Composer vs StackStorm
What is StackStorm?
By automating routine tasks and processes, StackStorm enables users to streamline operations, reduce manual errors and free up IT staff to focus on more strategic initiatives. StackStorm also supports a wide range of integrations with widely-used IT tools and services, including infrastructure automation tools like Ansible and Chef, monitoring tools like Nagios and Prometheus and collaboration tools like Slack and JIRA. Overall, StackStorm is a uniquely powerful platform that enables IT teams to save time, improve efficiency and reduce costs by automating and orchestrating workflows of arbitrarily high complexity.
Open Source Considerations:
While open source StackStorm (and open source software more generally) offers numerous benefits, IT teams at large organizations often have concerns regarding its deployment in production infrastructure. Some of the most serious of these concerns include:
- Security vulnerabilities: Open source software can be more vulnerable to security breaches due to its public nature. Anyone can access the source code, which may expose potential weaknesses to attackers. Additionally, open source projects may not receive the same level of security support as proprietary software.
- Quality and reliability: Open source software varies widely in terms of quality, and IT teams may have concerns about the software's reliability in a production environment. The lack of a dedicated development team or support staff can also impact the software's stability and performance.
- Integration and compatibility: Open source software may not always be compatible with existing systems, applications, and infrastructure. Integrating open source components into a large organization's production environment can be challenging, especially when trying to maintain seamless interoperability with other proprietary systems.
- Support and maintenance: Many open source projects lack the dedicated resources and support infrastructure that come with commercially available software. This can lead to difficulties in obtaining timely assistance with issues, updates, or patches, which can be a significant concern for organizations relying on the software in their production infrastructure.
- Legal and compliance risks: Open source software often comes with various licenses that dictate how it can be used, modified, and distributed. Navigating these licenses and ensuring compliance can be complex, especially for large organizations subject to various regulatory requirements. Additionally, there's a risk of intellectual property (IP) infringement if the open source software includes unattributed or improperly licensed code.
What is Composer?
And, while Orchestral is a huge fan of the open source StackStorm and we encourage users to download and give it try in sandboxed environments, we also understand the valid concerns (as detailed above) that many organizations may have about deploying open source software in their production environments. It is for this reason that Composer was created, i.e. to provide an enterprise-grade, highly-scalable, highly-secure automation and orchestration platform designed to work with whatever infrastructure you currently have in place, i.e. requiring no "fork-lift" upgrades.
However, Composer is a whole lot more than just "StackStorm on Steroids". Beyond security hardening of the StackStorm core, Composer extends the scope of integration packs to include packs not available in the open source. These include:
- Security Pack (Palo Alto)
- Cloudsmith (Package Cloud)
- Cisco Essentials (Cisco CLI)
- Premier ServiceNow Pack
- Premier Linux Pack
- Ruckus Wireless Pack
- Ruckus ICX Pack
- Versa Director Pack
- SuseManager Pack
- Enhanced vSphere Pack
- IBM Storage Automation Pack
- Brocade SAN Automation Pack
How Do Composer and StackStorm Compare?
01 May 2020
06 May 2014
Available, Release 6.3.0
Available, Release 3.8
Quarterly with Expedited Hot Fixes
Community-Driven, Ranging from 3-6 Months
Event-Driven Automation & Orchestration
Hundreds of Available Integration Packs
Enterprise Integration Packs
Enterprise-Grade Security Hardening
Advanced Auth Module for Enhanced RBAC/LDAP
Enhanced Canvas UI Elements
Network Automation Application
Resource Arbitration Application
Enterprise-Grade VM & Kubernetes HA Deployments
Dedicated Worldwide Premier Support
Training & Documentation via Client Success Center (CSC)
Proprietary Advanced Features (Roadmap)