Super simple gui with a lot of features under the bonnet.
February 28, 2023

Super simple gui with a lot of features under the bonnet.

Phil Bristow | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Portainer

Portainer is a great leveller, engineers less comfortable on command line or Linux OS are still happy to utilise Portainer's clear GUI to manage single hosts or clusters with ease. It has helped greatly in the adoption of containerisation in what was previously a purely Windows environment increasing versatility and reducing cost significantly.

Now I use it both in development and production environments, even if your comfortable in a shell it's sometimes just quicker to glance at a screen.

Pros

  • Separating server maintenance with application development, providing a clear user interface for developers who don't want to worry about the underlying server.
  • RBAC for container deployment linked to a SAML IDP, not something particularly easy in a native Docker instance but point and shoot in Portainer, allowing the use of Azure / Okta etc to provide user access.
  • Image management with multiple repositories is super clear and reduces incidents

Cons

  • Deployment with environment variables to configure nodes and SSO during setup, allowing scripted deployment rather than having to use a gui. It doesn't take long, but would be great to automate.
  • Template based deployment to Azure ACI, the integration is to deploy individual applications but multiple containers in one template would be quicker.
  • Super simple design and ease of setup
  • RBAC with easy integration with Azure
  • Native integration with Azure ACI and container registries
  • A free license is offered for commercial use of up to three nodes at time of writing, which is exceptional for lab environments and really helps a professional when we can use the same tools at work and in the lab.
  • It's a fantastic training aid for windows admins to be able to translate into container based applications
For a swarm environment Portainer ticks all the boxes is and is super simple to use. In a day our senior admins had it up and running, comfortable in the functionality and were ready to start training more junior staff.
The speed it can be utilised means ramp up time for new hires is super fast and they can be affective and generating value much quicker than more complex systems.

Unfortunately Rancher, albeit perhaps more powerful for more complex systems, has an extra layer of complexity that we didn't justify the extra features. Maybe in the future we will outgrow Portainer but for now it's the best fit.

Do you think Portainer delivers good value for the price?

Yes

Are you happy with Portainer's feature set?

Yes

Did Portainer live up to sales and marketing promises?

Yes

Did implementation of Portainer go as expected?

Yes

Would you buy Portainer again?

Yes

Great for environments adopting containerisation with a mainly windows-oriented team or environments with large swarms that need a more centralised management solution with proper role based controls.

Also handy for small development environments for a quick proof of concept with an interface that helps explain a solution to a less technical stakeholder.

Multicloud solutions may be better suited to something more aimed at Kubernetes like Rancher for agnostic deployment across environments

Portainer Feature Ratings

Security and Isolation
Not Rated
Cluster Management
10
Storage Management
10
Resource Allocation and Optimization
10
Discovery Tools
10
Analytics, Monitoring, and Logging
8

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