How industries are solving challenges using Ansible

WHAT IS ANSIBLE?

Ansible is a software tool that provides simple but powerful automation for cross-platform computer support. It is a radically simple IT automation engine that automates cloud provisioning, configuration management, application deployment, intra-service orchestration, and many other IT needs. It is primarily intended for IT professionals, who use it for application deployment, updates on workstations and servers, cloud provisioning, configuration management, intra-service orchestration, and nearly anything a systems administrator does on a weekly or daily basis. Ansible doesn’t depend on agent software and has no additional security infrastructure, so it’s easy to deploy.

Because Ansible is all about automation, it requires instructions to accomplish each job. With everything written down in simple script form, it’s easy to do version control. The practical result of this is a major contribution to the “infrastructure as code” movement in IT: the idea that the maintenance of server and client infrastructure can and should be treated the same as software development, with repositories of self-documenting, proven, and executable solutions capable of running an organization regardless of staff changes.

While Ansible may be at the forefront of automation, systems administration, and DevOps, it’s also useful to everyday users. Ansible allows you to configure not just one computer, but potentially a whole network of computers at once, and using it requires no programming skills. Instructions written for Ansible are human-readable. Whether you’re entirely new to computers or an expert, Ansible files are easy to understand. It uses no agents and no additional custom security infrastructure, so it’s easy to deploy — and most importantly, it uses a very simple language (YAML, in the form of Ansible Playbooks) that allow you to describe your automation jobs in a way that approaches plain English.

HOW ANSIBLE WORKS?

In Ansible, there are two categories of computers: the control node and managed nodes. The control node is a computer that runs Ansible. There must be at least one control node, although a backup control node may also exist. A managed node is any device being managed by the control node.

Ansible works by connecting to nodes (clients, servers, or whatever you’re configuring) on a network, and then sending a small program called an Ansible module to that node. Ansible executes these modules over SSH and removes them when finished. The only requirement for this interaction is that your Ansible control node has login access to the managed nodes. SSH keys are the most common way to provide access, but other forms of authentication are also supported. Your library of modules can reside on any machine, and there are no servers, daemons, or databases required. Typically you’ll work with your favorite terminal program, a text editor, and probably a version control system to keep track of changes to your content.

ANSIBLE USE CASES :

Provisioning with Ansible allows you to seamlessly transition into configuration management, orchestration and application deployment using the same simple, human readable, automation language. Your apps have to live somewhere. If you’re PXE booting and kickstarting bare-metal servers or VMs, or creating virtual or cloud instances from templates, Ansible and Red Hat Ansible Tower help streamline the process.

Centralizing configuration file management and deployment is a common use case for Ansible, and it’s how many power users are first introduced to the Ansible automation platform. Change the configuration of an application, OS, or device; start and stop services; install or update applications; implement a security policy; or perform a wide variety of other configuration tasks.

When you define your application with Ansible, and manage the deployment with Ansible Tower, teams are able to effectively manage the entire application lifecycle from development to production. Make DevOps easier by automating the deployment of internally developed applications to your production systems.

Creating a CI/CD pipeline requires buy-in from numerous teams. You can’t do it without a simple automation platform that everyone in your organization can use. Ansible Playbooks keep your applications properly deployed (and managed) throughout their entire lifecycle.

When you define your security policy in Ansible, scanning and remediation of site-wide security policy can be integrated into other automated processes and instead of being an afterthought, it’ll be integral in everything that is deployed.

Configurations alone don’t define your environment. You need to define how multiple configurations interact and ensure the disparate pieces can be managed as a whole. Out of complexity and chaos, Ansible brings order.

Ansible includes hundreds of modules to support a wide variety of IT integrations, including:

Ansible and Microsoft Azure

Automate Microsoft Azure simplyChances are teams in your organization are already successfully deploying workloads in public cloud. As more new applications are built natively for the cloud, IT leaders are looking for ways to deliver a consistent customer experience and management strategy across cloud and on-premise applications. The good news — if your IT teams are already using Ansible to describe on-premise infrastructure and applications, then you can easily use these descriptions to automate the same workloads in Microsoft Azure.

Azure supports customers’ push to hybrid cloud in the areas of infrastructure, user identity and management. Using Ansible to automate these Azure services gives organizations the flexibility to run workloads where they best make sense.

