Ansible Review

It saves time; it cut our configuration time


What is our primary use case?

The primary use case is for configuration management. We use it for patching and updating. We also use it to send out new configs to all our servers.

How has it helped my organization?

It saves time; it cut our configuration time. 

It is very easy to use, and there is less room for error. For exampe, if we had 10 servers, and we need to update a file on each server. So, you would have to go into every server and update the file manually, then sign out. You can mess up on the sixth one and have configuration issues. It is easier to use one server to create a playbook, then you just hit "push" and the playbook is distributed to all the servers.

What is most valuable?

Ansible Tower offers use a UI where we can see all the pushes that have gone into the server.

It is very easy to grasp. Multiple users on my team can utilize it without me giving them a thorough tutorial. This has been helpful.

What needs improvement?

For Ansible Tower, there are three tiers with ten nodes. I would like them to expand those ten nodes to 20, because ten nodes is not enough to test on.

It needs better documentation when setting it up. It is not very clearly stated how exactly to set up Ansible Tower, though it is pretty self-explanatory.

For how long have I used the solution?

Less than one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is definitely a workhorse. It does our back-end deployment, so we utilize it very heavily. We're committing too much to it, so we have it highly available. We built some redundancies around it just in case it ever goes down, because it's a big part of our work.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We are about 50 servers. It is not very big, but we are continuing to grow.

How is customer service and technical support?

If we want to utilize technical support, we would need to use a more premium solution since Ansible Tower is free.

How was the initial setup?

The integration and configuration in our AWS environment was super easy to set up. It does all our tasks. Having it integrate with our front-end and back-end deployment has all been seamless. There is no custom configurations.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Ansible Tower is free. Until they lower the cost, we are holding off on purchasing the product.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We considered Chef and Puppet, which are very similar to Ansible. However, they have a more Ruby-based programming language. Therefore, it takes more time to learn and incorporate into a company. Ansible is easier for everyone to understand what is going on without actually knowing the programming language.

We chose Ansible for simplicity. Ansible is easy to set up, then get up and running in about a day or so. With Chef, I would have had to sit there and learn it, so the time constraints didn't really work out.

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