Jenkins vs. Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
Jenkins
Score 8.4 out of 10
N/A
Jenkins is an open source automation server. Jenkins provides hundreds of plugins to support building, deploying and automating any project. As an extensible automation server, Jenkins can be used as a simple CI server or turned into a continuous delivery hub for any project.N/A
Ansible
Score 8.9 out of 10
N/A
The Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform (acquired by Red Hat in 2015) is a foundation for building and operating automation across an organization. The platform includes tools needed to implement enterprise-wide automation, and can automate resource provisioning, and IT environments and configuration of systems and devices. It can be used in a CI/CD process to provision the target environment and to then deploy the application on it.
$5,000
per year
Pricing
JenkinsRed Hat Ansible Automation Platform
Editions & Modules
No answers on this topic
Basic Tower
5,000
per year
Enterprise Tower
10,000
per year
Premium Tower
14,000
per year
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
JenkinsAnsible
Free Trial
NoNo
Free/Freemium Version
YesNo
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
NoNo
Entry-level Setup FeeNo setup feeNo setup fee
Additional Details
More Pricing Information
Community Pulse
JenkinsRed Hat Ansible Automation Platform
Considered Both Products
Jenkins
Chose Jenkins
Both Jenkins and TeamCity do a good job of automating CI/CD. Jenkins runs much leaner than TeamCity - it only needs about a Gig of free memory, whereas TeamCity needs a fat 4 Gig free. Many tasks in Jenkins yml config can be very cumbersome, especially running local and …
Chose Jenkins
Jenkins is very easy to use, open source tool. Its better for simple build and deployments.
Chose Jenkins
Jenkins is the only tool I would consider using for CTCI deployment. Its plugins make it easy to customize to any environment you can conjure up and will always be custom fit to your needs as a DevOps engineer. Other tools have better support but lack the customizability and …
Chose Jenkins
Jenkins has been my favorite continuous integration tool I've used. It's easy to setup, intuitive to use, and very powerful. The software allows for building complex workflows, then having them run without thinking about it. This leads to savings in time and resources, and to …
Chose Jenkins
Travis CI and AppVeyor are good services that provide rudimentary support for builds, but they focus on Linux/OSX and Windows respectively, meaning that cross-platform builds will need to use both services. They are free for open source projects on GitHub, so they are seen …
Chose Jenkins
Jenkins does a much better job of working with interpreted languages, and has a much larger plugin base.
Ansible
Chose Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform
All three of these competitors are agent based. I did not want an additional service that needed to run absolutely everywhere. I also did not want to maintain a load balanced cluster of master servers that grows in resource requirements as your infrastructure scales.
Chose Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform
  • Ansible is much simpler to get up and running with than Chef, as it requires no infrastructure or agent process or any configuration on the target machine. All you need is SSH access! However, you lose the capabilities that Chef server offers such as data bags (centralized data …
Chose Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform
I've said this before, but Ansible is a great declarative orchestrator. One thing that is both good and bad about it is that it has no store about the state of the gear it manages. With dynamic inventory, I either have to realize facts for my entire fleet or rely on prior runs …
Top Pros
Top Cons
TrustRadius Insights
JenkinsRed Hat Ansible Automation Platform
Highlights

TrustRadius
Research Team Insight
Published

Jenkins is an open source automation server present in many CI/CD pipelines. Ansible, or more recently the Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform, is an IT automation platform, available as a free open source program or as a paid program with Ansible Tower supported directly by Red Hat. Ansible’s use cases include IT configuration management, application deployment, release orchestration, and continuous delivery (CD). Jenkins is a CI/CD leader, and is deployed across companies of all sizes, and large enterprises. Ansible is a multifarious platform but is generally used to provision and configure complex networks and server setups, and therefore is more commonly used in larger companies than in small ones. The tools are often used together in a CI/CD pipeline. Red Hat offers instructions on how to use Ansible roles and playbooks with Jenkins.

Features

Ansible and Jenkins present distinct advantages over alternatives for use in a CI / CD pipeline.

As an automation server Jenkins brings flexibility, extensibility, and configurability via a mother lode of plugins and integrations, and it is able to work with nearly any DevOps tool (GitHub, GitLab, Bitbucket, JFrog Artifactory, Puppet, Ansible). Jenkins is free and open source, but unlike some open source tools it has an excellent support ecosystem because of its large and very active community of developers participating in forums, providing guides or blogs, and who are directly recruitable to help with projects. Beyond automated builds, users can rely on Jenkins to automate tests and debugging.

