Ansible Reviews

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Real User
Solutions Engineer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Oct 22 2018

What is most valuable?

To me, a great thing about Ansible is that it can do everything. Cloud, on-prem, Windows, Linux, networking. I've not seen any other orchestration tool able to do that as easily. The biggest thing I like about Ansible is the check mode so that we can verify, after we've pushed, that the config is… more»

How has it helped my organization?

It's going to help differentiate our services. It's something new that we're using internally, and our managed services, themselves, are new within Canada. It's something we're doing to help scale faster. Our company has an offering called through which we manage the subscriptions to various cloud… more»

What needs improvement?

The way it's going to improve is with the community contributing more to the platform in terms of modules that interact with different devices. And perhaps it can contribute use cases, which is something I'm very focused on: documenting and showing them to customers; not just roles but how I use… more»

What other advice do I have?

Another thing that I've been doing is mentoring teams on how to use Ansible. Ironically, I've been mentoring the server teams, which is where I worked in the first part of my career. I was more on the server side: Windows, a little bit of Linux. But I find it's so easy to use that it's more about… more»
Real User
Senior Operations Engineer at a financial services firm with 5,001-10,000 employees
Oct 21 2018

What is most valuable?

* The Organizations feature, where I can give clear silos and hand them over to different teams, that's amazing; everybody says that it's their own Tower. It's like they have their own Tower out there. * RBAC is great around Organizations and I can use that backend as our lab. * Ingesting stuff into… more»

How has it helped my organization?

In terms of staff or the amount of effort involved, Ansible is great. That Tower uses Ansible is amazing. Creating Playbooks takes less time. Tower has its own features. If there were more that would be great. But because Tower uses Ansible, it's not a lot of effort and we can get things done… more»

What needs improvement?

We are not using the Dashboard a lot because we have higher expectations from it. The default Dashboard from Tower doesn't give that much information. We really want to get down into more than if the job succeeded or what was the percentage of success. We want to get down to task-level success. If… more»

What other advice do I have?

In addition to the developers who use it most, we hand over job access to different teams. Security needs some data, we clear jobs for them, we hand it over to them. But most of it is with Operations and the Development team. I rate it a seven out of ten because there are a couple of things which I… more»
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JoeGarcia
Real User
Principal Engineer at CyberArk
Oct 21 2018

What is most valuable?

I really love the user interface: * The first time I started to use it, I found that it was well-built and very easy to navigate around. Things were were I expected them to be. I didn't have to go clicking around too much to find what I wanted to do. * The documentation on their website is well… more»

How has it helped my organization?

We are a partner, but we also use it in-house. It drives all of our demonstrations. We've used Ansible community to be able to easily deploy and set up pipelines end-to-end in Dockers or containers. Therefore, we can have an easy to go, ready demonstration set up in less than five minutes. We can… more»

What needs improvement?

It can use some more credential types. I've found that when I go looking for a certain credential type, such as private keys, they're not really there. I end up having to either custom-make my own credential type or trying to figure out what is already available that I can fit it into and use. I… more»

What other advice do I have?

I learned about the solution last year through AWX. Surprisingly enough, I found AWX first, then made my way to Tower from there. From a security standpoint, we are a security company so I will always back my product over what these other tools do. From their standpoint, we do practice adding… more»
Eric Greene
Real User
Senior DevOps Engineer at a tech vendor with 201-500 employees
Oct 21 2018

What is most valuable?

It is very extensible. There are many plugins and modules out there that everybody helps create to interact with different cloud providers as well. Roles that sum up all the playbooks that you might have. You might have a giant playbook… more»

How has it helped my organization?

It allows people without a lot of knowledge or expertise in a CI/CD pipeline to deploy it other than knowing how to write code. It allows them to look at what someone else has done and easily read it, then copy and paste into their own if… more»

What needs improvement?

In Community, there's a lot of effort towards testing, standardizing, and testing for module development to role development, which is why Molecule is now becoming real. Same thing with Zuul, which we are starting to implement. Zulu tests… more»

What other advice do I have?

