Opinions: Ansible vs. SaltStack



  • @pmoncho said in Opinions: Ansible vs. SaltStack:

    @scottalanmiller

    What would be the sense of purchasing a solid open source project like SaltStack?
    Being OS, VMware can add their own developers to the project and still integrate it with their products without the cost of purchasing the company.

    Control of commits is the primary one. Marketing is the second. And often, but it depends on the project, ability to have a closed source copy used somewhere.

    As a software company, it's super common that you maintain a closed source secondary license so that you, as the owners, are not bound to the open source limitations or requirements that other people are. No idea if VMware is going to do this, or if they can (there are licensing factors in the past that determine this), but it's a possible reason.

    A fourth reason is general guidance of the project. You want to ensure quality, determine how it progresses, make sure your own platforms are always a priority, owning it is the best way.

    Fifth, keeping it from falling into someone else's control. Remember IBM did this with Ansible, too. So there is a trend.

    And sixth... revenue. SS brings in money, and you can make way more money as the actual project than as someone who just supports a project. If the later worked just as well, I'd make as much money as IBM does supporting Linux, but owning Red Hat gives them a slight edge 😉



  • @scottalanmiller said in Opinions: Ansible vs. SaltStack:

    Fifth, keeping it from falling into someone else's control.

    Java, MySQL



  • @JaredBusch said in Opinions: Ansible vs. SaltStack:

    @scottalanmiller said in Opinions: Ansible vs. SaltStack:

    Fifth, keeping it from falling into someone else's control.

    Java, MySQL

    Good examples.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Opinions: Ansible vs. SaltStack:

    @pmoncho said in Opinions: Ansible vs. SaltStack:

    @scottalanmiller

    What would be the sense of purchasing a solid open source project like SaltStack?
    Being OS, VMware can add their own developers to the project and still integrate it with their products without the cost of purchasing the company.

    Control of commits is the primary one. Marketing is the second. And often, but it depends on the project, ability to have a closed source copy used somewhere.

    As a software company, it's super common that you maintain a closed source secondary license so that you, as the owners, are not bound to the open source limitations or requirements that other people are. No idea if VMware is going to do this, or if they can (there are licensing factors in the past that determine this), but it's a possible reason.

    This was my original thought of why but then I figured, if they want to close source it, someone could just fork the latest version and then most will then migrate to the open source version.

    Fifth, keeping it from falling into someone else's control. Remember IBM did this with Ansible, too. So there is a trend.

    Makes sense. I guess the last thing one would want is for a competitor to buy a product deeply ingrained in your own software.

    And sixth... revenue. SS brings in money, and you can make way more money as the actual project than as someone who just supports a project. If the later worked just as well, I'd make as much money as IBM does supporting Linux, but owning Red Hat gives them a slight edge 😉

    I didn't think there would be much SS revenue from a product like SaltStack or similar apps. Apparently I don't see all the power of SaltStack itself.



  • @JaredBusch said in Opinions: Ansible vs. SaltStack:

    @scottalanmiller said in Opinions: Ansible vs. SaltStack:

    Fifth, keeping it from falling into someone else's control.

    Java, MySQL

    I never really understood the Java purchase as, it seemed, more people complained about it than liked it. MySQL, OTOH, made much more sense because it is at the heart of data, thus giving the software much more importance and the need for immediate support services.



  • @pmoncho said in Opinions: Ansible vs. SaltStack:

    I never really understood the Java purchase as, it seemed, more people complained about it than liked it.

    Well, Java itself wasn't purchased. Oracle bought Sun and Java was part of Sun. Oracle also got Solaris, Sparc and tons of other products. Java was a big piece of that, but it wasn't a "Java deal" in any way, Java was not and is not a significant monetary component of the Sun ecosystem.

    That people didn't like a great company like Sun being purchased by a crappy company like Oracle was really just about Oracle - they are total garbage and no one wants them to purchase anything good. But if Oracle did what people wanted, they'd just go out of business and vanish.



  • @pmoncho said in Opinions: Ansible vs. SaltStack:

    MySQL, OTOH, made much more sense because it is at the heart of data, thus giving the software much more importance and the need for immediate support services.

    Was there ever any lack of immediate support? We always had support access prior to Oracle buying them, and still do with MariaDB. Oracle support isn't that great (not bad, just nothing amazing), so I'm not sure that there was any benefit there.



  • MySQL is a good example of how open source can protect against purchase from a bad company (and why VMware would be scared to burn their bridges with SaltStack.) Oracle took MySQL closed (partially) and MariaDB forked from them. Now, MariaDB is the leader and MySQL is a forgotten vestige for the most part. The term MySQL is used to almost always refer to MariaDB, to the point that most people don't even know what they have.

    MariaDB is faster and more advanced, has the core original developers, better licensing, and more industry support. MySQL support is almost completely limited to Oracle, who doesn't have the core dev team working with them and has no quality products of their own. MariaDB has support directly from the devs, as well as from actually good software companies like IBM and Canonical. So better tech (features AND speed), better pricing, better licensing, better support. MariaDB has wiped the floor with MySQL.

    I wonder if Oracle makes enough from MySQL sales to cover the cost of having purchased it.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Opinions: Ansible vs. SaltStack:

    @pmoncho said in Opinions: Ansible vs. SaltStack:

    MySQL, OTOH, made much more sense because it is at the heart of data, thus giving the software much more importance and the need for immediate support services.

    Was there ever any lack of immediate support? We always had support access prior to Oracle buying them, and still do with MariaDB. Oracle support isn't that great (not bad, just nothing amazing), so I'm not sure that there was any benefit there.

