Red Hat Enhances Tower Console for Ansible Automation Platform

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    Software-Defined Networking and the Enterprise

    After a wave of resistance to IT automation, many IT organizations may very well find themselves in the position of having too many automated things to manage.

    To help make managing IT automation simpler, Red Hat today unveiled a revamped version of its Tower management console.

    Tim Cramer, head of Ansible engineering at Red Hat, says Tower 3 sports a simpler user interface that makes it easier to discover the number and types of automated runbooks developed in Ansible. Additional enhancements include tighter integration with other Red Hat management frameworks as well as simple role-based access controls.

    While adoption of IT automation in general has been slow, Cramer reports that Red Hat is now seeing about 7,500 clones of runbooks written in Ansible being made a day. Furthermore, Cramer says, roughly 75,000 system administrators are making use of Ansible per day.

    Cramer says that adoption of the open source Ansible framework is rising since being acquired by Red Hat because it’s aimed at systems administrators rather than developers. As such, any system administrator that can write a batch script can make use of Ansible.


    Cramer says Red Hat is seeing an expanded use of Ansible to help automate networking. Rather than having to invest in new hardware to deploy a software-defined network (SDN), Cramer says, many IT organizations are taking an intermediate step that allows them to automate network configurations using Ansible.

    Meanwhile, a little further down the timetable is a new Ansible project for supporting Docker containers. Cramer says Red Hat is making a case for using Ansible to automate the management of both containers and existing legacy IT environments using a common framework, rather than having to acquire and master tools from Docker Inc.

    Cramer says that before long the bigger issue IT organizations will have to contend with is keeping track of all the things they’ve automated. In fact, Cramer says, developers are now increasingly creating runbooks themselves in Ansible, and then hand them off to an IT operations team to implement. As that approach becomes more commonplace, the DevOps friction that currently exists inside most IT organizations may one day soon become an unpleasant memory.



    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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