Working smarter, not harder with Red Hat Ansible
March 21, 2023
“Ansible is a powerful, agentless, open source configuration tool. I’ve outlined some of the main reasons why more and more DevOps practicioners and sysadmins are choosing Ansible and what it can offer you.”
Since Red Hat’s 2015 purchase of Ansible, the software is surging in popularity as a configuration management tool. Its tagline promises that it “allows smart people to do smart things” by automating repetitive systems administration tasks like application deployment and Cloud provisioning in addition to configuration management. As more teams look to embrace DevOps best practices, Ansible is frequently cited as one of the best tools available for automating infrastructure.
What makes it so great? Ansible’s easy configurations mean developers looking to modernise their IT solutions don’t need to start building from scratch. Certain modules come built into Ansible, but it’s just as straightforward to create custom modules with Python and contribute to the growing base of open source knowledge. From a small setup to a large enterprise infrastructure, Ansible is designed for multi-tier deployments and to run in environments where you might be spinning up new servers every day. It is a powerful tool for managing anywhere from 1 to 100 servers, issuing commands throughout a wider network, and using SSH to connect the nodes to the control machine.
Ansible is approachable and easy to learn. It’s a secure, reliable and powerful tool that can quickly extend its reach to solve a range of automation challenges. We’ve outlined four reasons why Ansible is the first choice for a growing number of developers and sysadmins looking to produce higher quality applications, and get them to market faster.
Simple is best
Ansible users can learn how to work with the tool quickly (we’re talking about a few hours) and it is easily deployable. It doesn’t require sophisticated programming skills either, or even custom code. Instructions are human-friendly, which simplifies version control and advances the movement of “infrastructure as code”, where IT professionals treat infrastructure as they would software development.
With Ansible, troubleshooting is easy. It’s impossible not to troubleshoot because, without a dependency system Ansible tasks run sequentially and stop when an error is encountered. One of the most prominent benefits of Ansible is that it’s agentless and SSH-based. Configuration files are written in YAML, making them easy to read, write and maintain.
The Galaxy at your fingertips
RedHat is dedicated to supporting open source communities in the belief that they lead to the creation, promotion, and maintenance of better software, with Ansible being no exception. Galaxy is the open source repository for Ansible roles (portable, ready to run tasks) that are available to the Ansible community. Currently, on GitHub, there are over 3000 contributors demonstrating that community-powered innovation, advances the best ideas in open source technology. In addition to accessing the public Galaxy, your organization can set up your own private Galaxy repository while also submitting new features to the Ansible Galaxy codebase.
While Ansible remains committed to providing accessible, public code, Ansible Inc. still has to turn a profit from some aspect of their product. Enterprise-grade web-based Ansible Tower offers extra features such as role-based access control (RBAC), reporting, web UI, REST APIS and multi-tenancy in a user-friendly package. If you’re expanding your use of Ansible, but not sure whether or not Ansible Tower is right for your organization the product is still free for up to 10 devices, allowing you to try before you buy.
Security and Compliance
Understanding that in today’s IT environments security is of prime importance, Ansible gives users the ability to define your own security policy- which is integrated into all automated processes. Security details are configured once into the control machine, they will automatically embed in all other nodes within the network, eliminating the need to manually monitor each machine for security compliance.
Want to give Ansible a try?
Automation in a complex IT environment is a time-consuming process if done manually, Red Hat Ansible simplifies configuration management and application deployment tasks, providing Developers with the freedom to focus their energy on value-adding tasks, in short, empowering your team to ‘do what they do best’.
With a team of Red Hat certified experts and an Advanced Partner status, we offer on-demand training for your entire team, allowing you to do more with your automation stack.