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."
"Being a game-changer in configuration management software is what has made Ansible so popular and widespread. Much of IT is based on SSH direct connectivity with a need for running infrastructure in an agentless way, and that has been a big plus. SSH has become a great security standard for managing servers. The whole thing has really become an out-of-the-box solution for managing a Unix estate."
"The most valuable features are Remote Connect, SUP, Cloud functionality, Report, Query, and third-party patching."
"The most valuable features are application deployment and task-sequenced imaging."
"Patching is the main feature because SCCM is made to control the entire environment without manually interpreting. So it is good to use for patching."
"Microsoft is being very competitive right now, and they are really investing in a lot of new features to be more competitive in the marketplace."
"The initial setup is straightforward and not too complicated."
"The product is useful for patch management."
"The most valuable feature is the scalability."
"This solution captures all the devices in our infrastructure."
"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."
"Some of the modules in Ansible could be a bit more mature. There is still a little room for further development. Some performance aspects could be improved, perhaps in the form of parallelism within Ansible."
"The cost of the product can be improved."
"The operations could be faster and you need some patience with this tool."
"The main room for improvement is the on-screen display. I think it would be good if some improvements were made."
"We'd like the solution to make it easier to manage remote users."
"With Microsoft Premier Support, you get what you pay for. There's Third Tier Support that you pay for. If you pay for that, you get excellent support, and if you don't pay for that, then you get the less experienced staff."
"Microsoft should extend support for additional platforms."
"The deployment process is lengthy and should be quicker to complete."
"Could do with some cosmetic improvements on the user interface."
"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."
"Pricing is negotiable with Microsoft, depending upon which of their packages you choose."
"When you compare this solution with other tools in the market you might actually find a lot of variation in the pricing and that's why people opt for the other tools rather than Microsoft tools."
"Its price is okay because it is part of our licensing."
"Presently, I am using a free trial version."
"We have to pay for a license."
"The price model is different for every client."
"For enterprises, there is an annual license required to use this solution. The price of the solution could be cheaper. However, this is mostly because of the exchange rate from the dollar to the Nigerian currency."
Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager (MECM, formerly SCCM or System Center Configuration Manager) is a software management suite that allows users to manage large numbers of Windows-based computers and servers.
Configuration Manager features software distribution, operating system deployment, remote control, network protection, security management, patch management, and hardware and software inventory, among other services. It allows you to set configuration and security policies, keep your software up-to-date, and monitor your system status while giving your employees access to corporate applications on whatever devices they choose.
Configuration Manager allows you to manage computers using macOS, Windows UNIX, or Linux, and mobile devices running iOS, Windows, or Android operating systems. It can be integrated with Microsoft Intune, allowing you to manage computers connected to a corporate network.
With Configuration Manager, you can manage PCs and servers, keeping software up-to-date, setting configuration and security policies, and monitoring system status while giving your employees access to corporate applications on the devices that they choose.
Benefits and Features
Reviews from Real Users:
Users of MECM like that it is stable and flexible. Patching is one of its most useful features, although users cite many other features as useful as well. One user stated that "It does what you need it to do, and it's a one-stop-shop for the company and for all your deployments." Overall, “the entire solution, from end to end, is excellent.”
Ansible is ranked 3rd in Configuration Management with 5 reviews while Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager is ranked 1st in Configuration Management with 31 reviews. Ansible is rated 8.4, while Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager is rated 8.0. The top reviewer of Ansible writes "Enables us to efficiently manage an almost unlimited number of nodes". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager writes "Works well with Windows, very stable, and can scale well". Ansible is most compared with Red Hat Satellite, BigFix, VMware vRealize Automation (vRA), Microsoft Azure DevOps and UrbanCode Deploy, whereas Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager is most compared with BigFix, ManageEngine Desktop Central, Ivanti Patch for Windows, Quest KACE Systems Management and AWS Systems Manager. See our Ansible vs. Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager report.
See our list of best Configuration Management vendors.
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.