Automate once, Deploy anywhereAnsible’s library of Azure modules makes it easy to provision instances, networks, and complete Azure infrastructure whenever you need, and in any region you require. For example, the same simple Playbook language you use for application deployment and on-prem automation also provisions your Azure infrastructure, applying the correct configuration.

Windows, Linux, Services, Networks AND MOREAzure hosts a lot more than just Windows, and thankfully Ansible automates it all. Ansible has been designed for cloud deployments from the beginning, and Ansible easily allows you to provision a variety of Azure cloud services. Whether you’re building a simple 3-tier application, or a complicated set of virtual private clouds, services, and applications, your Azure environments can be described in Ansible Playbooks, and then scaled out across regions.

Ansible and Amazon Web Service

The Power of AWS Meets Ansible SimplicityUsing Ansible to automate your applications in AWS greatly increases the chances that your cloud initiative will be a success. The breadth of AWS capability enables IT organizations to dynamically provision entire workloads like never before.

Manage Cloud Like Cloud with AnsibleWhen you deploy an application into AWS, you will soon realize that the cloud is much more than a collection of servers in someone else’s data center. You now have a fleet of services available to you to rapidly deploy and scale applications. However, if you continue to manage AWS like just a group of servers, you won’t see the full benefit of your migration to the cloud. Ansible automation can help you manage your AWS environment like a fleet of services instead of a collection of servers.

Safely Automating at the Speed of BusinessWhen you only had one or two engineers working in AWS, everything seemed easy. Now that you’ve got ten or more, you need controls in place that restrict users’ ability to modify certain environments. Ansible Tower delivers with its extensive set of role-based access controls that ensures users will only have access to the AWS resources (networks, systems, security groups, etc.) that they require for their job. Plus, Ansible Tower encrypts credentials such as AWS and SSH keys so that you can delegate simple automation jobs to junior employees without giving out the keys.

Migrations Made EasyYour CIO just mandated that you have to migrate dozens of workloads to AWS. With Ansible, you can use the same simple playbook language to manage your infrastructure and deploy your application. Use Ansible to define your application locally. Once you can repeatedly deploy that application locally, re-deploying it to a different infrastructure is as straightforward as defining your AWS environment, and then applying your application’s playbook. No more surprises.

ANSIBLE and GOOGLE CLOUD PLATFORM

Ansible puts Google Technology at Your Fingertips — Google Cloud Platform (GCP) provides scalable infrastructure and solutions to meet the needs of your organization. GCP offers on-demand instances, software-defined networking, storage and databases, and big data solutions — and they’re all available at your fingertips. GCP enables your applications to take advantage of Google’s significant infrastructure, utilizing their best-of-breed technology and innovation, and only pay for what you need when you need it.

Ansible and Google Native Integration — The Ansible/GCP integration gives you everything you need to manage your IT infrastructure. From provisioning instances and autoscaling, custom networks and load balancing, and even managing DNS and cloud storage, it’s all provided. Use the Ansible/GCP tutorial and examples in your Playbooks.

Google is an Active Contributor to the Ansible Community — The Ansible open source community is a vibrant, fast-moving place that strives to get things done. Google thrives in open source, but also understands the reliability needs of its users to safely run their infrastructure. Google Engineering actively builds Ansible modules, contributes code and documentation, and helps users deliver their solutions with GCP.

Ansible is a universal language, unraveling the mystery of how work gets done. Turn tough tasks into repeatable playbooks. Roll out enterprise-wide protocols with the push of a button.

Companies using Ansible

I have data on 8,781 companies that use Ansible. The companies using Ansible are most often found in United States and in the Computer Software industry. Ansible is most often used by companies with 50–200 employees and 10M-50M dollars in revenue. Our data for Ansible usage goes back as far as 3 years and 4 months.

Ansible Market Share and Competitors in Software Configuration Management

We use the best indexing techniques combined with advanced data science to monitor the market share of over 12,500 technology products, including Software Configuration Management. By scanning billions of public documents, we are able to collect deep insights on every company, with over 100 data fields per company at an average. In the Software Configuration Management category, Ansible has a market share of about 4.0%. Other major and competing products in this category include:

Top Industries that use Ansible

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