Red Hat Summit: Ansible’s Growing Prominence

C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:             

  • Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform is growing in prominence within OpenShift and the industry in general
  • Ansible’s popularity has prompted a new round of key partnerships to expand OpenShift’s ecosystem

Red Hat Ansible has matured into a shining star, not only among OpenShift’s portfolio, but the industry in general for its ability to abstract the complexity of building and operating IT automation at scale as part of enterprises’ business transformations.

Ansible Automation Platform has evolved into one of the industry’s most popular frameworks for describing automation across all systems; it leverages IBM’s Automation Foundation portfolio and both companies’ management platforms, including Satellite and Advanced Cluster Management (ACM). The platform is fast becoming one of Red Hat’s first-class citizens in its portfolio of business transformation technologies, as evidenced by its coupling in the past 18 months with Red Hat Insights, a set of event-oriented modern monitoring tools. Ansible’s addition to Insights will play a major role in helping Red Hat compete with arch-rivals also moving into the observability space, namely Oracle Cloud Observability and Management Platform, which leverages on-premises telemetry data collected by Oracle Enterprise Manager, and VMware vRealize Automations/Operations. The Red Hat offering will be even more compelling when it is eventually integrated with IBM’s automation and mature security solutions.

As a result of Ansible’s growing prominence, Red Hat is building out a set of broad ecosystem partnerships, including the likes of Microsoft Azure, Accenture, and Kyndryl, all announced during last week’s conference. Oddly enough, some of Ansible’s partners are also its greatest rivals, helping illustrate the powerful popularity of the IT automation tool known for its simplicity. Certainly, Azure already has access to leading intelligent automation capabilities via Microsoft Power Automate, and Kyndryl may be more inclined to pull automation resources from IBM Cloud Pak for Automation. As it stands, Kyndryl and Red Hat now jointly support 900 customers through Ansible Automation Platform, representing the IT infrastructure services provider’s most often used automation component. Last week, Kyndryl announced its official formation of the Ansible Innovation Center for jointly developing automation strategies and solutions for customers.

Ansible’s growing simplicity has been very deliberate on Red Hat’s part. Ansible’s integration with Insights followed the team’s decision to shift Ansible Tower into a more generalist tool. Tower, coupled with IBM App Connect, represented highly sophisticated remediation/notification capabilities able to handle the most complex enterprise integration scenarios. Ansible Automation Platform 2 is aimed at a wider audience of digitization participants spanning developers, site reliability engineers (SREs), and line-of-business (LoB) users. The newest version sports instant-on automation to support Azure apps, infrastructures, networks, and edge devices.

Having Ansible available as a managed Azure offering (branded Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform on Microsoft Azure) brings automation-made-easy to the masses, a move not unlike parent company IBM’s announcement last week during IBM Think to make its high-productivity cloud services available on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Such a move helps democratize technologies, such as AI and automation, by feeding software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings to a broader audience. Furthermore, both agendas address a growing pain point among companies of all sizes, which is the growing skills gap and inability to find and/or afford tech-savvy folks able to implement, manage, and maintain the complex infrastructure, which integrates and supports the deployment of modern apps.

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