compliance at scale and staying audit ready, desired state automation is the way to go. Check out the Puppet vs. Ansible comparison below, and download our solution brief to learn more.

Continuous Compliance EnforcementDesired State ConfigurationTask Automation
Continuous agent-based enforcement and verification of security and operations policiesYesNo
Built-in self-healing infrastructure capabilities to avoid manual drift remediation of operating system and middleware configurationsYesNo
Human readable policy as code accelerates collaboration and alignment with security teamsYesNo
Infrastructure as code capabilities to remediate and deploy security policy updates to thousands of servers in minutes across cloud regions and data centersYesNo
Ability to quickly scan thousands of nodes to prioritize which CIS Benchmark standards to remediateYesNo
Continuously hardens systems using the latest CIS Benchmark standards frequently used by security teams and auditors for compliance with PCIYesNo
Automatically translates each declarative policy as code statement into tens or hundreds of steps in the right sequence to reduce operator effort and errorYesNo
Self-service compliant builds maintain state to promote test-to-production consistency and avoid the wait for manual security reviewsYesNo
Idempotent by design to eliminate complex workarounds and minimize CPU and network overheadYesNo
Continuous Audit ReadinessDesired State ConfigurationTask Automation
Human readable, agent-enforced policy as code accepted as compliance evidence by auditorsYesNo
Ability to quickly scan thousands of nodes to prioritize which CIS Benchmark standards to remediateYesNo
Continuous estate-wide transparency into security and compliance postureYesNo
Built-in configuration reporting for fast audit preparationYesNo