Ansible Review

Will enable us to do urgent patches through a Playbook or module

What is our primary use case?

Our use case for it is as an automation tool. For the Linux side, we have very few automation tools. We do have Puppet Enterprise as a matter of fact, and we're looking at tools for automating our day-to-day operations, server builds, configuration management, etc.

We've got a demo version of Tower. We've been playing with it, using it for patching. One of our first goals is to automate patching.

How has it helped my organization?

The improvement is going to come in that we are going to be able to maintain configuration management, through the use of both Puppet and Ansible. Currently, in a manual process, hands-on - that is what kills us. When we have a system administrator trying to do his job, that kills us every time. We have 2,500 servers and if a project comes to him, we have 15-minute time-outs. I don't like that. He'll go in there and he'll change it. And we can't control that and we don't know when it gets changed.

The hope is that we automate and then it's there, we know it's there. And then we'll use Puppet to come in at the back, and just maintain it. That is our plan.

If somebody tries to change something through Puppet, we're going to get reports. Ansible is going to be used on the front end, and if somebody comes up and says, "We need this patch pushed out. It's an urgent patch. It's high criticality. We need to do it now," we'll do it through Ansible. We'll write a Playbook or a module and just, boom, get it done.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the Playbooks and pushing them out.

What needs improvement?

We'll probably use it in conjunction with Puppet, because Puppet is more a solution where every 30 minutes it's going to check, whereas as Ansible doesn't do that. You have to push, from my understanding. That's what I thought. I could be wrong.

For how long have I used the solution?

Trial/evaluations only.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It has been stable so far.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's scalable. We're looking at an enterprise configuration, when we get it done. It's a matter of getting it licensed.

How is customer service and technical support?

So far, in our interactions with technical support, they've been knowledgeable. We're very happy.

How was the initial setup?

The setup looks pretty straightforward. From what I've seen, although it was done by another person, it seemed to be pretty simple. I think it was an RPM.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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