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Score 8.6 out of 101
31 Ratings
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Score 8.6 out of 101

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Likelihood to Recommend

ActiveBatch

It's great for basic tasks or tasks that need to run in a certain sequence. Especially import/export jobs, where the next step can only work when the previous job has completed. It does have some issues where a tasks may run into an error (file location not available) and may not always prevent itself from continuing to run the job.
Ron Zermeno profile photo

Chef

Chef is really great when teams are attempting to migrate over from legacy systems. In our case, it was a switch over from AIX to Linux. Thus, it was a great opportunity to use Chef to build out deployment cookbooks that could then be used win order to set up the new servers in preparation for the upgrade.
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Feature Rating Comparison

Workload Automation

ActiveBatch
6.9
Chef
Multi-platform scheduling
ActiveBatch
8.1
Chef
Central monitoring
ActiveBatch
8.4
Chef
Logging
ActiveBatch
5.0
Chef
Alerts and notifications
ActiveBatch
7.0
Chef
Analysis and visualization
ActiveBatch
5.4
Chef
Application integration
ActiveBatch
7.6
Chef

Pros

  • ActiveBatch does Microsoft SQL jobs well, providing centralized configurations.
  • The scheduling options and flexibility is very good in ActiveBatch.
  • The ability to restrict ActiveBatch users to specific areas of the application is easy to manage.
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  • Centralized Configuration Management; Chef really excels at that as it provides a wide range of features that are well thought of, such as data bags, encrypted data bags, roles, shared repositories, cookbooks versioning, environment locking..etc
  • Chef is based on Ruby and therefore it has all the capabilities of this powerful scripting language, unlike other tools that has its own DSL. This means greater flexibility to implement really custom logic.
  • Chef community has made an impressive progress with regards to automated testing of cookbooks.
Aiman Najjar profile photo

Cons

  • The Oracle connectivity and error detection is challenging and doesn't always work for us.
  • The UI for administration is overwhelming as first and could be simplified.
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  • Coding experience is required. The more you know, the more you'll be able to do with Chef. Chef training is recommended.
  • Sometimes your cookbooks will break due to changes in dependencies. Not Chef's fault, but a fault with the overall path. It can be difficult to track down the issues at times.
  • Chef is overwhelming at first. There's a lot of odds and ends to take in that I found you just needed to learn with time, patience, and practice.
Dan Lepinski profile photo

Alternatives Considered

N/A - It was already in place when I was on the scene, but like I said earlier it is much more powerful than SQL Server Agent and probably anything we would've come up with from scratch using .Net. However if your needs are small and traffic is light, then maybe SQL Server Agent or something smaller and less powerful (and less expensive) than ActiveBatch would work just fine.
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We were evaluating Ansible as it was agent less, SSH based, simple to use and is completely based on SSH protocol. As and when the servers count increase the performance might degrade. One main disadvantage with Ansible is it is more suitable for linux based systems where SSH is possible, but doesn't work that great for Windows systems natively. In the contrast, Chef works great when the servers are huge in number and is also OS neutral.
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Return on Investment

  • I have not been involved in the purchase or contract negotiation of our Active Batch purchase, therefore am unable to comment on the ROI.
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  • Chef is a good tool for baselining servers. It will be a good ROI when there are huge number of servers. For less number of servers maintaining a master will be an over head.
  • One good ROI will be that the Operations Team also gets into agile and DevOps methodologies. Operational teams can start writing scripts/automations to keep their infra more stable and their application stack more reliable.
  • Implementation of Chef eliminates the manual mode of doing things and everyone aligns to automation mind set. It helps in change of culture.
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Pricing Details

ActiveBatch

General
Free Trial
Yes
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Yes
Entry-level set up fee?
Optional
Additional Pricing Details

Chef

General
Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No
Additional Pricing Details