Ansible is a opensource DevOps tool which helps in configuration management, deployment, provisioning, etc. Using ansible to configure these components , difficult manual tasks become repeatable and less vulnerable to errors. It uses the playbook to describe automation jobs, and playbook uses a very simple language YAML.
It means there is no kind of software or any agent managing the node like other solution such as puppet and chef.
- Build on Python:
Ansible is build on top of python, which is fast and one of the robust programming languages in today’s world.
- PUSH Architecture:
All you have to do is, write down those configurations (playbook) and push them all at once to the nodes. You see how powerful it can be to push the changes to thousands of servers in minutes.
- SSH :
Very simple passwordless network authentication protocol which is secure. So, your responsibility is to copy this key to the client.
How Does Ansible Works?
1. Setting the Architecture :
Architecture is an essential aspect of understanding how Ansible works. The ansible architecture consists of elements like modules, inventories, plugins, playbooks, and APIs. Ansible connects to the nodes and pushes out the ansible modules. Modules refer to the small programs that the Ansible pushes out from the control machine to the remote hosts or nodes.
All the nodes and control machines used with Ansible are listed under inventories with databases, IP addresses, and servers.
Playbooks of the ansible architecture are like the instruction manuals for performing the tasks. They are the simple YAML written files that make ansible more popular.
2. SSH Keys :
SSH keys are an essential part of how Ansible works. Even though passwords are supported, the SSH keys are one of the best ways of accessing Ansible. Any user can quickly login without the requirement of any root logins.
3. Managing Inventory :
Managing inventory is also an essential part of how Ansible works. Ansible represents all the machines that it manages on a simple INI file. It puts all the managed machines into groups according to the choice of the users.
4. Using Ansible :
Knowing how Ansible works, then it is the use. On availing the instance, the users can directly start using Ansible without any additional overhead. The users already have access to the running commands as well as the resource modules. It helps in making the use more straightforward. The modules of ansibles are very easy to write, and this makes the task execution even simpler.
- Configuration Management :
Centralizing configuration file management and deployment is a common use case of ansible., and it is how many power users are first introduced to the ansible automation platform.
- Application Deployment :
When you define your application with ansible, and manage the deployment with Red Hat Ansible Tower ,teams can effectively manage the entire application life cycle from deployment to production.
- Security and Compliance :
When your security policy is defined in Ansible Playbooks , scanning and remediation of site wide security policies can be integrated into other automated processes.
- Orchestration :
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.
Microsoft Corporation develops, manufactures, and supports software, consumer electronics and computers, and related services. To simplify and scale at pace with market demands, Microsoft worked with Red Hat to create a scalable, technology-agnostic automation framework to reduce manual workloads with efficient tools and processes, and mitigate performance and security issues with standardized, tested code. As a result, Microsoft has standardized network automation at scale, established a collaborative and creative development mindset, and saved thousands of hours of operational work.
Microsoft needed to address increasing complexity across their corporate network infrastructure — comprised of tens of thousands of endpoints — that connects Microsoft locations worldwide. “We have thousands of devices of various makes and models and software versions, so at times, it’s hard to keep up with all the different vendors and ways that we interact with those devices,” said Bart Dworak, Software Engineering Manager at Microsoft. Their issues were compounded as code created by development and engineering teams was not version-controlled or peer-reviewed, leading to duplication and quality issues.
Using Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform and working with Red Hat Consulting, Microsoft created a standardized, centralized network automation environment that reduces routine, repeatable tasks and complexity. “Digital transformation is really changing the way that we think about how we solve problems,” said Dworak. “In the past, we had to manually do the same deployment again and again. With Ansible, we can create blueprints to deploy it multiple times. And every time we deploy, it’s exactly the same.”
By focusing on people, process, and technology, Microsoft has evolved its automation journey from manual scripting and changes to a continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) approach supported by a centralized, service-based architecture. Their DevOps teams can now focus on sharing knowledge, building skills, and creating innovative technology solutions. “Teams are coming together to solve engineering problems in a shared environment of co-creation,” said Sonika Munde, Remote Access Services Engineer, Core Service Engineering, at Microsoft. “We are truly seeing One Microsoft in action.”
Ally Financial :
Ally Financial, a leader in digital financial services, delivers online banking, auto finance and insurance, home loans, investing, and corporate finance. The company wanted more reliable and predictable deployments to keep up with an ever-changing market. Ally partnered with Red Hat to create a containerized hybrid cloud platform to support cloud-native application development, and it adopted DevOps processes to increase collaboration, innovation, and efficiency.
The quickly changing financial services industry demands speed and efficiency. Ally needed to transform its IT capabilities to deploy releases much faster and with greater reliability.
Ally partnered with Red Hat® Consulting to determine how to move from traditional infrastructure to containerized development. Together, they built a containerized hybrid cloud platform for cloud-native application development. Ally also adopted DevOps processes to collaborate better and innovate faster. The platform and processes are being aggressively adopted across all major lines of business, and most business-critical applications are being onboarded to the platform, including online banking, analytics, and auto resale.
Ally’s new platform and processes have improved time to market, increased agility, and strengthened its competitive advantage. The time for go-live vetting has been reduced, and teams are able to rapidly react to problems that arise. Also, end-to-end automation has freed up developers to innovate and has introduced time-saving, self-service features.
Ansible is the simple, yet powerful IT automation engine that thousands of companies are using to drive complexity out of their environments and accelerate DevOps initiatives.
Ansible is a simple automation language that can perfectly describe an IT application infrastructure. It’s easy-to-learn, self-documenting, and doesn’t require a grad-level computer science degree to read. Automation shouldn’t be more complex than the tasks it’s replacing.