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75 Ratings
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Score 8.7 out of 101
5 Ratings
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Score 8.2 out of 101

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Likelihood to Recommend

Ansible

I would recommend Ansible to anyone, but I recognize it might not fit everyone's needs. I'm not as familiar with Chef, Puppet, or Salt, but they each have their strengths. For us, we needed to be able to manage a new server the moment it was created, so agent-based solutions were out. For our use, Ansible does everything we've asked it to.
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AWS OpsWorks

Where you already have some Chef recipes to build your application boxes and are happy to run directly on VMs, OpsWorks really shines. It won't do anything too complex for you, so it only really works well for simple stacks (load balancers, application layers, database layers). If you want to do more complex infrastructure, Cloudformation or Terraform are probably worth looking at.
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Pros

  • Unlike Puppet or Chef, Ansible doesn’t use an agent on the remote host. Instead it uses SSH which is to be installed on all the systems we want to manage.
  • Ansible is written in Python, which we install on all remote host. This means that we don’t have to setup a client server environment before using Ansible.
  • Ansible can work alongside our other DevOp tool, Chef. This allows us to reach out to existing Chef teams in order to try and organize their work all under the same DevOps umbrella.
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  • The interface is quite intuitive and allows you to discover and easily find what you want to do and what other features are within OpsWorks.
  • Chef integration is pretty seamless and there are a good set of options and operating systems to choose from
  • It makes things like auto scaling set up, either via load or time, more straight forward and intuitive than what you'd typically see via the EC2 console
Andrew Raines profile photo

Cons

  • There are conflicting stories on how best to organize a role's structure. Old documentation exists, and as Ansible has grown directions have pivoted a bit. This should be trued up.
  • Pull-based Ansible is a compelling use case. Ansible should come up with a pattern which supports this configuration.
  • How to integrate ServerSpec infrastructure integration testing is sorely lacking. Ansible should curate practices and docs around this.
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  • There are no true deployment options, so you cannot specify rolling-deploys for example. It is possible to emulate some of these things, but it really is an exercise for the reader.
  • Generally pushes you down the road of mutable infrastructure (as opposed to immutable infrastructure). It would be nice if there were better options around this.
Andrew Raines profile photo

Performance

Ansible7.5
Based on 2 answers
Out of the box, Ansible can be slow over a bad connection, as it's establishing an SSH connection to the target server for each little task. There are some adjustments you can make to the defaults that greatly improve performance. And if you run Ansible on the same network as the target (i.e. by using a jump box or Jenkins server), then it can be crazy fast. I'd give it a 10 for speed except that it does require these adjustments first.
John Grosjean profile photo
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Alternatives Considered

I have used Puppet, Chef during my career and Ansible seems to be the most efficient tool by far, in terms of its implementation, configuration and ease of use
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OpsWorks isn't really a direct competitor to Terraform/Cloudformation, but it does allow you to do some of the more simple things on offer quite quickly and effectively. Opsworks was used for this reason, along with existing internal knowledge of Chef. Along with some of the other services on offer from AWS, it is good to use as a stepping stone along the way when building your systems - or perhaps it would be entirely suitable for a fairly simple project.
Andrew Raines profile photo

Return on Investment

  • It automated processes that used to be performed by hand saving hundreds of hours if not thousands
  • It is self documenting when combined with a source control service. People who understand ansible are able to come up to speed relatively quickly.
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  • OpsWorks has allowed some of our more simple application stacks to be implemented quickly and effectively. Whilst it is difficult to put actual numbers on it, it meant we could hit the ground running before tackling the more complex world of Cloudformation/Terraform to manage parts of our infrastructure.
Andrew Raines profile photo

Pricing Details

Ansible

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

AWS OpsWorks

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