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AWX vs Jenkins: What are the differences?

Introduction

AWX and Jenkins are both popular open-source automation servers that are used for continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) processes. While they share similarities in terms of their purpose and functionality, there are key differences between the two.

  1. Architecture: AWX is built on top of Ansible and provides a graphical user interface (GUI) for managing Ansible playbooks, inventories, and job scheduling. Jenkins, on the other hand, is a standalone automation server that can be extended through plugins to support various tasks in the software development lifecycle.

  2. Ease of Use: AWX offers a more user-friendly and intuitive interface compared to Jenkins, especially for users who are already familiar with Ansible. Its GUI allows for easier navigation and management of jobs, inventories, and credentials. Jenkins, while powerful, has a steeper learning curve and requires users to configure jobs through its web-based interface or by writing Jenkinsfiles.

  3. Integration with Ansible: AWX is tightly integrated with Ansible, as it provides a convenient interface to manage and execute Ansible playbooks. It offers features such as inventory management, centralized control, and job templates specifically designed for Ansible automation tasks. Jenkins, on the other hand, can also execute Ansible playbooks but requires the installation and configuration of additional plugins.

  4. Scalability and Distributed Builds: Jenkins is highly scalable and supports distributed builds across multiple agents or nodes, allowing for parallel execution of jobs. This can significantly improve the efficiency and speed of build and deployment processes. AWX, on the other hand, lacks native support for distributed builds and is primarily designed for managing and executing jobs on a single instance.

  5. Plugin Ecosystem: Jenkins has a vast plugin ecosystem that allows for customization and integration with a wide range of third-party tools and services. This makes it highly flexible and adaptable to various CI/CD requirements. AWX, while it can be extended through plugins to some extent, has a more limited selection compared to Jenkins.

  6. Community and Support: Jenkins has been around for a longer time and has a larger community of users and contributors, making it easier to find documentation, tutorials, and support. AWX, despite being backed by Red Hat and having a growing community, may have fewer resources available in terms of community-driven content and support.

In summary, AWX and Jenkins differ in their underlying architecture, ease of use, integration with Ansible, scalability, plugin ecosystem, and community support. Depending on the specific requirements and familiarity with Ansible, organizations can choose between AWX for Ansible-centric automation or Jenkins for a more general-purpose automation server with a wider range of plugins and community support.

Advice on AWX and Jenkins
Needs advice
on
Azure PipelinesAzure Pipelines
and
JenkinsJenkins

We are currently using Azure Pipelines for continous integration. Our applications are developed witn .NET framework. But when we look at the online Jenkins is the most widely used tool for continous integration. Can you please give me the advice which one is best to use for my case Azure pipeline or jenkins.

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Replies (1)
Recommends
on
GitHubGitHub

If your source code is on GitHub, also take a look at Github actions. https://github.com/features/actions

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Mohammad Hossein Amri
Chief Technology Officer at Planally · | 3 upvotes · 503.8K views
Needs advice
on
GoCDGoCD
and
JenkinsJenkins

I'm open to anything. just want something that break less and doesn't need me to pay for it, and can be hosted on Docker. our scripting language is powershell core. so it's better to support it. also we are building dotnet core in our pipeline, so if they have anything related that helps with the CI would be nice.

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Replies (1)
Ankit Malik
Software Developer at CloudCover · | 1 upvotes · 486.5K views
Recommends
on
Google Cloud BuildGoogle Cloud Build

Google cloud build can help you. It is hosted on cloud and also provide reasonable free quota.

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Needs advice
on
ConcourseConcourse
and
JenkinsJenkins

I'm planning to setup complete CD-CD setup for spark and python application which we are going to deploy in aws lambda and EMR Cluster. Which tool would be best one to choose. Since my company is trying to adopt to concourse i would like to understand what are the lack of capabilities concourse have . Thanks in advance !

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Replies (1)
Maxi Krone
Cloud Engineer at fme AG · | 2 upvotes · 405.4K views
Recommends
on
ConcourseConcourse

I would definetly recommend Concourse to you, as it is one of the most advanced modern methods of making CI/CD while Jenkins is an old monolithic dinosaur. Concourse itself is cloudnative and containerbased which helps you to build simple, high-performance and scalable CI/CD pipelines. In my opinion, the only lack of skills you have with Concourse is your own knowledge of how to build pipelines and automate things. Technincally there is no lack, i would even say you can extend it way more easily. But as a Con it is more easy to interact with Jenkins if you are only used to UIs. Concourse needs someone which is capable of using CLIs.

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Needs advice
on
JenkinsJenkinsTravis CITravis CI
and
CircleCICircleCI

From a StackShare Community member: "Currently we use Travis CI and have optimized it as much as we can so our builds are fairly quick. Our boss is all about redundancy so we are looking for another solution to fall back on in case Travis goes down and/or jacks prices way up (they were recently acquired). Could someone recommend which CI we should go with and if they have time, an explanation of how they're different?"

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Replies (6)
Dustin Falgout
Senior Developer at Elegant Themes · | 13 upvotes · 558K views

We use CircleCI because of the better value it provides in its plans. I'm sure we could have used Travis just as easily but we found CircleCI's pricing to be more reasonable. In the two years since we signed up, the service has improved. CircleCI is always innovating and iterating on their platform. We have been very satisfied.

