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.
Read full review
Setting up device backup schedules for individual locations is quick and easy. The application is very straightforward and basic. The application covers 90% of our needs. Some devices that require configuration and file backups utilizing ftp or other methods are configured using a different set of tools. Backups can be stored in configured destination folders for easy review.
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 Network device backups. Identify configuration changes from prior backup. Automated email notifications. 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 Limited scripting capability. Limited reporting/management summarization. Read full review Usability
CatTools is simple to set up and administer. Anyone who can install a Windows application can quickly set up an automated backup of one or more devices. It does what it was designed to do.
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.
Read full review
The software is easy enough to set up and configure that even after using the product for years, we never had to contact support. We used some open source products before utilizing CatTools and could have used a speed dial to try and figure out the intricacies of the products.
Read full review Alternatives Considered
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.
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 Allows InfoSec to review all changes without granting access to actual devices. Allows review of "what changed?" if required for particular sites. Alerts confirm what devices have been modified every day. Read full review ScreenShots SolarWinds Kiwi CatTools Screenshots