Ansible

(52)
4.6 out of 5 stars

Ansible is a simple way to automate apps and infrastructure. Application Deployment + Configuration Management + Continuous Delivery.

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Ansible review by User in Information Technology and Services
User in Information Technology and Services
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Automation... Ansible makes it a breeze

What do you like best?

Easy to learn, fast to implement, no need to have various agents installed in your remote servers - a simple SSH connection can serve you, installation is a breeze - pip/apt/brew - any package manager of your choice, though Ansible itself is written in python, you don't need to learn python to use Ansible, uses human-friendly yaml syntax (eye-candy), easily integrates with most cloud infra providers, ever growing modules, easy management of tasks (modules), guarantees idempotency

What do you dislike?

Ansible is not yet mature to accept python3

Ansible uses Jinja2 as a part of its templating system. Hence, not knowing the jinja DSL can hurt you back

Recommendations to others considering the product

Each of the tools have been created to solve a different type of business need. What Ansible had to offer us is different from what it has to offer other businesses. Hence, it is advisable to other users to first know the business problem they are trying to solve and assess how Ansible fits in that place.

Similarly, if you think you need to learn python to use Ansible, don't be discouraged, you don't need to. Well, it helps to extend modules if you do know python fundamentals.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

deployment

orchestration

automation

configuration management

patch management

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Ansible review by <span>Chien H.</span>
Chien H.
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Great for configuring Mesos cluster nodes

What do you like best?

- no agent required, as long as you can establish SSH - it works

- flexibility to run with a dedicated server or with workstations

- allows separation of leader and agent tasks into separate .yaml files that can be called using conditional checks in the main.yaml (control file)

- very readable and powerful template engine

What do you dislike?

- DNS lookup facility has a python library dependency

- the DSL to use dig lookup to do a reverse lookup is not very readable; it's more readable and reliable to local-exec dig

- need to maintain an inventory of your machines

Recommendations to others considering the product

Ansible works really well for cattle-type deploys meaning when you need automation/configuration management to build up infrastructure that will be torn down and rebuilt when updating. If you intend on your CF to converge your configs, probably Chef or Puppet works better. In our use case when we upgrade or run into problems, it's quicker for us to destroy the instances in question and reprovision/reconfigure. For this use-case, Ansible works really well.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We have been able to automate the configuration of our Mesos cluster nodes. Prior to this, configuring Mesos nodes was very manual and error-prone. Now we can provision the nodes with Terraform and configure them in a few minutes rather than going through hours of configuration.

What Configuration Management solution do you use?

Thanks for letting us know!
Ansible review by <span>Manil C.</span>
Manil C.
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Simplest configuration management tool available out there

What do you like best?

Ansible is an open source solution that makes configuring infrastructures an easy task for sysadmins. In the contrary to other configuration management tools, Ansible is very simple to get started with and it lowers the entry barrier to automation, all you need to write playbooks is a text editor. One of the powerful features of Ansible is that it is agent-less, which means there is no need to install any software on remote systems (especially your client's systems) in order to automate a task (installing a software stack) on these machines. Also, Ansible relies on the SSH protocol while other automation tools use their own protocols that may need special firewall ports to be opened. Furthermore, Ansible can be easily used with tools like Vagrant to automate the provisioning of development environments on local machine.

What do you dislike?

The main drawback is the absence of an open source graphical interface for Ansible that make it easy to monitor the entire inventory. Ansible only provide an command line utility and the only GUI solution available seems to be Ansible Tower which is an enterprise solution. Ansible was recently bought by RedHat so this may raise questions on the direction the project will take in future.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Ansible has excellent performance, it has no need for installing any agents on remote systems. it's based on python which is a well known language for scripting especially among the sysadmin community. Ansible is the way to go if these properties fit in your day-to-day requirements.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We switched from Chef into Ansible to exclusively automating the provisioning of platforms on AWS (and other Cloud providers) and configuring application stacks for our clients. The stack range from RoR (Ruby on Rails) to Django web applications; to database management and clustering. The switching wasn't very painful, and Ansible helped us quickly writing new automation tasks. Furthermore, we gained a lot from the ability to use Vagrant along with Ansible in order to replicate production environment into the developer's machines and having a huge boost in terms of productivity, detecting bugs and fixing them quickly.

Ansible review by <span>Eric M.</span>
Eric M.
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Verified Current User
Invitation from G2 Crowd
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Can't live without it now that I use it - Use it for Orchestration of deployments and new buildouts

What do you like best?

The YAML syntax is so easy that anyone can use it. No more excuses from people that they are not a coder, they can now declaratively define their infrastructure via code just by knowing YAML. It allows me to version control my infrastructure now that it is defined by code.

What do you dislike?

Sometimes the data structures available seem limiting but once you really learn the tool, it all comes into focus. The documentation can be limited for the modules but you can always read the source code as its just python and really easy to read and understand.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Start with the community edition and see if its enough before purchasing Ansible Tower. Remember to always version control your playbooks.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Reduce the lead times when provisioning new complex multi-tier stacks from Linux VM's to load balancer VIP's and SSL certification installations.

I also rely on Ansible for deployments of multi-tier application from my CI/CD server (Bamboo). Ansible is available on the Bamboo server so the deployment playbook gets version controlled alongside the app's source code and is executed by Bamboo/Ansible at deploy time. I also rely on Liquibase for DB schema evolution which is also executed by Ansible.

Ansible review by <span>Sahil S.</span>
Sahil S.
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Invitation from G2 Crowd
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Best tool to seamlessly manage everything in a Data center.

What do you like best?

The best thing is that its a one stop solution to all of our needs to manage an entire data center. We can manage configurations, deploy applications and it lets multiple people to work together rather than the traditional one sysadmin to manage it all, which is also possible from the Ansible command line.

The other thing is that its open source, which lets me add feature which other can use too. The community is very active too.

What do you dislike?

There are some features which i would like to be implemented one of which is supporting Kubernetes by Google and rkt from CoreOS but I am sure that its certainly on their roadmap and they will be adding those in the near future.

Other than that I don't think there is anything which I don't like in particular. It has really reduced overhead of managing using different tools, writing scripts and managing configurations.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We are managing a data center in a university which handles application deployment for research purposes.

Ansible is the only solution we need to do all of that, otherwise we had to use atleast a dozen of other softwares and it even would have been impossible. We don't need to write scripts anymore.

We are using SDN (Software Defined Networks) to automate network configurations on HP SDN enabled switches

Ansible review by Internal Consultant in Information Technology and Services
Internal Consultant in Information Technology and Services
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Invitation from G2 Crowd
Reviewed On

Configuration Management without hassle

What do you like best?

No Agents Required

Works on top of SSH

Can reverse the methodology to pull vs push, using Ansible Pull.

Pure Ansible,

Supports Dynamic inventory

What do you dislike?

If your playbook/role gets failed, the error at the very last step, the next re-run will do all the steps all over again.

Although the ansible will be idempotent but wastes lot of time in big environment.

Can tackle this using Tags, but that needs to added at the time of creating the playbook.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Ansible is great Config Management tool, I used the opensource version of it.

Its simply awesome, right your manifest in yml file and just deploy it.

Since there is no agent and master server concept. Your system will not have single point of failure or additional resource usage on client size. Just needs SSH thats it.

I used Ansible apart from deploying servers to collect and gather facts from remote machine and used as CMDB.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

I have used Ansible to configure my application and used it to generate the CMDB by collecting the facts generated by Ansible.

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Kate from G2 Crowd

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