Automating Enterprise Operations Using Ansible

Automation is an essential and strategic component of modernization and digital transformation. Modern, dynamic environments need a new type of management solution that can improve speed, scale and stability across the enterprise IT environment.

Ansible! The Language of Devops

Are you doing the same IT tasks over and over again? Does it require a lot of manual complex efforts and co-ordination? Then Ansible, the IT Automation Engine is the solutions to look for. Ansible helps to automate your processes for once and make it repeatable. Today thousands of enterprises use Ansible to drive complexity out of their environments and accelerate DevOps initiatives. Ansible helps in achieving faster deliveries with consistent results using a repeatable process in wide range of environments.

Why Ansible?

Ansible is the most popular open source automation tool on GitHub today with more than a quarter million downloads per month. With over 3,550 contributors submitting new modules all the time, rest assured that what you are automating is covered in Ansible already, or will be very soon. No matter what systems you use, what stage of migration you are in, Ansible automation can help to modernise and bridge the gap between traditional environments and newer agile systems, leverage automation to migrate applications to new infrastructures and to optimize automation.

Ansible is SIMPLE, POWERFUL and AGENTLESS

Advantages

  • Eliminate repetitive tasks
  • Reduce errors & mistakes
  • Save time and efforts / reduce costs
  • Overcome complexity
  • Enforce standard processes and compliance
  • Faster delivery
  • Predictable, reliable and secure
  • Supports traditional and modern environments
  • Infrastructure as code

Ansible Automation

Ansible seamlessly support automation of various enterprise operations like Provisioning, Configuration Management, App Deployment, Continuous Delivery, Security, Compliance, Orchestration, and Integration of Infrastructure, Network, Containers, Cloud and other tools.

Ansible for Devops:

Ansible helps DevOps and organizations to actively modernize IT operations along with operating and maintaining legacy applications and infrastructure. Ansible is used widely for configuration management, deployments, provisioning, orchestration, etc. by DevOps. It improves productivity and also helps to solve many complex tasks and challenges easily.

Infrastructure Automation:

Ansible has extensive support for automated building up of infrastructure across clouds and services. It helps to provision servers, network devices, storage devices, and more. Ansible supports all major virtualization platforms like VMWare, Red Hat Virtulization, XenServer, Vagrant, etc and operating systems like Linux, Windows, UNIX, IBM, etc. Ansible requires only non-administrative users to manage such virtual resources.

Network Automation:

Ansible is powerful enough to automate next generation network operations, whether it is physical, software defined or cloud based. Leveraging the existing network commands, Ansible can automate many network platforms like switches, routers, load balancers and firewalls.

Provisioning:

Provisioning creates a suitable environment for the application to live, which involves various tasks like creating servers, allocating memory, disk space, network, etc. Ansible supports provisioning of infrastructures like bare metal, virtual machines, cloud and networks. Automating provisioning is the first step in application operations life cycle. Ansible is used to implement Infrastructure as Code (IaC).

Configuration Management:

Configuration management is an up to date inventory (current state) of all technology assets, like hardware and software. It makes sure that a system performs as it is expected to (desired state) over time. Configuration management systems let us consistently define system settings, as well as build and maintain those systems according to those baseline settings. Ansible provides the simplest, consistent, reliable and secure way for configuration management.

App Deployments & Migrations:

Ansible can deploy applications reliably and consistently. It can configure needed services and push application artifacts from one common system. Ansible play books makes installations, upgrades and day to day management repeatable and reliable. Ansible is agentless design and play books are simple to write and maintain. Ansible provides a vast library of building blocks for managing all kinds of IT tasks and network software. Ansible can orchestrate zero down time rolling updates and is super flexible. It supports deployment of application to local computer systems and cloud systems like Amazone AWS, Azure and more.

Continuous Delivery:

(CD) Continuous Delivery is the processes of releasing changes and new modules of an application to production continuously (release early & release often). This helps to release new features to customers faster, creating better products and happier customers. CD cannot be done without automation and Ansible provide one of the easiest paths to this. Ansible can support rolling updates and zero down time. Ansible playbooks can be configured to deploy to different environments like dev, testing, staging or production.

Orchestration:

Deploying simple standalone applications could be simpler. But, to deal with complex deployments and complex challenges involving clustered applications, multiple data centers, public, private and hybrid clouds and with complex dependencies would require tools like Ansible that can orchestrate your complex tasks easily. Orchestration is about bringing together disparate things into a coherent whole. Applications may have frontend and backend services, databases, monitoring, networks and storage. Each has their own configuration, deployment and an order of execution to follow. Ansible clear syntax and task-based nature makes orchestrating these tasks easy.

Container Support:

With Ansible, you can manage not only containers, but the environments around the containers. Docker instances still need to run on hosts, and those hosts need to be launched, configured, networked, and coordinated, whether they be local machines or full cloud infrastructures. Ansible container enables you to build container images and orchestrate them using Ansible playbooks.

Cloud Support:

Ansible’s library of cloud support modules makes it easy to provision instances, networks, and complete cloud infrastructure on demand. Ansible includes over 300 modules to support cloud environments from OpenStack to AWS to GCP and Azure, Ansible has the capabilities to effectively deploy and manage infrastructures like Servers, Networking, Routing, Load Balancers, Policies, VPCs, etc

Legacy Support:

Ansible can manage multiple servers. In addition to common Linux distros, it features support for BSD variants, Solaris, HP-UX and Windows.

Summary

Ansible is one of the best tools for enterprise automation, whether it is configuration management, provisioning, deployment or orchestration. With wide range of support for operating systems, servers, networks, containers and cloud technologies, along with its simple, secure and agentless architecture Ansible can definitely be one of the best choices for most of your enterprise automation needs.

About The Author

Ansible Automation Solutions, CLOUDCONTROL

Dr. Anil Kumar

VP Engineering
Founder | Architect | Consultant | Mentor | Advisor | Faculty

Solution Architect & IT Consultant with more than 25 yrs of IT Experience. Served in various roles, with both national and international institutions. Expertise in working with both legacy and advanced technology stacks and business domains.