Ansible is a configuration management platform that automates storage, servers, and networking. When you use Ansible to configure these components, difficult manual tasks become repeatable and less vulnerable to error.
How does Ansible work?
Ansible works by connecting to your nodes and pushing out small programs, called “Ansible modules” to them. These programs are written to be resource models of the desired state of the system. Ansible then executes these modules (over SSH by default), and removes them when finished.
Benefits of Ansible
Ansible is a simple-to-use platform, easy to install and configure, with a very fast learning rate. In less than 30 minutes, it’s possible to install and configure the system and execute ad hoc commands for servers to solve a specific problem: daylight saving time adjustments, time synchronization, root password change, updating servers, restarting services, and so on.
Low Learning Curve
Ansible is easy to deploy because it uses no agents or additional custom security infrastructure. It also leverages YAML, a simple language to describe your automation job via playbooks. Playbooks push the desired settings on the hosts defined in the inventory and can even be run ad hoc (via the command line, not requiring definitions in files).
From the moment you can ping the hosts through Ansible, you can start automating your environment. Begin with small tasks, following best practices, prioritizing tasks that add value to the business, solve major problems, and gain time and improving productivity.
Complete IT automation
Ansible seamlessly unites workflow orchestration with configuration management, provisioning, and application deployment in one easy-to-use and deploy platform.
Regardless of where you start with Ansible, you’ll find our simple, powerful and agentless automation platform has the capabilities to solve your most challenging problems.
Your apps have to live somewhere. If you’re PXE booting and kickstarting bare-metal servers or VMs, or creating virtual or cloud instances from templates, Ansible and Red Hat® Ansible® Tower help streamline the process.
Centralizing configuration file management and deployment is a common use case for Ansible, and it’s how many power users are first introduced to the Ansible automation platform.
When you define your application with Ansible, and manage the deployment with Ansible Tower, teams are able to effectively manage the entire application lifecycle from development to production.
Creating a CI/CD pipeline requires buy-in from numerous teams. You can’t do it without a simple automation platform that everyone in your organization can use. Ansible Playbooks keep your applications properly deployed (and managed) throughout their entire lifecycle.
When you define your security policy in Ansible, scanning and remediation of site-wide security policy can be integrated into other automated processes and instead of being an afterthought, it’ll be integral in everything that is deployed.
Configurations alone don’t define your environment. You need to define how multiple configurations interact and ensure the disparate pieces can be managed as a whole. Out of complexity and chaos, Ansible brings order
*SUCCESS STORIES ON HOW COMPANIES USE ANSIBLE*
Hootsuite is a social media management system used by businesses and organizations. It allows the execution of social media campaigns on a variety of networks from a secure dashboard. Hootsuite is popular among Fortune 1000 companies.
The main challenge facing Hootsuite was the lack of repeatability. This made automating Hootsuite’s infrastructure a challenge, and Hootsuite were also facing difficulties in application deployment.
To resolve this, Hootsuite introduced Ansible core. This allowed Hootsuite to build servers from scratch and enabled repeatability. In the future, Hootsuite plans to implement an Ansible migration of its app deployment and possibly in ad hoc production server management.
Since performing their Ansible migration, Hootsuite says ops and devs ‘feel safer’. Additionally, Ansible allows developers to repeatedly test server builds on a local level until the team can be sure they work.
Hootsuite intends to use Ansible in many other ways, and as Beier Cai, Director of Technology, Hootsuite Media Inc., explains, “In the beginning I didn’t realize Ansible is good for orchestration as well but found it out quickly and I really loved it as it beats competitors right there.”