What users are saying about
92 Ratings
38 Ratings
92 Ratings
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Score 8.5 out of 101
38 Ratings
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Score 8.5 out of 101

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.
John Grosjean profile photo

Chef

Chef is suited for just about any situations in which you need to automate a process on a server. Once you've built out a cookbook, the chef run with take care of everything for you. Assuming nothing changes, you never have to worry about it again. The great thing about it is it's meant to automate everything so you, and your colleagues don't have to worry about it anything. You can make changes in one cookbook that can then update an entire farm of servers.
Dan Lepinski profile photo

Pros

Ansible

  • Agentless. For our implementation, this is the single biggest factor. If we have to touch the machine and install an agent before we can start managing it, that's already too much effort and slows us down.
  • Re-entrant. This is not unique to Ansible, but certainly a huge improvement over custom scripts and such. Because it's such a huge effort to make scripts re-entrant, most of our scripts did not allow an elegant way to recover on failure. Manually cleaning up the half-attempt and re-trying is still too cumbersome, and being able to just re-run Ansible is a great improvement!
  • Infrastructure as code. This is new to Ansible, and there are still a few minor bugs with their AWS modules, but it's been a huge help being able to define our infrastructure in an Ansible playbook, commit it to source control, and use one tool for all our DevOps tasks.
John Grosjean profile photo

Chef

  • Unit testing
  • Integration testing
  • Deployments
Pavel Jeloudovski profile photo

Cons

Ansible

  • Syntax.
  • Lacks descriptive error messages. The most basic errors are easy enough, but the more edge case errors can send you on a wild goose chase real quick.
  • Open Source. In many ways, this is a good thing, but it also means support is limited to community forums and such. So many people use it that it hasn't been an issue for us, but it means researching your own answer instead of just calling support.
John Grosjean profile photo

Chef

  • Dashboards: Automate is a very powerful tool. They should allow the creation of custom dashboards by users themselves, as there are too many use cases for the data provided by Chef for a single company to try to stay on top of that.
  • Extending User Roles: Dashboards should tie into IAM roles within the platform. Let me show users what they care about without them having to know what to filter.
  • Limitations in Provided Integrations and Within Automate: Chef has provided a great integration with AWS, allowing one to scan entire accounts or ec2 instances within an account. That said, using this as a scheduled job only scans ec2 instances that exist at the time the job is set up. Continuous scanning of assets within the account through the integration appears to not be occurring, which is a real bummer. Additionally, I think it's important to get user input into how they're actually expecting to use the tool to fully understand what users need in terms of automation, especially around the compliance portion of the tool. Finally, I think it's important to ensure that key features (like scheduled scan jobs) work in the desired way or document workarounds prominently.
  • Communication with existing customers: As stated above, if something doesn't work exactly as it should, there's no shame in effectively communicating known workarounds to customers and users. We understand improvement takes pain sometimes, but if you know a way around it, throw that information out there and save others some valuable time.
Brittany Woods profile photo

Performance

Ansible

Ansible 8.4
Based on 5 answers
Ansible is very friendly to start with. With just a few configurations, you have full management to your servers. You can configure it and implement it in seconds. You can also set up a cron job to make sure it gets implemented. It suits our need perfectly. Support can be a bit hard.
No photo available

Chef

Chef 9.0
Based on 5 answers
Generally speaking, I do not have to worry about the underlying Chef infrastructure running. It is extremely low maintenance. Integrations are, generally speaking, pretty seamless to set up.
Brittany Woods profile photo

Alternatives Considered

Ansible

We looked at Puppet and Chef, but Ansible won because it's agentless. You trade some features, for example, someone could manually make a change on the server, and Ansible wouldn't know. But that's not a problem for us, and we needed something that we could run immediately on a new server.
John Grosjean profile photo

Chef

I've mostly explained the differences between Ansible and Chef in my previous answers. I generally prefer Chef over Ansible because the platforms we use have very convenient cookbooks.
Christopher Maggiulli profile photo

Return on Investment

Ansible

  • Our deployments went to a CI/CD model a while back, and there's no way we could keep up if it wasn't for Ansible. It was convenient when we started using it, but Ansible is now essential for our small DevOps team to keep up with the rest of the business. We keep automating more and more with Ansible, just so that we can stay sane.
John Grosjean profile photo

Chef

  • Lower downtime
  • Increased time to market by a factor
Pavel Jeloudovski profile photo

Pricing Details

Ansible

General

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

Chef

General

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

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