Red Hat Ansible is a staple of enterprise automation. Created as open source software in 2012, Ansible was then acquired by Red Hat in 2015. With Red Hat’s subsequent acquisition by IBM in 2019, Ansible is now deeply interwoven with the IBM product and service ecosystem, including the IBM Power Systems line of enterprise servers.
Ansible is automation software that can handle numerous common IT processes. It is routinely used for tasks such as configuration management and continuous delivery. The benefits of Ansible include:
Ansible is very lightweight. It doesn’t use any agents or complex custom security infrastructure. Plus, when its programs (called Ansible modules, which can be used in IBM Power Systems) finish running, they remove themselves from the system(s) in question. Ansible’s streamlined design means that there is no “managing the management” as with some other approaches to automation. Accordingly, Ansible can scale to even complex multicloud and hybrid cloud setups.
Ease of use
Someone can easily get up and running with it as long as they have a text editor, terminal program and version control system in place. Inventory is manageable within simple text file formats like INI, although Ansible can also pull inventory from locations like Amazon EC2 and OpenStack. Ansible uses SSH and Windows Remote Management as its main transport mechanisms.
Speed + flexibility
With Ansible, it’s possible to quickly connect to remote nodes and then run modules as any user. Sudo and su are available for privilege escalation in this context. Ansible also enables rapid creation of automation tasks with arguments worded so that they resemble spoken English.
Ansible doesn’t attempt to “fix” nodes that aren’t broken. Sometimes, Ansible is described as managing “idempotent” resources, meaning that if an Ansible module puts a machine in a desired state, then subsequent runs of that same module won’t make any further alterations. Similarly, Ansible won’t transfer files it doesn’t need to, if checksums match between a file’s source and its destination.
Overall, Ansible is one of the most straightforward and scalable platforms for automating a variety of tasks. Anything from patching an application to supporting a storage and disaster recovery program is possible through Ansible-driven automation, which saves times and money.
Red Hat Ansible on Power Systems
In the eBook below, we dive into how these capabilities of Ansible work in the context of IBM Power Systems deployments.
Projects such as AI and high performance computing often run on IBM Power Systems servers with the AIX or IBM i operating systems installed. Ansible provides consistent automation across these platforms, similar to how it works on other OSes like IBM z/OS and Microsoft Windows. Through Ansible, its’ easier to enable hybrid cloud architectures via IBM Power Systems, too.
- The technical components and architecture of Red Hat Ansible
- Benefits of running it on IBM Power Systems in particular, with examples
- How IBM has supported Ansible automation through content collections
The InfoSystems team can help your organization maximize the value of your Red Hat and IBM IT investments. As a Red Hat Advanced Business Partner and an IBM Platinum Business Partner, we have the experience and expertise to ensure that you get the right automation setup and can scale your IT operations as your business requirements evolve.