Ansible OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Ansible is the #2 ranked solution in our list of top Release Automation tools. It is most often compared to Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager: Ansible vs Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager

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.
Ansible Buyer's Guide

Download the Ansible Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: September 2021

Ansible Customers
HootSuite Media, Inc., Cloud Physics, Narrative, BinckBank
Ansible Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Ansible pricing:
  • "Red Hat's open source approach was a factor when choosing Ansible, since the solution is free as of right now."
  • "If you only need to use Ansible, it's free for any end-user, but when you require Ansible Tower, you need to pay per Ansible Tower server."

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NishantSingh
Student at ARTH
Real User
Top 20
Helpful for creating an environment and easy to use with dynamic inventory capability

What is our primary use case?

Basically, Ansible is a configuration management tool. Mainly, I've been using Ansible for making changes and for deployments, such as of web servers. I also use it for servicing instances, mostly from AWS. I use AWS Cloud, and I configure the instances that I've launched. Recently, I've also created an Ansible role. Basically, you can contribute to Red Hat in the form of an Ansible role. Everybody can share their code with just simple commands, such as Ansible Galaxy. With a few commands, we can share each other's infrastructure.

Pros and Cons

  • "Ansible is agentless. So, we don't need to set up any agent into the computer we are interacting with. The only prerequisite is that the host with which we are going to interact must have the Python interpreter installed on it. We can connect to a host and do our configuration by using Ansible."
  • "Ansible is great, but there are not many modules. You can do about 80% to 90% of things by using commands, but more modules should be added. We cannot do some of the things in Ansible. In Red Hat, we have the YUM package manager, and there are certain options that we can pass through YUM. To install the Docker Community Edition, I'll write the yum install docker-ce command, but because the Docker Community Edition is not compatible with RHEL 8, I will have to use the nobest option, such as yum install docker-ce --nobest. The nobest option installs the most stable version that can be installed on a particular system. In Ansible, the nobest option is not there. So, it needs some improvements in terms of options. There should be more options, keywords, and modules."

What other advice do I have?

Ansible Tower has great integration capabilities with enterprises solutions such as OpenShift and many more. I've seen many people integrating OpenShift with Tower, but I have not done it. Before going for automation, one must first know the manual approach to it. After you've applied a manual approach, you can easily understand what type of automation you can do for your environment and infrastructure and how to do the automation. When it is utilized with RHEL, things are very easy to understand. If someone has knowledge of RHEL, then they also have knowledge of Ansible. There is no need to…
DE
Linux Platform System Administrator at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5
Its agentless, making the deployment fast and easy

What is our primary use case?

We use it for patching and configuration management. We are a healthcare institution. We have less than 500 hosts. Ansible is used between the infrastructure and applications, and primarily has Red Hat as the OS.

Pros and Cons

  • "It has improved our organization through provisioning and security hardening. When we do get a new VM, we have been able to bring on a provisioned machine in less than a day. This morning alone, I provisioned two machines within an hour. I am talking about hardening, installing antivirus software on it, and creating user accounts because the Playbooks were predesigned. From the time we got the servers to the actual hand-off, it takes less than an hour. We are talking about having the servers actually authenticate Red Hat Satellites and run the yum updates. All of that can be done within an hour."
  • "When you set up Playbooks, I may have one version of the Playbook, but another member of the team may have a different vision, and we will not know which version is correct. We want to have one central repository for managing the different versions of Playbooks, so we can have better collaboration among team members. This is our use case for using Git version control."

What other advice do I have?

Test the environment because it is easy to use. Once you are proficient with Unix and Linux, it is extremely easy to use it: Setting up the inventory system, YAML files, and SSH keys. I have no complaints about Ansible. I just wish I had more time to really delve into it. I think we not using Ansible to its fullest potential, because of: * Training. * Time. * Not knowing all the options available. I haven't been exposed to Ansible Tower much. I have only tested it out three times. Right now, I am a little rusty on it, so it will take some getting used to again. It is more GUI-based, so it is…
Learn what your peers think about Ansible. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: September 2021.
535,544 professionals have used our research since 2012.
AliceGolakiya
Operations Executive at Infosys Ltd
Real User
Top 5
Integration with a CI/CD tool, like Jenkins or Bitbucket, notably reduces service deployment time

What is our primary use case?

My use cases with Ansible include configuring network devices. That is what I used it for when I was first learning Ansible. I then automated PKI (public key infrastructure) compliance. That particular domain has different servers and I developed an automation solution, using Ansible, to automate the configuration of the PKI servers. And for the last eight or nine months, I have been working on automating cloud solutions, such as deploying services or upgrading or migrating to a specific version of a product. I am working on a client network, and that client also has clients who are hiring our… more »

Pros and Cons

  • "One of the most valuable features is that Ansible is agentless. It does not have dependencies, other than Python, which is very generic in terms of dependencies for all systems and for any environment. Being agentless, Ansible is very convenient for everything."
  • "The area which I feel can be improved is the custom modules. For example, there are something like 106 official modules available in the Ansible library. A year ago, that number was somewhere around 58. While Ansible is improving day by day, this can be improved more. For instance, when you need to configure in the cloud, you need to write up a module for that."

What other advice do I have?

Ansible is an open-source tool, so it can be integrated with any of the cloud services, including AWS, Google Cloud Platform, Azure, very easily. Based on my experience, I would suggest that anyone starting out with Ansible be familiar with SSH commands and Linux administration. That should be more than enough for Ansible beginners.
Faycal Noushi
CEO/Founder at Zen Networks
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Provides predictability to the network by knowing exactly what's being pushed after validating it in production

What is our primary use case?

Server configuration management: This is Ansible's forte as it has multiple modules to interact with servers either to orchestrate or configure them. This can take multiple forms like pushing a script and executing it, sending commands to restart services... Network configuration management: Ansible coupled with Jinja2 allows to push parametered configurations in a reliable way. Support for network gear isn't as common as server/development use cases. But, with some hacking, it can be managed The tool can also be used for CI/CD software deployment, But, we didn't explore this topic with it… more »

Pros and Cons

  • "Ansible provides great reliability when coupled with a versioning system (git). It helps providing predictability to the network by knowing exactly what's being pushed after validating it in production."
  • "Accessibility. Ansible uses a CLI by default. Those accustomed to it can find their way and adopt the YAML files easily over time. But, some users are more comfortable using UIs..."
Buyer's Guide
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