What is our primary use case?
The primary use case is network automation. I have been trying to use it to roll out new offices and update things, like NTP server changes. I would like to roll NTP server changes out with a couple of clicks instead of having to go and manage several hundred devices.
I have been using the product since 2016.
How has it helped my organization?
It's helped in my department, or at least in my role, because I use it a lot. NTP is a big one. We just rolled out GPS-based NTP. Instead of spending several days going to each device and ripping out config and putting new config in, I just batched our branches, batched our data center, ran three jobs, and called it a day.
What is most valuable?
What needs improvement?
There has been put a heavy focus on the network, so it is getting better. Some of the Cisco modules could be expanded, which would be great, along with not having to do so much coding in the background to make it work.
For how long have I used the solution?
One to three years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
It has become a more stable product over the past two years. Ansible has put a focus on network, so a lot of things have changed rapidly. I have been trying to stay on a release for awhile until I can figure out how the new stuff works. For example, they just changed the connection type to network CLI from local.
It hasn't been always stable, but when it has been unstable, it was for a good reason: To get to a better place. The stability is getting there, if it is not already there.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
It is all modular-based. If there is not a module for it today, someone will write it.
How is customer service and technical support?
Since I use Community, it's all community-based. Most of my questions go to Network to Code, which has a Slack channel, and the Red Hat Ansible team is on it along with a lot of industry people. If you ask a question, it's pretty likely that you are going to get a response.
How was the initial setup?
Installing it is a PIP command. So, it's pretty easy. It is a one liner.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
I have looked at Puppet because they are now trying to get into the network space, but it is not that easy. The feeling of the product is not as good.