Red Hat debuts Ansible Engine; Ansible Tower to accelerate path to enterprise-wide automation



Red Hat introduced Thursday new innovations designed to advance IT automation as its strategic importance grows in the enterprise. Its Ansible innovations aim at helping enterprise customers harness the power of automation organization-wide.

The open source company introduced several new Ansible innovations aimed at helping enterprise customers harness the power of automation organization-wide: from IT operations to development to network administration, and in-between. The Red Hat Ansible Engine is a new offering designed to bring the enterprise-grade global support that Red Hat is known for to the Ansible automation community project. Red Hat Ansible Engine Networking Add-on, including full support for select networking platform modules and Red Hat Ansible Tower 3.2, the latest version of its enterprise Ansible automation management platform.

As organizations face pressure to innovate more quickly and more often, IT infrastructures need to be able to adapt to the latest technology while still supporting critical legacy systems. This can result in complex, disparate systems that are difficult to manage without automation.

With Red Hat Ansible Engine and Red Hat Ansible Tower, organizations now have the ability to unify existing and disparate technologies into simple, repeatable and automated processes. This can help to extend access to and fully manage the enterprise-wide deployment and adoption of business-critical automation. This organization-wide adoption can be important to IT organizations seeking to implement DevOps, as well as IT disruptors that use automation to help drive digital leadership.

Ansible is a game-changing open source automation technology for the management of IT environments at scale. Designed to be simple to adopt, use, and understand, Ansible has become one of the world’s most popular open source IT automation technologies, with nearly 3,000 unique contributors, more than 32,000 commits to the upstream Ansible open source project, and a user base that spans industries and the globe.

Red Hat acquired the company behind Ansible in 2015, with the aim of helping users drive down the cost and complexity of deploying and managing both cloud-native and traditional applications across hybrid cloud environments. With Ansible, organizations can make the automated enterprise a reality.

Organization-wide adoption of automation technology can hold significant potential in the enterprise. In a July 2017 study, around three out of four respondents “highlighted the value of automation in relation to all key aspects of IT operations work,” with the majority of respondents see automation as “highly valuable” or “worthwhile” throughout the operations cycle, from initial provisioning through routine operation and support to ongoing change management.

Using Ansible automation, developers and IT operations teams can more easily and quickly deploy IT services, applications and environments, enabling them to remove barriers between IT teams by automating routine activities.

With Ansible Engine, Red Hat is introducing a new offering that provides support for the open source Ansible automation technology for the first time. While the upstream Ansible community is known for fast-moving innovations, many enterprises require a more secure, stable and reliable approach. With Ansible Engine, organizations can access the tools and innovations available from the underlying Ansible technology in a hardened, enterprise-grade manner.

Ansible Engine features a reliable and enterprise-ready set of Ansible automation, modules and capabilities; business hours or 24×7 support from Red Hat’s global support organization with all benefits of a Red Hat subscription, including Open Source Assurance, Service Level Agreement (SLA) response, regular security and maintenance updates, and more.

Red Hat Ansible Engine is also available with new Networking Add-on, helping to address a critical component of today’s modern infrastructure. With networking automation, IT organizations can now use fully supported Ansible modules, developed and maintained in-house for many popular networking devices. This offering includes full engineering support for the following networking-specific Ansible modules, including Arista (EOS), Cisco (IOS, IOS-XR, NX-OS), Juniper (Junos OS), Open vSwitch and VyOS.

As organizations adopt Ansible automation technology, the requirement to govern, manage, and effectively scale IT automation increases. Ansible Tower helps IT teams more effectively manage automated systems and optimize multi-tier deployments while adding control, greater security and delegation capabilities.

Red Hat Ansible Tower 3.2 includes several new and enhanced features to help provide greater value to IT teams, including the ability to manage updated inventory support enables users to create custom views for managing machines based on their attributes across public, private and hybrid cloud; Tower Instance groups dedicate capacity for specific organizations and inventory; and Tower isolated nodes allow for local job execution capacity in remote locations.

It also allows automation so that SCM inventory support enables teams to fully manage their automation and infrastructure as code, and pluggable credentials enable users to define their own custom credential types, enabling integration with third-party credential storage.

Current Ansible Tower customers can add an Ansible Engine subscription to their Ansible Tower subscription at any time to gain support for the underlying Ansible automation that powers Ansible Tower.

Red Hat Ansible Tower 3.2 is also the first version based on the open source AWX project, a new open source community project sponsored by Red Hat that enables users to directly interact with and add features and capabilities to help drive innovations in Ansible Tower.

Red Hat Ansible Tower 3.2 will be available later this month through ansible.com and the Red Hat Customer Portal. Ansible Engine and Ansible Engine for Network Automation is expected to be available by the beginning of October as a stand-alone product or as part of a Red Hat Ansible Tower subscription.

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