Anonymous UserLinux Platform System Administrator at a healthcare company
Olufemi AdalemoChief Technology Officer at Leystel Nigeria Limited
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."
"The most valuable features the solution offers are compliance, reliability, and information about reliability."
"Compared to other vendors, like NetBrain, managing the solution is easy. They made it very user-friendly."
"I use it for monitoring the entire network for the company. We oversee nodes down, we oversee devices heading up to crossing the threshold for CPU usage. We oversee power so power backups on the switches, we oversee if they're down or if they're failing. We oversee any node down or any router from any vendor."
"The feature that I really enjoy is the ability to script changes across all of your devices."
"It allows us to manage backups in big companies. It is also useful in managing the configuration changes."
"The features we find most valuable is the configuration backup automation, the configuration compliance, the security vulnerability detection and upgrading devices."
"The installation is straightforward."
"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."
"The interface of solar winds could be improved."
"On NCM, reporting could be a bit better. It's completely become just one report. When I try to create a custom report, the solution just commits old server data."
"The network logs could be improved. When the error logs come across with those false positive alarms in the error logs."
"For each device, when you open the network performance monitor, it will give you all of the information about the device, but many of the natural configuration management features are not on that page."
"Its whole architecture is a bit traditional. They can change the architecture to make it more modern and multi-tenant. Currently, we can do multi-tenancy, but we need to buy another product. Its look and feel can be improved. They can also put in more effort into building the THWACK community and use the information about various customer issues and requests to build the new releases."
"The Network Configuration Manager needs to improve the access control list compliance."
"The solution could improve by being more secure."
"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."
"With a minimal bundle, we pay about $3000 a year in licensing costs. If you have multiple devices in your network, you must buy the bundle, which is 100% identical for your infrastructure. If you have 15 devices, you need 15 licenses, for example. That's one bundle. You don't pay for anything over and above that."
"You have a base license for 50 devices, and then you can add more licenses as you go."
"There is a license for the use of this solution and it is priced well, there is a lot of value for the money."
Ansible is ranked 3rd in Configuration Management with 4 reviews while SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager is ranked 10th in Configuration Management with 7 reviews. Ansible is rated 8.6, while SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager is rated 7.8. 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 SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager writes "Reliable, scalable, easy to use, good support, and offers the ability to script changes". Ansible is most compared with Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager, Red Hat Satellite, BigFix, VMware vRealize Automation (vRA) and AutoSys Workload Automation, whereas SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager is most compared with Cisco DNA Center, Cisco Prime, ManageEngine NetFlow Analyzer, Infoblox NetMRI and IBM Tivoli NetCool. See our Ansible vs. SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager report.
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