It simplifies everything. You can see what is happening actively on your screen. Now, with Tower and AWX, you are able to see the output afterwards. You can set up cron through the web interface and see what happens.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I was a very big Bash script guy years ago on automating deployments. Then, I moved into Puppet. I did Puppet for a few years, and was very involved in the community there as well. After that, I moved over to SaltStack. The design of… more»
Eric Spencer
Real User
Network Engineer at a legal firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Oct 21 2018

What is most valuable?

The community is very important. Right now, I'm focusing on Palo Alto and automating a lot of our firewall processes related to when a developer requests new firewall rules. Right now, that's a totally manual process. I'm three weeks away… more»

How has it helped my organization?

On the network side, I already have a lot of our firewall-related processes automated. If it's not automated all the way from the ticket system, our network team members, our tier-one guys in India, can just go into the Tower web interface… more»

What needs improvement?

Some of the module documentation could be better, but I don't know if that's Red Hat Ansible's fault. Specifically, I've done a lot of Palo, and I've done some Cisco ACI. The Cisco ACI, I don't know who actually produces those particular… more»

What other advice do I have?

I'll start on Cisco IOS stuff in Q1, 2019. I'm pretty excited to learn about the network engine today, here at AnsibleFest 2018, because I haven't looked at it at all yet.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I did some training and I've messed around with Terraform. They do have providers for Palo, specifically. But in network, I'm dealing with mostly bare metal devices. And Terraform, that's just not what it's meant to do. I was trying to see… more»
BoB Woodraska
User
Systems Engineer with 1,001-5,000 employees
Nov 17 2017

What is most valuable?

The beauty of Ansible is the easy ramp-up to get started. You really only need Python and SSH access. Configuration is generally done in YAML, which is easy to understand, and there is a progression… more»

How has it helped my organization?

There is some overhead in setting up the initial playbooks, but it now takes less time to set up 10 servers than it did to configure one in the past. Also, the setup is consistent because there is not… more»

What needs improvement?

Because Ansible is establishing SSH sessions to perform tasks, there is a limit on scalability. Speed and the sheer number of open connections start to become issues past a couple hundred servers… more»

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

Although Red Hat has an enterprise add-on to manage Ansible through a web application and offers commercial support, I have not used it. Like many Red Hat products, they have a no-cost version of the… more»

If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?

Manual configuration and "Golden" templates for virtual machines were used. The former is tricky to maintain consistency with. The latter seemed to require constant updating and it did not help… more»

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Salt (or SaltStack) is a similar tool, but does have an agent. There are other tools like Chef or Puppet that use languages other than Python. Ansible was chosen based on these characteristics and the… more»
Thomas Elrod
Real User
Senior Systems Administrator at Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center
Oct 21 2018

What is most valuable?

* I like the inventory management. It's a very nice, simple, concise way to keep all that data together. * The API allows us to use it even for things that are not Ansible.

How has it helped my organization?

Managing our inventory is a big pain point. Right now, we have Satellite, but we can tie it in with Satellite, so we can actually manage things and automate the entire deployment stack, instead of trying to grab things from tickets, then generating Kickstart, and using that to get things in… more»

What needs improvement?

On the Dashboard, when you view a template run, it shows all the output. There is a search filter, but it would be nice to able to select one server in that run and then see all that output from just that one server, instead of having to do the search on that one server and find the results. It… more»

What other advice do I have?

Puppet is the main configuration management we have right now. The goal is that Ansible will do all the administration and deployment, and do all things with a baseline, to meet our standards. Then Puppet is going to be taking care of a lot of the rest of the configuration for all the different… more»
Mohamed Ibrahim
Real User
Senior DevOps at RubiconMD
Dec 31 2018

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.

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… more»

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… more»

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… more»
See 17 More Ansible Reviews

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Ansible Questions

What is Ansible?

Ansible is the simplest way to deploy your applications. It gives you the power to deploy multi-tier applications reliably and consistently, all from one common framework. You can configure needed services as well as push application artifacts from one common system.
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