Provisioning can be a tedious job if done manually. With Ansible you can automate this, model your IT infrastructure by describing how all systems inter-relate, rather than just managing one system at a time and enable execution in the shortest time possible.

In order to make an IT operation or a DevOps team as agile as the development team, a good and automated provisioning process is a necessity. There are a number of tools out there to help with the automation. One of them is Ansible. The main advantages of Ansible are that it issues all commands from a central location. It uses SSH to connect to the nodes and therefore only needs to be installed on the control machine. When using PXE booting or kick-starting bare-metal servers or Virtual Machines, Ansible helps to streamline this process.

Playbooks

The basis for this automation are Playbooks. Playbooks can declare configurations, but they can also orchestrate the steps of any manual ordered process, even if it contains jump statements. They can launch tasks synchronously or asynchronously. The language is readable and transparent, and you do not have to do things like declare explicit ordering relationships or write code in a programming language.

The Playbooks make sure that all the environments are the same. It reduces the chances of different configurations and how updates react to them. When you define your application with Ansible, teams are able to effectively manage the entire application lifecycle from development to production.

No agents

Another advantage of Ansible is that it doesn’t require any additional agents. It uses ‘modules’ to communicate with the servers it controls. These programs are written to be resource models of the desired state of the system. When Ansible has executed these models, they are removed. Your library of modules can reside on any machine and there are no servers, daemons, or databases required. This is different from tools like Puppet and Chef, which use agents running on the servers they control. With agents, you have more code which could be buggy.

To get the best from Ansible, the initial configuration of the playbooks is paramount. At Simtech we have created different ‘standard’ playbooks, especially for WebLogic. With our expertise, we can help you automate your provisioning, to make sure that your IT-department becomes the agile department your organisation needs it to be.

Sharing knowledge

As an expert in agile IT-infrastructure, we will update you on new innovations and explain how new techniques can help your IT-department become more agile. In the upcoming blogs, we will be talking about the benefits of, amongst others, running FMW in Openshift, with persistent storage, clustering, and routing. So keep an eye out for our weblogs. In the meantime, if you would like to know more about Ansible and how Simtech can support you with it, do not hesitate to contact us.