Got Boron? Salt 2016.3 Release Highlights

July 1, 2016 - Dave Boucha

The Salt Open 2016.3 (Boron) release is now available. This is a feature release that includes more than 33 customer-requested items as well as many major features, enhancements and bug fixes. This blog post summarizes many of the highlights. For additional detail please check out the release notes or attend the Salt Open 2016.3 release highlights webinar on July 7 when I will review the highlights.

New and Improved Salt

Several new features of the Salt Boron release extend and enhance the comprehensive control SaltStack customers and users have come to expect from the Salt systems management platform. From enterprise scale, to network devices, to heterogeneous platform support, here are a select few highlights included in the Boron release:

  • Fat fingers
    Intentional Blackout – Most Salt users have substantial production environments controlled by Salt automation. With great power comes great responsibility. But considering the fact that humans mess up, and fat fingers happen, SaltStack has taken notable measures to prevent “accidents.” Salt Minion blackout is the latest, allowing universal or specific disabling of all remote execution commands on Salt Minions. This allows production minions to be put “on hold,” eliminating the risk of an untimely configuration change.
  • Intelligence for Dumb Devices – The Salt Proxy Minion receives commands from a Salt master, transmits commands to devices that are unable to run a minion (such as network devices), and replies with the results of the commands. In the Boron release, Salt Proxy Minion now makes more integrated and efficient use of Salt Loader and Grains, adding another layer of intelligence to an otherwise dumb layer of the stack.
  • Reliable Reliability – The Salt Syndic allows users to create differing infrastructure topologies. It is not strictly an high availability feature, but can be treated as such. With the Salt Syndic, a Salt infrastructure can be partitioned to make certain Salt Masters control certain segments of the infrastructure, and “Master of Masters” nodes can control multiple segments underneath them. In the Boron release, the Salt Syndic has become substantially more reliable and performant.
  • All The Others – The Salt Boron release now includes substantial new manageability for Windows, Solaris, Ubuntu, Raspbian and Mac OS X platforms. Specifically, if you are managing Mac OSX make sure to check out the new Salt Minion support.
  • So Cloudy – Salt Cloud already supports more than two dozen cloud infrastructures. Salt Boron now delivers additional Salt Cloud support for OpenNebula, Dimension Data Public Cloud, and many new AWS features like Cognito, ELB, and Lambda.

The Cutting Edge of Boron
If you live life on the edge, make sure to check out some of the new, more experimental features of Salt Boron. For the first time Salt is integrated with Windows Powershell Desired State Configuration to extend more granular Salt control to Windows.

Also, SaltStack continues to push the envelope as the only systems management platform to include intelligence that interprets and reacts to machine-generated events and data. The new Salt Thorium Reactor system is an experimental new feature that implements a flow programing interface using the Salt State system as the engine. The Thorium reactor uses a classic state-tree approach to create a Salt Reactor that can aggregate event data from multiple sources and make aggregate decisions and execute appropriate, defined reactions.

The Salt 2016.3 (Boron) release also includes dozens of new integrations and modules. Here is a sampling:

  • Salt Engines
    • Slack
    • AWS SQS events
    • Docker events
  • Salt Beacons
    • Android Debug Bridge
    • Memusage
    • Network settings
  • Salt Proxy
    • Chronos
    • Marathon
    • Junos
    • Philips Hue smart lighting
  • Salt State and Execution modules:
    • AWS Lambda and S3
    • Docker ComposeGitHub
    • Jenkins
    • Mac OSX
    • Open vSwitch
    • PostgreSQL
    • VirtualBox

Learn more about the Salt 2016.3 (Boron) release through the release notes or by listening to the Salt 2016.3 (Boron) release webinar.

If you are new to SaltStack, the best way to get started is to spend some time with the new, super easy SaltStack documentation.