Get more out of automation with Ansible
When it comes to IT infrastructure management, we at Piros have a clear view: anything you must do more than twice, you should automate. Ansible is one of the tools we rely on for this — and we’re excited to share our experience with our customers at the Ansible Hands-on Lab. Get more out of automation with Ansible!
Infrastructure automation is a hot topic. So, it’s not surprising that things are moving very fast for Ansible these days. The tool is essentially a task orchestrator. Developed in Python, Ansible clearly focused on Linux from the start. Since then, Windows has also been added to the mix. The fact that Ansible has very quickly acquired a place in the open source world is clear from the speed at which the number of available modules is growing. Roughly three years ago there were 1,500; today there are more than 4,000.
Each module is a small program in Python with a specific purpose, and each one focuses on a specific product. Such specific modules allow for end-to-end provisioning that takes into account specific access rules, specific policies, and so on. The big advantage of Ansible is that the tool has a very flat learning curve. Ansible is “human-readable” — i.e., the code is easy to understand, even if you’re not an expert in Ansible or Python. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you’re ready to go.
The success of a tool like Ansible isn’t surprising. At Piros we use a simple starting point. If you only do something once, then automation makes no sense. But if you must do it more than twice when managing IT infrastructure, then automation is of course useful. Automation saves time, freeing you up to work on tasks that add more value. At the same time, the error rate is reduced because software always performs actions in the same way, a thousand times in succession if necessary. Humans sooner or later get distracted and inevitably make mistakes.
This idempotency is perhaps the greatest advantage of automation. If you let a software tool go through the same sequence of actions twice in succession — as described in a playbook — you’ll get exactly the same result twice in succession. In the context of IT infrastructure management, this leads to higher quality. After all, the outcome is always the same – and no one changes the IT environment unnoticed here or there.
Opting for open source
To discover how Ansible adds value, we recommend starting small, for example with a single task or with a simple playbook. When users get to grips with this, we often see that they expand their use of Ansible very quickly. Does this not make a company too dependent on the tool? That risk seems very small to us. Ansible is itself an open source product, which keeps the risk of a hard vendor lock-in low. At Piros we prefer to work with the version of Red Hat.
Ansible Hands-on Lab
Curious about what Ansible can do for your organization? Learn all about it at our Ansible Workshop on 16 June 2022. During this interactive event, you’ll get to know Ansible at your own pace. After a short technical introduction, you’ll learn how to set up your first playbook. We offer tracks for both Linux and Windows. Registration will be open soon. Stay tuned!
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