    There may not have been a lack of support, but more of a sense of stability for the future. Maybe some developers who were on the fence about using the product went full in knowing a large company can continue to supply support for the product well into the future.



  • @pmoncho said in Opinions: Ansible vs. SaltStack:

    There may not have been a lack of support, but more of a sense of stability for the future. Maybe some developers who were on the fence about using the product went full in knowing a large company can continue to supply support for the product well into the future.

    It already had support from giant companies, though. The Oracle purchase took what was seen as a crazy stable product and actually caused a lot of panic. PostgreSQL was the big winner and the instability, infighting and fracturing of the MySQL ecosystem actually drove people away. When Oracle bought MySQL, it was the clear leader in the RDBMS space, nearly every ecosystem used it by default, nearly every developer not getting an incentive chose it. Once Oracle bought it, people fled from it. MariaDB picked up a lot of that since it had bigger vendor backing, and had the developers, whereas Oracle only got the brand name. But loads of developers, and most importantly lots of infrastructure projects, demoted MySQL to a second tier option and moved to PostgreSQL because it was already more advanced, just more complex, but now seen as more stable. Similarly with Sparc, Solaris, and Java. All three have lost massive marketshare under Oracle, all were thriving when they were purchased.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Opinions: Ansible vs. SaltStack:

    I wonder if Oracle makes enough from MySQL sales to cover the cost of having purchased it.

    I wonder the same thing. It is what made me ask the original question. I am apparently missing something about SaltStack that will generate enough revenue or value for VMware to get its money back and then some. Unless of course it was all about what you mentioned earlier, just being able to control the direction of the software. That could have large value in and of itself.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Opinions: Ansible vs. SaltStack:

    @pmoncho said in Opinions: Ansible vs. SaltStack:

    There may not have been a lack of support, but more of a sense of stability for the future. Maybe some developers who were on the fence about using the product went full in knowing a large company can continue to supply support for the product well into the future.

    It already had support from giant companies, though. The Oracle purchase took what was seen as a crazy stable product and actually caused a lot of panic. PostgreSQL was the big winner and the instability, infighting and fracturing of the MySQL ecosystem actually drove people away. When Oracle bought MySQL, it was the clear leader in the RDBMS space, nearly every ecosystem used it by default, nearly every developer not getting an incentive chose it. Once Oracle bought it, people fled from it. MariaDB picked up a lot of that since it had bigger vendor backing, and had the developers, whereas Oracle only got the brand name. But loads of developers, and most importantly lots of infrastructure projects, demoted MySQL to a second tier option and moved to PostgreSQL because it was already more advanced, just more complex, but now seen as more stable. Similarly with Sparc, Solaris, and Java. All three have lost massive marketshare under Oracle, all were thriving when they were purchased.

    I agree with you. I don't keep up much with the DB space but I have noticed MySQL falling out of favor over the last few years.



  • @pmoncho said in Opinions: Ansible vs. SaltStack:

    I agree with you. I don't keep up much with the DB space but I have noticed MySQL falling out of favor over the last few years.

    Yeah, PostgreSQL has really picked up the pieces. Now that it's nearly always faster and is a single product, it is getting the momentum. And it's an awesome system, so kudos to them.

    We use it for nearly all production workloads now. MySQL / MariaDB have always focused on high performance "light" needs like WordPress. But PostgreSQL is faster for that now, while offering so many more features, so it's becoming the safe choice for essentially everything once you get past SQLite.



  • @pmoncho said in Opinions: Ansible vs. SaltStack:

    @scottalanmiller said in Opinions: Ansible vs. SaltStack:

    I wonder if Oracle makes enough from MySQL sales to cover the cost of having purchased it.

    I wonder the same thing. It is what made me ask the original question. I am apparently missing something about SaltStack that will generate enough revenue or value for VMware to get its money back and then some. Unless of course it was all about what you mentioned earlier, just being able to control the direction of the software. That could have large value in and of itself.

    Controlling the direction and keeping others from messing with it. That, I assume (plus mindshare) is the value. I doubt that it was an expensive purchase in VMware's view, it's amazing how easily you can find value in just "doing good things for the community" when you are the size of Vmware.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Opinions: Ansible vs. SaltStack:

    @pmoncho said in Opinions: Ansible vs. SaltStack:

    I agree with you. I don't keep up much with the DB space but I have noticed MySQL falling out of favor over the last few years.

    Yeah, PostgreSQL has really picked up the pieces. Now that it's nearly always faster and is a single product, it is getting the momentum. And it's an awesome system, so kudos to them.

    We use it for nearly all production workloads now. MySQL / MariaDB have always focused on high performance "light" needs like WordPress. But PostgreSQL is faster for that now, while offering so many more features, so it's becoming the safe choice for essentially everything once you get past SQLite.

    Good to know. Will keep this in mind.



  • @pmoncho said in Opinions: Ansible vs. SaltStack:

    Good to know. Will keep this in mind.

    As a software dev firm, we basically use SQLite when it makes sense, and PostgreSQL for everything else. MariaDB is absolutely considered, but just never seems to make sense. We deploy it like crazy for things like Wordpress, though.

    Some NoSQL still makes sense, obviously, but that's a different set of use cases.



  • @pmoncho said in Opinions: Ansible vs. SaltStack:

    @scottalanmiller

    What would be the sense of purchasing a solid open source project like SaltStack?
    Being OS, VMware can add their own developers to the project and still integrate it with their products without the cost of purchasing the company.

    I think they're just trying to stay relevant. Like with Harbor, Tanzu, etc.