Likelihood to Recommend
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
are probably worth looking at.
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We used a product before that was designed to prevent users making changes and saving files to the desktop computer. This required a renewal of the license. By using SCCM in our environment we were able to discontinue using that product because SCCM allows us to completely restore a machine back to the original configuration. We have taught our users to save their individual work on either a network drive or a cloud drive. By doing this, if we do a re-image of their machine they have lost no data, and it makes for a faster resolution. In some instances having a computer in our SCCM environment it can become cumbersome when creating new users for very specific purposes. It can be done by creating new organizational units and applying new policies but when in a pinch it can be frustrating. For the most part we have tried to make "new" purpose images and groups to at least accommodate a quick install.
Read full review Pros OpsWorks provides a relatively simple interface for connecting with the ELB and bringing up/taking down EC2 instances. OpsWorks stacks and layers allow you to logically organize your infrastructure to match your system architecture. OpsWorks can assist in monitoring instance health and has a decent auto-scaling feature to recover from potential load-based outages. Read full review Provides our users the ability to deploy and manage our own datacenter based on defined software with understandable solutions for storage, compute, networking and security. We are able to update at once all the computers from all departments without having to install the OS on every computer. It allows us to have everything in one place for database management and datacenter inspection as well. Read full review Cons 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. Read full review Needs web based storefront for requesting new software Needs ability to manage the packaging work flow better Sometimes is slow to download and there is no indication the entire catalog is being loaded, resulting in confused users not being able to find common software in the available list. Read full review Usability
It is not user-friendly for the most part. With IT infrastructure, sometimes it cannot handle excess requests. Every few months, you will need an upgrade in terms of server resources to keep up with incoming alerts and requests. This does not happen all of the time, but it does happen when there are too many requests.
Read full review Support Rating
Unless you pay for a pricey support package getting support on OpsWorks will be pretty slow. Documentation is also relatively limited and sometimes hard to follow when compared to competitors. Generally, we've been able to get the answers we need from OpsWorks support when we run into problems but don't expect rapid responses.
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If I had to dislike something about the system it would be how much it changes once you upgrade. This could be more of a problem of mine since I get used to one way and don't like it when it changes so much. I am enjoying the newest update, but it is a mess when you are actually going through the upgrades.
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OpsWorks isn't really a direct competitor to
/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.
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We previously used a mix of FOG and Clonezilla to image machines. The biggest issues with these products is that changing one piece of the image required you to rebuild the entire image itself. These pieces of software also did not allow you to manage applications and Windows Updates, causing IT to have to constantly touch machines after they were imaged and update or manage them with a much more hands on approach.
Read full review Return on Investment OpsWorks allowed us to access the AWS infrastructure with a considerably lower time investment than we would have otherwise needed when we first implemented it. Since we've been running with OpsWorks we've experienced very little downtime and it's required relatively little maintenance. The main downside of using OpsWorks for us is that it has locked us into a very specific infrastructure that doesn't have the flexibility of many of the newer infrastructure management tools, this may lead to a painful migration down the road. We also run a risk of long outage if it ever does introduce breaking changes as the skillset needed to work with the OpsWorks tooling is very specific not widely available in our company. Read full review We have been able to automate our patch management, firmware and other security concerns. We have a standardized "image" ensuring our setup is consistent across the enterprise. This alone has saved us in time to support and time to understand how to use our desktops. Read full review ScreenShots