How has it helped my organization?
For my client, it has improved a lot of the problems that we had. For example, with package management, I wrote a script in Bash to check all the different PHP versions in Red Hat. With Ansible, I can do it for all my systems at once, which is huge.
There are a lot of different, little nuances that I like about Ansible. The biggest is the checking and validating, since it makes sure our packages are properly patched. We are running the latest version (PHP, etc.) on our different packages and validating them.
What is most valuable?
I like learning and challenging myself with it, finding out if there are different problems that we can automate. I always look to see if there is a community solution first on the Internet. By looking at what other people have done, I can see if I can try to emulate their work.
What needs improvement?
Ansible could use more public relations and marketing.
For how long have I used the solution?
Less than one year.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
How is customer service and technical support?
We do have a support license with Red Hat. I can call them and ask them questions, if I am stuck somewhere. However, our Linux department is really smart, and they know what they are talking about if I run into something, so I reach out to my resources first before I go to Red Hat.
How was the initial setup?
The setup is simple and easy.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
Puppet and Chef are cool, and have been in the game much longer, but Ansible is way better.
What other advice do I have?
I like what Red Hat did with Ansible. They are keeping the community focus as a whole and building around the grass roots movement that Ansible started. They are keeping that and putting a fresh face on it.
Tower is user-friendly too.