We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use. Here are some excerpts of what they said:
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"Scalable solution for tracking and syncing through the Infoblox grid."
"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..."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"Lacks network overview for the entire connected network."
"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."
Earn 20 points
Infoblox NetMRI enables you to smartly manage your multi-vendor network with automation, visibility and continuous insight. Today’s network infrastructures are more complex than ever–increasingly diverse, siloed and powered by multiple vendors. IT admins often struggle to meet escalating demands for service delivery and reliability in these environments. Infoblox NetMRI can help. Our network change and configuration management solution automates routine workflows such as device provisioning and security operations. By simplifying and streamlining network management, NetMRI enables tighter compliance, faster incident response and quicker app deployment.
Ansible is ranked 2nd in Network Automation with 4 reviews while Infoblox NetMRI is ranked 7th in Network Automation with 1 review. Ansible is rated 8.6, while Infoblox NetMRI is rated 8.0. The top reviewer of Ansible writes "Helpful for creating an environment and easy to use with dynamic inventory capability". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Infoblox NetMRI writes "Has the ability to track and sync through the grid". Ansible is most compared with Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager, Red Hat Satellite, BigFix, VMware vRealize Automation (vRA) and Microsoft Azure DevOps, whereas Infoblox NetMRI is most compared with SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager, NetBrain, Cisco DNA Center, Cisco Prime and Micro Focus Network Node Manager.
See our list of best Network Automation vendors.
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