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Peter Thomas
Distinguished Engineer at Intuit · | 9 upvotes · 868.9K views
Recommends
on
Travis CITravis CI
at

As the maintainer of the Karate DSL open-source project - I found Travis CI very easy to integrate into the GitHub workflow and it has been steady sailing for more than 2 years now ! It works well for Java / Apache Maven projects and we were able to configure it to use the latest Oracle JDK as per our needs. Thanks to the Travis CI team for this service to the open-source community !

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Recommends
on
Google Cloud BuildGoogle Cloud Build

I use Google Cloud Build because it's my first foray into the CICD world(loving it so far), and I wanted to work with something GCP native to avoid giving permissions to other SaaS tools like CircleCI and Travis CI.

I really like it because it's free for the first 120 minutes, and it's one of the few CICD tools that enterprises are open to using since it's contained within GCP.

One of the unique things is that it has the Kaniko cache, which speeds up builds by creating intermediate layers within the docker image vs. pushing the full thing from the start. Helpful when you're installing just a few additional dependencies.

Feel free to checkout an example: Cloudbuild Example

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Recommends
on
Travis CITravis CI

I use Travis CI because of various reasons - 1. Cloud based system so no dedicated server required, and you do not need to administrate it. 2. Easy YAML configuration. 3. Supports Major Programming Languages. 4. Support of build matrix 6. Supports AWS, Azure, Docker, Heroku, Google Cloud, Github Pages, PyPi and lot more. 7. Slack Notifications.

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Oded Arbel
Recommends
on
GitLab CIGitLab CI

You are probably looking at another hosted solution: Jenkins is a good tool but it way too work intensive to be used as just a backup solution.

I have good experience with Circle-CI, Codeship, Drone.io and Travis (as well as problematic experiences with all of them), but my go-to tool is Gitlab CI: simple, powerful and if you have problems with their limitations or pricing, you can always install runners somewhere and use Gitlab just for scheduling and management. Even if you don't host your git repository at Gitlab, you can have Gitlab pull changes automatically from wherever you repo lives.

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Recommends
on
BuildkiteBuildkite

If you are considering Jenkins I would recommend at least checking out Buildkite. The agents are self-hosted (like Jenkins) but the interface is hosted for you. It meshes up some of the things I like about hosted services (pipeline definitions in YAML, managed interface and authentication) with things I like about Jenkins (local customizable agent images, secrets only on own instances, custom agent level scripts, sizing instances to your needs).

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Decisions about AWX and Jenkins

Jenkins is a pretty flexible, complete tool. Especially I love the possibility to configure jobs as a code with Jenkins pipelines.

CircleCI is well suited for small projects where the main task is to run continuous integration as quickly as possible. Travis CI is recommended primarily for open-source projects that need to be tested in different environments.

And for something a bit larger I prefer to use Jenkins because it is possible to make serious system configuration thereby different plugins. In Jenkins, I can change almost anything. But if you want to start the CI chain as soon as possible, Jenkins may not be the right choice.

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Pros of AWX
Pros of Jenkins
  • 1
    Open source
  • 523
    Hosted internally
  • 469
    Free open source
  • 318
    Great to build, deploy or launch anything async
  • 243
    Tons of integrations
  • 211
    Rich set of plugins with good documentation
  • 111
    Has support for build pipelines
  • 68
    Easy setup
  • 66
    It is open-source
  • 53
    Workflow plugin
  • 13
    Configuration as code
  • 12
    Very powerful tool
  • 11
    Many Plugins
  • 10
    Continuous Integration
  • 10
    Great flexibility
  • 9
    Git and Maven integration is better
  • 8
    100% free and open source
  • 7
    Slack Integration (plugin)
  • 7
    Github integration
  • 6
    Self-hosted GitLab Integration (plugin)
  • 6
    Easy customisation
  • 5
    Pipeline API
  • 5
    Docker support
  • 4
    Fast builds
  • 4
    Hosted Externally
  • 4
    Excellent docker integration
  • 4
    Platform idnependency
  • 3
    AWS Integration
  • 3
    JOBDSL
  • 3
    It's Everywhere
  • 3
    Customizable
  • 3
    Can be run as a Docker container
  • 3
    It`w worked
  • 2
    Loose Coupling
  • 2
    NodeJS Support
  • 2
    Build PR Branch Only
  • 2
    Easily extendable with seamless integration
  • 2
    PHP Support
  • 2
    Ruby/Rails Support
  • 2
    Universal controller

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Cons of AWX
Cons of Jenkins
    Be the first to leave a con
    • 13
      Workarounds needed for basic requirements
    • 10
      Groovy with cumbersome syntax
    • 8
      Plugins compatibility issues
    • 7
      Lack of support
    • 7
      Limited abilities with declarative pipelines
    • 5
      No YAML syntax
    • 4
      Too tied to plugins versions

    Sign up to add or upvote consMake informed product decisions

    What is AWX?

    AWX provides a web-based user interface, REST API, and task engine built on top of Ansible. It is the upstream project for Tower, a commercial derivative of AWX. Ansible Towers powers enterprise automation by adding control, security and delegation capabilities to Ansible environments.

    What is Jenkins?

    In a nutshell Jenkins CI is the leading open-source continuous integration server. Built with Java, it provides over 300 plugins to support building and testing virtually any project.

    Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

    What companies use AWX?
    What companies use Jenkins?
    See which teams inside your own company are using AWX or Jenkins.
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    Sign up to get full access to all the companiesMake informed product decisions

    What tools integrate with AWX?
    What tools integrate with Jenkins?

    Sign up to get full access to all the tool integrationsMake informed product decisions

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    What are some alternatives to AWX and Jenkins?
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