What is Ansible?
Ansible is a software tool that provides simple but powerful automation for cross-platform computer support. 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 works by connecting to your nodes and pushing out small programs, called “Ansible modules” to them. Ansible then executes these modules (over SSH by default), and removes them when finished. Your library of modules can reside on any machine, and there are no servers, daemons, or databases required.
Industries problems and How Ansible is used to get the solutions
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.
SOLUTION: 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.
By automating repeatable tasks and providing self-service capabilities, the BMW Group significantly reduced development time and improved developer productivity. The platform also provides massively scalable data collection, processing, and storage capabilities. It offers close to 230 PB of usable storage and the compute power to simulate up to 240 million kilometers of test data.
Microsoft needed to address increasing complexity across their corporate network infrastructure — comprised of tens of thousands of endpoints — that connects Microsoft locations worldwide. “We have thousands of devices of various makes and models and software versions, so at times, it’s hard to keep up with all the different vendors and ways that we interact with those devices,” said Bart Dworak, Software Engineering Manager at Microsoft. Their issues were compounded as code created by development and engineering teams was not version-controlled or peer-reviewed, leading to duplication and quality issues.
Solution: Build a culture of modern development
Using Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform and working with Red Hat Consulting, Microsoft created a standardized, centralized network automation environment that reduces routine, repeatable tasks and complexity. “Digital transformation is really changing the way that we think about how we solve problems,” said Dworak. “In the past, we had to manually do the same deployment again and again. With Ansible, we can create blueprints to deploy it multiple times. And every time we deploy, it’s exactly the same.”
By focusing on people, process, and technology, Microsoft has evolved its automation journey from manual scripting and changes to a continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) approach supported by a centralized, service-based architecture. Their DevOps teams can now focus on sharing knowledge, building skills, and creating innovative technology solutions.
Intermountain Healthcare, a not-for-profit health system that includes hospitals, clinics, and health insurance plans, needed to optimize and automate its IT infrastructure to reduce costs and better collaborate to quickly create and launch innovative patient services. With Red Hat® solutions, Intermountain reduced IT deployment time from 2–3 weeks to about 4 hours, cut IT costs by migrating to open source software, and improved cross-team DevOps collaboration.
CHALLANGE: Support innovative patient care
Intermountain Healthcare’s proprietary IT environment made making changes a complex process, and provisioning delays hindered development work. Also, proprietary hardware and software added licensing and other IT costs. The group sought a more agile, flexible solution that would simplify its IT environment and improve costs. “The community sees Intermountain as a partner, someone they rely on for the best healthcare at an appropriate cost,” said Bret Lawson, director of infrastructure and operations at Intermountain Healthcare.
Solution: Migrate to open source solutions
Intermountain turned to Red Hat, its long-time, trusted technology partner, for help designing and deploying a new open source environment using virtualization and management solutions. “When we did a proof of concept against proprietary solutions, we found Red Hat CloudForms to be a lot more flexible,” said Paul Strader, supervisor of open system engineering at Intermountain. “In fact, we gained the same functionality as our existing proprietary software, which took a year to get running properly, in just 3 weeks.” Intermountain also used Red Hat solutions to streamline its patient portal and simplify its messaging interfaces