Red Hat Outlines IT Automation Strategy After Acquiring Ansible

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Why the Open Source Stars Must Align

As part of an effort to advance usage of IT automation frameworks on a much larger scale, Red Hat has acquired Ansible, a provider of an open source IT automation framework.

Joe Fitzgerald, vice president of management for Red Hat, says Red Hat will not only continue to offer agentless Ansible IT automation software as an open source project, the goal is to suffuse almost every element of the Red Hat stack with software based on the IT automation software developed by Ansible.

In fact, Fitzgerald says the Red Hat IT automation strategy is two-fold. Red Hat will continue to deliver IT automation software from Puppet Labs within the Red Hat Satellite IT management portfolio. The difference between Puppet Labs and Ansible, says Fitzgerald, is that that the latter brings an agentless approach that can more easily be applied to the management of containers and Internet of Things (IoT) applications where it’s not practical to apply an agent.

That agentless approach, adds Fitzgerald, will also make it easier for Red Hat to include IT automation software inside the Red Hat stack, which should help make use of IT automation software much more pervasive than it is today in the enterprise.

Because of the complexity associated with deploying IT automation framework, most IT organizations continue to manually manage IT. But as IT infrastructure continues to transform into “code” thanks to the rise of application programming interfaces (APIs), Fitzgerald says the level of IT automation that IT organizations can invoke via multiple layers of management software will substantially increase in the months and years ahead.

In general, the promise of IT automation has been slow in coming, largely because of the complexity associated with implementing it and concerns about whether it would render IT operations teams obsolete. But given the increased complexity of managing IT at scale, much greater reliance on IT automation software is all but inevitable.