Red Hat Extends Reach of Ansible Automation Framework

Red Hat this week launched a collection of downloadable workflows for automating IT processes that will be made available via the Ansible Automation Hub.

At the same time, Red Hat has updated the Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform to add an automation services catalog to keep track of workflows and a return on investment (ROI) calculator that enables IT teams to determine which workflows are the most valuable based on usage.

Red Hat also updated the core Red Hat Ansible Tower automation engine to streamline processes and reduce bottlenecks.

Tom Anderson, vice president for the Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform at Red Hat, said Red Hat Certified Ansible Content Collections includes workflows from Red Hat and vetted third-party providers. As such, IT teams employing Ansible to automate the management of IT can have confidence these playbooks and workflows are both secure and supported, he said.

Red Hat decided to separate the management of Ansible workflow content from the underlying platform because it’s become apparent new workflows are being made available at a faster cadence than updates to the core Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform, he noted.

As part of that effort, Red Hat this week is also making available additional automated workflows that leverage Red Hat Tower to automate tasks and jobs via a centralized console, along with workflows that leverage Red Hat Satellite systems management software and the Red Hat Insights monitoring service.

Anderson said interest in IT automation has expanded significantly in the wake of the economic downturn brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many organizations have either frozen IT headcount or been forced to reduce the size of their IT staff. However, managing IT environments continues to grow more complex as emerging technologies such as microservices and Kubernetes clusters gain momentum.

Some organizations may, of course, opt to put a hold on adopting new platforms, but just as many are continuing to invest in cloud-native technologies necessary to drive digital business transformation initiatives, which require applications that are both more flexible and resilient. Because of that, Anderson said, the urgency surrounding IT automation project has increased.

In fact, he noted, Red Hat has created “office hours” during which the company provides IT teams with access to Red Hat personnel at specific times to provide additional guidance.

As an open source project, Ansible is gaining traction as a management framework because it provides a declarative approach to automating IT that doesn’t require IT operations teams to learn how to code. Ansible is also being embraced by IT infrastructure providers including Cisco Systems and Dell Technologies, which makes it easier for IT teams to create playbooks that automate tasks across multiple platforms. Over time, those cross-platform capabilities foster the creation of an ecosystem that further increases Ansible momentum, Anderson noted.

There’s no doubt IT teams were increasing their reliance on IT automation frameworks prior to the pandemic. Now, however, automating the management of IT is not just about increasing productivity and efficiency; in many cases, it’s become a matter of survival.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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