What is Ansible?
Ansible is an open-source automation tool, or platform, used for IT tasks such as configuration management, application deployment, intra-service orchestration, and provisioning. Ansible simplifies complex tasks, not just making developers’ jobs more manageable but allowing them to focus attention on other tasks that add value to an organization. In other words, it frees up time and increases efficiency.
Why use ansible?
- Free, as in Ansible is an open-source tool.
- Very simple to set up and use
- Ansible lets us model even highly complex yet powerful IT workflows.
- We can orchestrate the entire application environment no matter where it’s deployed and also customize it based on our needs.
- We don’t need to install any other software or firewall ports on the client systems we want to automate and also don’t need to set up a separate management structure.
- Because we don’t need to install any extra software, there’s more room for application resources on our server. It’s more efficient
Major application fields for Ansible:
1. Configuration Management
2. Application Deployment
4. Security and Compliance
5. Cloud Provisioning
How does ansible work?
Ansible works by connecting to our 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.
Our library of modules can reside on any machine, and there are no servers, daemons, or databases required. Typically we’ll work with our favourite terminal program, a text editor, and probably a version control system to keep track of changes to your content.
Companies which use Ansible:
Update management is an ongoing responsibility. Windows Update delivers software updates for Windows systems, and many IT teams use Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) to manage these updates across their systems.
However, SCCM can be unreliable for performing automated updates, particularly when reboots are involved, making it more difficult to meet maintenance windows.
Red Hat Ansible performs basic synchronous updates using Windows Update, making automated updates more reliable. It can also manage required intermediate reboots automatically, allowing a single Ansible task to seamlessly install hundreds of updates.
To solve the problems that they had with lack of centralized management and a diverse environment, they evaluated multiple solutions and decided on an implementation of Ansible Tower. Nasa is leveraging Ansible Tower to manage their environment in a very organized and scheduled way
Using Ansible’s extensive library of built-in modules, Splunk utilizes the same simple playbook language to provision its infrastructure, and then apply configuration to it. With Tower, schedules can be set to occur once or repeat. In the case of many management requests, the built-in queuing system will ensure jobs are run efficiently. Ansible Tower’s powerful features also helps Splunk more easily manage and track its entire cloud inventory, keeping it in sync. Tower’s powerful provisioning callbacks allow nodes to request configuration on demand, enabling autoscaling.
Major benefits of choosing Ansible:
• Automation of previously time-consuming and repetitive tasks, freeing up resources to focus on delivering true business value
- Centralized control of their cloud infrastructure for seamless job scheduling
• Ansible gives Splunk the power to rapidly deploy and scale server clusters and applications in the cloud. With just one or two clicks, Ansible Tower kicks off Playbooks for quick, repeatable application environments
Growth of Ansible’s marketshares:
use of Ansible grew from 36% in 2018 to 41% in 2019 — surpassing Chef, which grew from 36% to 37%, as well as Puppet, which grew from 34% to 37%. Rounding out the list is Terraform