To complement Jenkins or any other build automation or CI tools, Ansible is a worthy CD solution for setting up and deploying to target environments. It is lightweight and agentless and thus fast and easy to deploy, and, as it’s agentless, it is especially useful for cloud servers and infrastructure. It is doubly easy to use with human-friendly YAML playbooks that allow users to set up servers quickly, with minimal handling. Ansible also gives the user fine control over servers with infrastructure as code, allowing segments of infrastructure to be defined in Ansible Playbooks, which are quick to develop and reusable with templates.

Limitations

While Jenkins and Ansible are popular options, there are a few reasons one might choose to exclude these options from their Continuous Delivery pipeline.

Jenkins lacks certain conveniences for collaborating teams: there is no standard Jenkins deployment so implementations can be idiosyncratic. It also has a UI that is hard to understand and can easily overwhelm users who are managing many projects; this worsens when there is more than one person attempting to contribute. The price of Jenkins being supported by an open-source community, rather than dedicated support, and having nearly infinitely flexible and configurable is that troubleshooting can be hard, with well-meaning community members being unable to help any particular developer with his potentially quite unusual Jenkins setup.

While Ansible’s agentlessness is good for many reasons, it relies on SSH to achieve this, and users sometimes express annoyance at relying on an SSH connection which may not meet all particular users’ security needs. Ansible’s paid service (Ansible Tower, formerly AWX) is required for job scheduling, but it is less well reviewed than other Ansible features, and paid support strikes some as not worth the (high) cost. Using Ansible with Windows servers may not be up to par with vs.using it with Linux or Unix-like systems.

Pricing

Jenkins is released under the MIT license and is totally free and open source. Services for Jenkins, may pose a cost, such as CloudBees CI, a governance and team management system for Jenkins that addresses its weaknesses. Ansible is also open source and free to use as an IT automation tool and configuration management tool. The paid version of the Ansible Automation Platform, with Ansible Tower, is available on Standard and Premium plans, with the primary difference being that Premium presents 24×7 support, vs business hour support on the Standard plan. Pricing is based on the number of nodes (systems, hosts, instances, VMs, containers or devices) and is acquired on an annual license. Pricing is not published though sources show licensing costs from roughly $5000 per year for up to 500 nodes, to $20,000 per year for up to 1000 nodes, and Premium support.

