How Ansible Tower helps to achieve automation?
Before understanding what is ansible tower, let's understand what is automation and how an ansible and ansible tower helps us to achieve that.
What is automation?
Automation happens when one person meets a problem they never want to solve again.
I would like to define it in simpler words…
when someone doesn't want to repeat the same task again and again then That's where automation happens.
The world is automating and those who are successful in automation will win.
Let me describe it a little bit, we all know all manufacturing companies use automation in their companies. Automation has transformed factories. It gave manufacturing the ability to perform work faster, more efficiently, at high quality. Factories increased their productivity as well as quality.
Factories that failed to automate fell behind because of so much competition in the market.
That’s why automation is becoming essential for businesses to sustain.
This is not an option anymore
IT departments are also like modern factories that power today’s digital businesses. And let me make a bold statement here…
Just like today's manufacturing companies can not compete without automation same like that the IT companies who fail to use automation soon become out of the competition.
Why automation in IT?
We can achieve a few imperative points in IT organization which are,
- Application delivery is fuel for growth
- Automation simplifies process
- Automation never sleeps
- Don’t repeat the same task over and over
- Speed up your workflow.
Now we have somewhat an idea of why we need automation, lets see how we do it?
You need a tool that can act as a glue layer automating across services and applications no matter where they are. Here’s ansible comes to help you in that.
Yes, you can automate almost everything using ansible from the cloud, containers, network devices, chat applications, monitoring, configuring operating systems, deploying microservices, and much more.
Now if you are using ansible and your server goes down?
let's say we are using one server as a controller node for ansible and due to unexpected reasons our server goes down. then it causes a single point of failure and due to that, our entire automation fails.
To overcome this Redhat provides a cluster for ansible automation with more features called Ansible Tower
Ansible Tower (formerly ‘AWX’) is a web-based solution that makes Ansible even easier to use for IT teams of all kinds. It’s designed to be the hub for all of your automation tasks.
Ansible Tower is primarily RedHat official product which has the main purpose to ensure more security features, give control access to who can access what.
There are a lot of features of ansible such as
- Inventory can be graphically managed with many cloud providers.
- It can log all of your jobs
- It also integrates well with LDAP
- It also provides amazing browsable REST API
- It has command-line tools available for easy integration in CI/CD such as Jenkins
- Can create approval-based workflows
- Integrated notification like slack, Hipchat
- Schedule ansible jobs
Ansible Tower has allowed us to provide better operations and security to our clients. It has also increased our efficiency as a team.
Ansible Tower Use Cases
- We can create a template to create cloud infrastructure and provision instances on various clouds such as AWS, Azure, Alibaba, Oracle, etc
- We can also create approval workflows such as,
- launch microservices in a development environment
- send a notification to slack for approval to deploying it into QA/Pre-prod
- once approved then deploy it to QA/Pre-prod
- Notify each step to slack or other platforms.
- We can store credentials for different purposes such as cloud credentials, ssh key, git credentials, but in case there are not pre-defined credentials then you can also create customized credentials.
- We can also schedule our tasks of executing the playbooks or jobs.
- We can create a job workflow of multiple jobs such as provision VMs, then configuring VMs
- We can also see performance, monitors tower, memory usage.
- We can also make effective and efficient usage of dynamic inventory at very greater ease.
About the writer:
Shubham loves technology, challenges, is open to learning and reinventing himself. He loves to share his knowledge. He is passionate about constant improvements.
He writes blogs about Cloud Computing, Automation, DevOps, AWS, Infrastructure as code.
Visit his Medium home page to read more insights from him.