Compare Ansible vs. Chef

Ansible is ranked 3rd in Configuration Management with 24 reviews while Chef is ranked 4th in Configuration Management with 13 reviews. Ansible is rated 8.4, while Chef is rated 8.4. The top reviewer of Ansible writes "Check mode enables us to verify that the config we have pushed is what we intended". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Chef writes "It never uses any type of human-readable interface. Therefore, you don't have to go into a GUI nor use a command line tool". Ansible is most compared with SCCM, BigFix and Red Hat Satellite, whereas Chef is most compared with SCCM, Ansible and BigFix. See our Ansible vs. Chef report.
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Ansible Logo
22,454 views|17,963 comparisons
Chef Logo
Read 13 Chef reviews.
4,775 views|3,461 comparisons
Most Helpful Review
Anshul Somani
Find out what your peers are saying about Ansible vs. Chef and other solutions. Updated: November 2019.
378,397 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Quotes From Members

We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use. Here are some excerpts of what they said:

Pros
It is very easy to use, and there is less room for error.Ansible Tower offers use a UI where we can see all the pushes that have gone into the server.Its checking and validating ensures our packages are properly patched.The biggest thing I liked about Ansible is the check mode so that we can verify, after we've pushed, that the config there is actually what we intended.I like being able to control multiple systems and push out updates quickly with just a couple of clicks of a button and commands. I like the automation because it is a time saver.It was easy to read and learn. It is a YAML-based syntax, which makes it easily understand and pick up.It increases our company's efficiency, automating all the simple tasks which used to take hours of somebody's time.It is agentless. I don't have to think about which client system my unit has understanding in or not, because I can execute from my system. It will go and configure it, and any module that it is looking for will be shipped out.

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You set it and forget it. You don't have to worry about the reliability or the deviations from any of the other configurations.It streamlined our deployments and system configurations across the board rather than have us use multiple configurations or tools, basically a one stop shop.The scalability of the product is quite nice.The most valuable feature is the language that it uses: Ruby.This solution has improved my organization in the way that deployment has become very quick and orchestration is easy. If we have thousands of servers we can easily deploy in a small amount of time. We can deploy the applications or any kind of announcements in much less time.The most important thing is it can handle a 100,000 servers at the same time easily with no time constraints.Deployment has become quick and orchestration is now easy.It has been very easy to tie it into our build and deploy automation for production release work, etc. All the Chef pieces more or less run themselves.

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Cons
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.Ansible could use more public relations and marketing.I have seen indications that the documentation needs improvement. They are providing a "How to Improve Your Documentation" presentation at this conference.The user interface on the Ansible Tower product could be better, but it is functional.Documentation could be improved. Many times, if I'm looking for something, I have to Google it in a lot of places, then figure out what the best approach will be. There are some best practices documents, but they don't give you the information.One problem that I'm facing right now is the mismatch between the new version of Python and Ansible. Sometimes it's Python 2, and sometimes it's Python 3. When things get a bit dicey, I wish that Ansible would solve this issue by itself. I don't want to have to specify if it is Python 3 or version 2.Some of the Cisco modules could be expanded, which would be great, along with not having to do so much coding in the background to make it work.It is a little slow on the network side because every time you call a module, it's initiating an SSH or an API call to a network device, and it just slows things down.

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I would like them to add database specific items, configuration items, and migration tools. Not necessarily on the builder side or the actual setup of the system, but more of a migration package for your different database sets, such as MongoDB, your extenders, etc. I want to see how that would function with a transition out to AWS for Aurora services and any of the RDBMS packages.The agent on the server sometimes acts finicky.I would like to see more security features for Chef and more automation.I would rate this solution a nine because our use case and whatever we need is there. Ten out of ten is perfect. We have to go to IOD and stuff so they should consider things like this to make it a ten.Since we are heading to IoT, this product should consider anything related to this.There is a slight barrier to entry if you are used to using Ansible, since it is Ruby-based.If they can improve their software to support Docker containers, it would be for the best.Third-party innovations need improvement, and I would like to see more integration with other platforms.

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Pricing and Cost Advice
Ansible Tower is free. Until they lower the cost, we are holding off on purchasing the product.We went with product because we have a subscription for Red Hat.The cost is high, but it still works well.

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I wasn't involved in the purchasing, but I am pretty sure that we are happy with the current pricing and licensing since it never comes up.We are using the free, open source version of the software, which we are happy with at this time.Purchasing the solution from AWS Marketplace was a good experience. AWS's pricing is pretty in line with the product's regular pricing. Though instance-wise, AWS is not the cheapest in the market.We are able to save in development time, deployment time, and it makes it easier to manage the environments.The price is always a problem. It is high. There is room for improvement. I do like purchasing on the AWS Marketplace, but I would like the ability to negotiate and have some flexibility in the pricing on it.When we're rolling out a new server, we're not using the AWS Marketplace AMI, we're using our own AMI, but we are paying them a licensing fee.The price per node is a little weird. It doesn't scale along with your organization. If you're truly utilizing Chef to its fullest, then the number of nodes which are being utilized in any particular day might scale or change based on your Auto Scaling groups. How do you keep track of that or audit it? Then, how do you appropriately license it? It's difficult.

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Ranking
3rd
Views
22,454
Comparisons
17,963
Reviews
25
Average Words per Review
473
Avg. Rating
8.4
4th
Views
4,775
Comparisons
3,461
Reviews
13
Average Words per Review
601
Avg. Rating
8.5
Top Comparisons
Compared 24% of the time.
Compared 12% of the time.
Compared 8% of the time.
Compared 28% of the time.
Compared 25% of the time.
Compared 14% of the time.
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Red Hat
Chef
Overview
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.

Chef, is the leader in DevOps, driving collaboration through code to automate infrastructure, security, compliance and applications. Chef provides a single path to production making it faster and safer to add value to applications and meet the demands of the customer. Deployed broadly in production by the Global 5000 and used by more than half of the Fortune 500, Chef develops 100 percent of its software as open source under the Apache 2.0 license with no restrictions on its use. Chef Enterprise Automation Stackā„¢, a commercial distribution, is developed solely from that open source code and unifies security, compliance, infrastructure and application automation with observability. Chef provides an unequaled developer experience for the Coded Enterprise by enabling users to express infrastructure, security policies and the application lifecycle as code, modernizing development, packaging and delivery of any application to any platform. For more information, visit http://chef.io and follow @chef.

Offer
Learn more about Ansible
Learn more about Chef
Sample Customers
HootSuite Media, Inc., Cloud Physics, Narrative, BinckBankFacebook, Standard Bank, GE Capital, Nordstrom, Optum, Barclays, IGN, General Motors, Scholastic, Riot Games, NCR, Gap
Top Industries
REVIEWERS
Healthcare Company27%
Comms Service Provider18%
Financial Services Firm9%
Transportation Company9%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Software R&D Company43%
Comms Service Provider10%
Government8%
Financial Services Firm7%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Software R&D Company29%
Comms Service Provider14%
Government9%
Retailer6%
Find out what your peers are saying about Ansible vs. Chef and other solutions. Updated: November 2019.
378,397 professionals have used our research since 2012.
We monitor all Configuration Management reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews and keep review quality high. We do not post reviews by company employees or direct competitors. We validate each review for authenticity via cross-reference with LinkedIn, and personal follow-up with the reviewer when necessary.
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