Ansible Solutions and Support
Ansible is a simple, universal language IT automation solution that turns tough tasks into repeatable, controlled executables. With Ansible, you can automate infrastructure, applications, networks, security and compliance tasks, as well as cloud and container deployments. For enterprise scalable task automation, Ansible provides a user-friendly interface with centralized control and configuration of system integrations.
Michael DeHaan developed Ansible as an open source solution and first released it to the public in 2012. Red Hat acquired the company in 2015 and subsequently sold it to IBM in 2019. The name refers to a fictional instantaneous communication system that describes how Ansible executes its tasks distributed via different nodes in any environment.
Ansible Automations Improve Team Work and Task Execution
For teams involved in the Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) process, Ansible enables the collaboration and acceleration of the DevOps cycle. Ansible integrates with existing tools and processes to deliver better software development practices and efficiencies quickly, speeding up release cycles and improving code integrity.
Ansible’s design criteria included:
- A minimal footprint as to not impose additional dependencies from a management system onto the environment.
- Consistent processing of tasks with exactly repeatable operations.
- Using zero agents to improve system security.
- Minimal learning to operate and use, with highly reliable playbooks to drive automation accuracy.
With these conditions met, Ansible delivers highly scalable automation control without compromising resource consumption, system security, or execution efficiency. While control machines require Linux or Unix operating systems, the managed nodes can run either Windows or Unix based environments.
Ansible provides two distinct products, Ansible Tower and Ansible Network Automation.
Red Hat Ansible Tower
Ansible Tower comes in two editions, with Standard and Pro versions provided. The Pro Edition of Ansible Tower includes 24h support that’s not part of the Standard version. Although originally provided as open source, currently there are only free-trials available in order to test-drive the solution before purchasing.
The automation playbooks that Ansible uses define jobs carried out over the entire environment, written in YAML (YAML Ain’t Markup Language) making it a human-readable data-serialization language.
Ansible Centralized Automation Control and Configuration
Ansible Tower gives teams a centralized dashboard to oversee the deployment and inventory of the environment. The dashboard shows status of the nodes (called the inventory), recent job activities, and graphical views of the jobs completed.
Ansible Real-Time Status of Every Job
Playbook runs stream real-time job execution and status information regarding automations throughout the environment. Teams can track every successful execution, investigate failures by machine, and track jobs via the queue.
Reduce Task Complexity with Task Templates and Workflow Models
Job templates define the tasks Ansible performs on each node of the environment. Playbooks consist of many different job templates and workflows carry out the automated tasks in the required sequence.
For instance, teams can provision a machine, deploy the system configuration and a new application, initiate a testing workflow, and perform the subsequent release based on the test outcomes. With everything coordinated from a single location, Ansible reduces the time between planning, creating, verifying, packaging, releasing, configuring, and monitoring new features or fixes. Teams can even nest workflows inside other workflows, automating the entire CI/CD process.
Ansible’s additional features include:
- Complete audit history for every job as well as change tracking.
- Clustering to prevent fall over and improve availability and scalability.
- Integrated communication features with notifications.
- Job scheduling and dependency relationships to trigger new jobs based on successful outcomes.
Red Hat Ansible Network Automation
Ansible Network Automation brings all the powerful features of Ansible Tower to networks. You can retrieve device information from network nodes, initiate configuration backups, and scan for configuration changes automatically.
Ansible Network Automation works on physical, cloud, or virtual (software defined) networks. This helps the DevOps team keep track of every switch, router, or access point defined throughout the entire network.
Gain Process Efficiency with ReleaseTEAM and Red Hat’s Ansible
ReleaseTEAM has over twenty years of experience in delivering innovation in the software development industry. The expertise gathered over that time means ReleaseTEAM’s consultants have seen every permutation of the agile DevOps philosophy and can assist you with any type of Ansible implementation required.
ReleaseTEAM offers staff training, mentoring, and augmentation services, as well as software sales and support.