Red Hat's Release of Ansible 2.1 Supports Network Automation

Open Source
Posted 6/1/2016 2:02:02 PM by RICHARD HARRIS, Executive Editor

Red Hat
Red Hat has announced the general availability of Ansible 2.1, the latest version of the company’s agentless open source IT automation framework. Ansible provides developers with the ability to deploy IT applications and environments by automating routine activities such as network configuration, cloud deployments, and creation of development environments. 

Ansible now includes support for Microsoft Windows environments, enabling users to use a single automation platform for cross-platform automation. New features include:

- Broader support for Microsoft Azure, expanding Ansible’s support for hybrid cloud deployments, including the ability to take advantage of Azure’s Resource Manager functionality.

- New Windows modules, enabling the management of Windows file sharing and the Windows firewall, further increasing Windows’ automatable surface area within Ansible.

- Easier management of domain-joined machines with NT LAN Manager (NTLM), enabling more secure authentication of domain users with just a username and password - reducing the need to configure and manage Kerberos on the Ansible control machine.

- Kerberos delegation expanded for multi-hop scenarios, enabling better credential flow for legacy scripts and installations that need transparent access to domain file shares, Microsoft SQL Server, and more.

- Simple reboots with new win_reboot action, helping to solve the challenge of automating software installations on Windows platforms that also require a system restart as part of a workflow.

Expanded Support for Containers

Ansible 2.1 introduces Docker functionality including:

- docker_service: Enables Ansible users to consume Docker Compose and manage and scale multi-container applications.

- docker_container: Managing basic container lifecycle.

- docker_image: Build, push, pull, and tag images for Docker.

- docker_login: for managing access to Docker registries.

- docker_image Facts: Inspect images for metadata.

- With Ansible 2.1’s new docker-service module, users can embed Docker Compose into broader Ansible playbooks, to configure the network, operating systems, and deployment infrastructure that lives outside of a container environment.

General Availability of Networking Automation

By extending Ansible automation to the network, Ansible now enables network infrastructure to be managed in the same agentless manner that systems and applications already utilize. This helps network teams to take advantage of new deployment paradigms, including configuration automation, test-driven network deployment, and continuous compliance.

Ansible 2.1 adds more than 40 new core modules providing network automation support across a variety of network platforms including: Arista EOS; Cisco IOS; Cisco IOS-XR; Cisco NXOS; Cumulus Networks; Juniper Networks Junos OS; and OpenSwitch.

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About the author: RICHARD HARRIS, Executive Editor

As the Publisher and Editor for App Developer Magazine, Richard has several industry recognitions and endorsements from tech companies such as Microsoft, Apple and Google for accomplishments in the mobile market. He was part of the early Google AFMA program, and also involved in the foundation of Google TV. He has been developing for mobile since 2003 and serves as CEO of Moonbeam Development, a mobile app company with 200 published titles in various markets throughout the world. Richard is also the founder of LunarAds, a mobile cross-promotion and self-serv mediation network for developers. He has been a featured presenter at trade-shows and conferences, and stays active with new projects relating to mobile development.

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