What is ansible?
Ansible is an open-source software provisioning, configuration management, and application-deployment tool enabling infrastructure as code. It runs on many Unix-like systems, and can configure both Unix-like systems as well as Microsoft Windows. It includes its own declarative language to describe system configuration.
Ansible seamlessly unites workflow orchestration with configuration management, provisioning, and application deployment in one easy-to-use and deploy platform.
Regardless of where you start with Ansible, you’ll find our simple, powerful and agentless automation platform has the capabilities to solve your most challenging problems.
Automation 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.
Advantages of Ansible
- Free: Ansible is an open-source tool.
- Very simple to set up and use: No special coding skills are necessary to use Ansible’s playbooks (more on playbooks later).
- Powerful: Ansible lets you model even highly complex IT workflows.
- Flexible: You can orchestrate the entire application environment no matter where it’s deployed. You can also customize it based on your needs.
- Agentless: You don’t need to install any other software or firewall ports on the client systems you want to automate. You also don’t have to set up a separate management structure.
- Efficient: Because you don’t need to install any extra software, there’s more room for application resources on your server.
1. Configuration Management
Ansible is designed to be very simple, reliable, and consistent for configuration management. Ansible configurations are simple data descriptions of infrastructure and are both readable by humans and parsable by machines. All you need to start managing systems is a password or an SSH (Secure Socket Shell, a network protocol) key.
An example of how easy Ansible makes configuration management: If you want to install an updated version of a specific type of software on all the machines in your enterprise, all you have to do is write out all the IP addresses of the nodes (also called remote hosts) and write an Ansible playbook to install it on all the nodes, then run the playbook from your control machine.
2. Application Deployment
Ansible lets you quickly and easily deploy multitier apps. You won’t need to write custom code to automate your systems; you list the tasks required to be done by writing a playbook, and Ansible will figure out how to get your systems to the state you want them to be in.
In other words, you won’t have to configure the applications on every machine manually. When you run a playbook from your control machine, Ansible uses SSH to communicate with the remote hosts and run all the commands (tasks).
As the name suggests, orchestration involves bringing different elements into a beautifully run whole operation — similar to the way a musical conductor brings the notes produced by all the different instruments into a cohesive artistic work. For example, with application deployment, you need to manage not just the front-end and backend services but the databases, networks, storage, and so on. You also need to make sure that all the tasks are handled in the proper order.
Ansible uses automated workflows, provisioning, and more to make orchestrating tasks easy. And once you’ve defined your infrastructure using the Ansible playbooks, you can use that same orchestration wherever you need to, thanks to the portability of Ansible playbooks.
4. Security and Compliance
As with application deployment, sitewide security policies (such as firewall rules or locking down users) can be implemented along with other automated processes. If you configure the security details on the control machine and run the associated playbook, all the remote hosts will automatically be updated with those details. That means you won’t need to monitor each machine for security compliance continually manually. And for extra security, an admin’s user ID and password aren’t retrievable in plain text on Ansible.
5. Cloud Provisioning
The first step in automating your applications’ life cycle is automating the provisioning of your infrastructure. With Ansible, you can provision cloud platforms, virtualized hosts, network devices, and bare-metal servers.
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.
How Ansible solved problem of BMW?
The BMW Group needs to access, analyze, and apply large amounts of data collected from sensors used during road tests to support its automated vehicle initiatives. Created by DXC Technology using Red Hat software, the BMW Group’s new data platform helped the group reduce development time with faster, more accurate driving simulations and data analytics.
Gain high-performance big data capabilities ,Worldwide, car manufacturers are focused on introducing automated vehicles, which require hundreds of millions of miles of driving data to prove their safety. To develop the driving algorithms for its automated vehicle initiatives, the BMW Group needed to access, analyze, and apply massive quantities of data — and update its driving applications with new algorithms as they are developed. The group wanted to create a high-performance, data-driven development platform as the IT foundation of its autonomous vehicle efforts.
Provide machine learning capabilities at massive scale ,The BMW Group chose to work with DXC Technology to build a solution for its data and performance challenges. To create a Kubernetes-based platform with robust automation capabilities, DXC Technology deployed DXC Robotic Drive, a managed Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) based on Red Hat OpenShift and other Red Hat technology. This solution helps the BMW Group develop faster with scalable machine learning and big data processing capabilities. The platform was configured and created in just 3 months.