Best Alternatives
JenkinsRed Hat Ansible Automation Platform
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Score 8.9 out of 10
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Medium-sized Companies
GitLab
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Score 8.9 out of 10
AWS CloudFormation
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Score 8.7 out of 10
Enterprises
GitLab
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Score 8.9 out of 10
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User Ratings
JenkinsRed Hat Ansible Automation Platform
Likelihood to Recommend
8.2
(69 ratings)
9.0
(63 ratings)
Likelihood to Renew
-
(0 ratings)
8.6
(2 ratings)
Usability
5.0
(3 ratings)
7.3
(1 ratings)
Performance
8.9
(6 ratings)
8.7
(5 ratings)
Support Rating
6.6
(6 ratings)
7.3
(3 ratings)
Implementation Rating
-
(0 ratings)
8.2
(1 ratings)
Ease of integration
-
(0 ratings)
8.6
(5 ratings)
User Testimonials
JenkinsRed Hat Ansible Automation Platform
Likelihood to Recommend
Open Source
Jenkins is a highly customizable CI/CD tool with excellent community support. One can use Jenkins to build and deploy monolith services to microservices with ease. It can handle multiple "builds" per agent simultaneously, but the process can be resource hungry, and you need some impressive specs server for that. With Jenkins, you can automate almost any task. Also, as it is an open source, we can save a load of money by not spending on enterprise CI/CD tools.
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Red Hat
The thing I mentioned earlier where we're constantly dealing with federal regulations or new agents that they want us to install and deploy and just getting those out in a consistent manner in a canned installation via Playbook is ideal
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Pros
Open Source
  • Automated Builds: Jenkins is configured to monitor the version control system for new pull requests. Once a pull request is created, Jenkins automatically triggers a build process. It checks out the code, compiles it, and performs any necessary build steps specified in the configuration.
  • Unit Testing: Jenkins runs the suite of unit tests defined for the project. These tests verify the functionality of individual components and catch any regressions or errors. If any unit tests fail, Jenkins marks the build as unsuccessful, and the developer is notified to fix the issues.
  • Code Analysis: Jenkins integrates with code analysis tools like SonarQube or Checkstyle. It analyzes the code for quality, adherence to coding standards, and potential bugs or vulnerabilities. The results are reported back to the developer and the product review team for further inspection.
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Red Hat
  • Makes it easy to create and share automation in one central hub.
  • Ansible content collections give me the ability to reuse code, making it rapid to carry out complex IT processes.
  • Event-driven automation allows me to reduce manual tasks: it is rapid to know which action to take and respond automatically by receiving events from external apps automatically.
Read full review
Cons
Open Source
  • The UI could be slightly better, it feels kind of like the 90s, but it works well.
  • An easier way to filter jobs other than views on the dashboard.
  • An easier way to read the console logs when tests do fail.
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Red Hat
  • Workflows should have more flexible paths than just success or failure.
  • The upgrade process can be challenging with differences in security and environment.
  • There is an opportunity to add CICD functionality into the tool.
  • For development, it would be nice to have the option of editing a repo directly from AAP to allow quick tests/reruns. Then, allow it to push the updates back or create a new branch/PR in GitHub.
  • The RBAC is good but could use improvements. One example would be an option that allows admins to assume the access of another user to validate it works as expected.
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Likelihood to Renew
Open Source
No answers on this topic
Red Hat
We are deploying Ansible at all levels of the organization
Read full review
Usability
Open Source
While the day to day use is very easy, the configuration and setting up of the system or new projects can be cumbersome.
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Red Hat
the yaml is easy to write and most people can be taught to write basic playbooks in a few weeks
Read full review
Performance
Open Source
No, when we integrated this with GitHub, it becomes more easy and smart to manage and control our workforce. Our distributed workforce is now streamlined to a single bucket. All of our codes and production outputs are now automatically synced with all the workers. There are many cases when our in-house team makes changes in the release, our remote workers make another release with other environment variables. So it is better to get all of the work in control.
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Red Hat
Great in almost every way compared to any other configuration management software. The only thing I wish for is python3 support. Other than that, YAML is much improved compared to the Ruby of Chef. The agentless nature is incredibly convenient for managing systems quickly, and if a member of your term has no terminal experience whatsoever they can still use the UI.
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Support Rating
Open Source
There is a large development community - but it is shifting as people move towards other tools. A lot of companies still use Jenkins and will build propriety tools, which doesn't help any of the open-source community. Jenkins has a lot of help and support online, but other, more modern, alternatives will have better support for newer tech.
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Red Hat
There is a lot of good documentation that Ansible and Red Hat provide which should help get someone started with making Ansible useful. But once you get to more complicated scenarios, you will benefit from learning from others. I have not used Red Hat support for work with Ansible, but many of the online resources are helpful.
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Implementation Rating
Open Source
No answers on this topic
Red Hat
I spoke on this topic today!
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Alternatives Considered
Open Source
Overall, Jenkins is the easiest platform for someone who has no experience to come in and use effectively. We can get a junior engineer into Jenkins, give them access, and point them in the right direction with minimal hand-holding. The competing products I have used (TravisCI/GitLab/Azure) provide other options but can obfuscate the process due to the lack of straightforward simplicity. In other areas (capability, power, customization), Jenkins keeps up with the competition and, in some areas, like customization, exceeds others.
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Red Hat
AAP doesn't truly stack up against any of the products mentioned except for Aria Automation. But, it is extensible and open and has a lower cost to entry.
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Return on Investment
Open Source
  • Faster Time-to-Market: Jenkins automate the build, testing, and deployment process, enabling faster feedback and continuous improvement.
  • Improved Quality: Jenkins automatically run unit tests and integration tests, ensuring that code changes meet the necessary quality standards.
  • Cost Savings: Jenkins is an open-source tool that is free to use
Read full review
Red Hat
  • Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform offers automation and ML tools that allow me to automate complex IT tasks.
  • Through automation analytics, it is seamless to gain full visibility into automation performance allowing me to make informed decisions.
  • Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform allows me to move rapidly from insights to action.
  • Creating and sharing automation content in one place unify a team in one place hence enhancing real-time collaboration.
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