To the newly initiated, one of the stranger aspects of Salt is the absence of a configuration management database (CMDB). The fact is that Salt was designed to query minions quickly to return the data normally found in a CMDB in real time.
The mechanism used to discover that information was the grains system. However, using the minion itself to manage that information presents some limitations. The pillar system, and later the SDB system, was added to help address these limitations. In this chapter, we'll cover:
Templating files in
Using the external pillars that ship with Salt
Understanding SDB, the Simple Database System
Understanding the differences between pillars and SDB