Notes from the 2016 Ansible Community Survey

August 10, 2016 by Bill Nottingham

ansible-community-survey-2016.jpg We recently ran the 2016 version of our Ansible Community Survey. This is a survey of Ansible users and community members, regarding how they're using Ansible in their environments. We thought it would be useful to share some of the aggregate results. (As we did not ask for permission to distribute individual responses, we cannot make the raw data public.)

We had over 1,600 survey respondents, up from 1,300 when we last ran the survey in March of 2015.
 

How long have you been using Ansible?

Answer Options

Response Percent

A month or less

7.8%

1-2 months

7.3%

2-6 months

18.8%

6-12 months

18.6%

over a year

47.4%

number of respondents

1,625


Ansible continues to grow more veteran users - when surveyed in 2015, only 30% of respondents had used Ansible for more than a year.

What version(s) of Ansible are you currently running?

Answer Options

Response Percent

pre-1.9.x

5.0%

1.9.x

27.8%

2.0.x

41.6%

2.1.x

51.4%

2.2/development

6.7%

number of respondents

1,623


Note that respondents could pick multiple versions. All told, 80% of respondents have at least some usage of Ansible 2.0 or later.

What operating system do you most frequently use as the Ansible control machine (the machine you run ansible-playbook from)?

Answer Options

Response Percent

Red Hat Enterprise Linux

12.5%

CentOS

21.2%

Fedora

4.8%

Ubuntu

30.8%

Debian

8.4%

Gentoo

0.6%

Arch

1.7%

OS X

19.3%

FreeBSD/OpenBSD/NetBSD

0.6%

Other (please specify)

4.5%

number of respondents

1,588


Compared to past releases, we are seeing more RHEL and CentOS usage (up from 9% and 18%). Notable write-ins include Amazon Linux and the SuSE family of Linuxes, both with around 1%.

What operating systems do you currently manage with Ansible?

Answer Options

Response Percent

Red Hat Enterprise Linux

33.1%

CentOS

54.8%

Fedora

6.2%

Ubuntu

55.3%

Debian

24.7%

Gentoo

1.3%

Arch

2.0%

OS X

5.9%

FreeBSD/OpenBSD/NetBSD

4.7%

Windows

12.4%

Other (please specify)

12.4%

number of respondents

1,572


Again, compared to 2015, we are seeing a slight uptick in RHEL and CentOS usage (which were at 25% and 48%, respectively). We also see dramatic increase in Windows usage, up over 5 points from 6.7%. Notable write-ins include Amazon Linux (ranking above a couple of our survey choices at 3%), the SuSE family of Linuxes, and a variety of networking devices.

When you install or upgrade Ansible, you most frequently get it from:

Answer Options

Response Percent

pip

36.6%

github

12.2%

yum

21.3%

apt

19.8%

homebrew

9.6%

macports

0.4%

other (please specify)

5.8%

number of respondents

1,558


78% of users are now pulling Ansible from their distribution package managers (yum/dnf, apt) or upstream package managers (pip), compared to 70% as of 2015.

Which of the following Ansible features do you use?

Answer Options

Response Percent

Cloud deployment modules (ec2, rackspace, etc)

43.7%

Windows support

13.6%

Ansible Galaxy (I download roles)

37.1%

Ansible Galaxy (I publish roles of my own for others to use)

8.7%

Vault (encrypt data in Playbooks)

44.3%

Accelerated mode (transport optimization)

13.0%

SSH pipelining (transport optimization)

39.4%

Jinja2 templates

77.4%

Async actions

20.6%

Database modules

36.3%

Docker modules

27.6%

Source control modules (checkout git/svn/hg for deployment, etc)

52.5%

Unarchive module (deploy from a tarball)

42.1%

Synchronize module (rsync wrapper)

28.2%

number of respondents

1,559

 

What are some of the tools in your neighborhood?

Answer Options

Response Percent

Jenkins

60.6%

Other CI System

22.6%

Amazon AWS

52.4%

Rackspace Cloud

5.7%

Google Compute Engine

7.4%

Microsoft Azure

8.8%

VMware

38.3%

OpenStack

18.6%

Docker

54.6%

Other Containers (LXC, Rocket,...)

10.6%

Other Public Cloud

7.2%

Other Private Cloud

11.2%

Puppet

18.4%

Chef

10.3%

CFEngine

2.4%

MCollective

2.1%

Fabric

7.6%

Capistrano

6.8%

Vagrant

54.9%

cowsay

13.3%

Other (please specify)

9.0%

number of respondents

1,572


As noted, this is an Ansible community survey, so we'll have Ansible-centric responders. On the cloud side, we see Azure up 3 percentage points from 2015. We see significant gains in Jenkins and other CI tools as people (up from 53% and 18%). Older deployment tools such as Fabric and Capistrano dropped, as both were at or above 11% in our 2015 survey.

If you're using containers, how are you using them?

Answer Options

Response Percent

Dev/Test

89.8%

Production

42.5%

With OpenShift

4.1%

With Kubernetes

11.0%

With Mesos

5.6%

With Docker Swarm

11.8%

Other (please specify)

11.6%

number of respondents

1,112


This was a new question for our 2016 survey, and shows just how far containerization has come - over 2/3 of our respondents described how they were using containers. Amazon ECS was a write-in with 2.6% of respondents.

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Topics:
Community, Ansible


 

Bill Nottingham

Bill Nottingham is the Director of Product at Ansible. He came to Ansible from Red Hat, where he spent 15+ years building and architecting Red Hat’s Linux products. His days are spent chatting with users and customers about Ansible and Tower. He can be found on twitter at @bill_nottingham, and occasionally doing a very poor impersonation of a soccer player.


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