Chris Short

Author Archives: Chris Short

What’s New in Ansible Tower 3.5


We're excited to announce that Red Hat Ansible Tower 3.5 is now generally available. In this release, there are several enhancements that can help improve automation practices. Engineering has been working hard to enhance Ansible Tower and here are a few things we're most excited about:

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 support
  • Support for external credential vaults via credential plugins
  • Become plugins now supported in Ansible Tower

In addition to a number of enhancements that have been made, the Ansible Tower 3.5 release saw over 160 issues closed. Let’s go over the highlights in this release.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 support

Red Hat Enterprise Linux is an innovative operating system, designed to provide a consistent foundation for the enterprise hybrid cloud. It offers one enterprise Linux experience  for applications across IT environments. With Ansible Tower 3.5 (and Ansible Engine 2.8), support for managing RHEL 8 nodes is baked in. Ansible Tower 3.5 can also be run on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 as the control node for Red Hat Ansible Automation.

External credential vaults

Ansible Tower 3.5 brings support for external credential vaults. The existing credential store is still available for use. However, Continue reading

What’s New in Red Hat Ansible Engine 2.8


Red Hat Ansible Engine 2.8 is now available. This release features many improvements and enhancements (please refer to the CHANGELOG for more details). Also, new features worth highlighting here are Ansible content (Collections), BECOME being the default privilege escalation path, no longer depending on paramiko, and BECOME plugins, and other notable improvements and changes.

The future of how Ansible content is handled

The Ansible community is excited to provide new modules and plugins for Ansible users. This keeps Ansible maintainers busy; merging new code into repositories as fast as a team can. Occasionally, things get left behind. Content that could have been released ends up waiting for the next Ansible Engine release. Currently, the official Ansible Engine release process is the only way for users to utilize or consume new content easily.

As such, the Ansible community has begun the journey of providing our users with more flexibility to create and consume content. In Ansible Engine 2.8, modifications are in place for how Ansible Engine handles content not delivered in the official release. These changes allow for the creation of a new delivery method to users. This delivery method should not depend on Ansible maintainers to manage content Continue reading

Ansible Operator: What is it? Why it Matters? What can you do with it?


The Red Hat Ansible Automation and Red Hat OpenShift teams have been collaborating to build a new way to package, deploy, and maintain Kubernetes native applications: Ansible Operator. Given the interest in moving workloads to Kubernetes, we are happy to introduce a new tool that can help ease the move toward cloud native infrastructure.

What is Kubernetes? The simplest definition of Kubernetes I’ve ever used is, “Kubernetes is a container orchestrator.” But that is a simplified definition.

What is OpenShift? Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform is an enterprise-grade Kubernetes distribution. It enables management of container applications across hybrid cloud and multicloud infrastructure.

First, let’s identify the problem operators can help us solve. Operators help simplify deployment, management, and operations of stateful applications in Kubernetes. But, writing an operator today can be difficult because of the knowledge of Kubernetes components required to do so. The Operator SDK is a framework that uses the controller-runtime library to help make writing operators more simple. The SDK enables Operator development in Go, Helm, or Ansible.

Why It Matters

What can an Ansible Operator give us that a generic operator doesn’t? The same things Ansible can give its users: a lower barrier to entry, faster iterations, Continue reading

Webinar: “How to Make Your Mark: Ansible Community Contributions”


On Wednesday, January 30, 2019, 9:30 AM EST, we will be hosting a webinar, How to Make Your Mark: Ansible Community Contributions. This webinar is tailored for everyone in the Ansible community. Whether you're a brand new member of the Ansible community or a full-fledged Red Hat Ansible Tower customer, contributing to the Ansible projects is a way to put features and fixes into the tools you use daily.

Join John "gundalow" Barker (Principal Software Engineer, Ansible Community) and Alicia Cozine (Technical Writer, Ansible Documentation) as they discuss and demonstrate contribution how-to’s and best practices. They will also quell some common myths about contributing to Ansible and dive into the Ansible development workflow.

There are no prerequisites for attending this webinar. You don’t need to know git, understand GitHub, nor write Python. There will also be a Q&A session during the webinar. If you have questions about how or where to get started after the webinar, please ask them! One of the best parts about being a community is continually improving the way we work. If you have suggestions for documentation, process, etc. but don’t know the best place to ask, this webinar will help.

Ansible Contributor Experience Working Group Continue reading

AnsibleFest is heading to Atlanta!


We are excited to announce the dates and location for AnsibleFest 2019. We’ve selected a location that not only provides the ease of use (or access in this case) that users expect from all things Ansible, but also the enjoyment folks expect after automating their way through complex problems.

ATLANTA! Home of the Braves (MLB), Falcons (NFL), Hawks (NBA), the largest aquarium in the world, the busiest airport in the world, and great restaurants like The Varsity and Old Lady Gang. Soon it will also be the home of AnsibleFest 2019!

Join us at the Hilton Atlanta Downtown, September 24-26, 2019. We will follow the same format as last year with a Welcome Party on September 23, two days of content on September 24-25, and some add-on options, like workshops, on September 26. There will also be a Contributor Summit again (details to follow at a later date). We’ll be bringing back the high quality experiences attendees have come to expect, including Ask an Expert and the Getting Started Hub. But, most importantly, we’ll have sessions from folks across the Ansible community.

Here’s what to expect between now and AnsibleFest Atlanta 2019:

What’s New in Ansible Tower 3.4


Red Hat Ansible Tower 3-4

We hope that 2019 will be a great year and the Ansible team is here to start it off right. We're happy to announce that Red Hat Ansible Tower 3.4 is now generally available. In this release, there are several enhancements that can help improve automation practices. Engineering has been working hard to enhance Red Hat Ansible Tower. We're most excited about workflows enhancements, job slices, and some other nifty features. Let’s dive a little deeper into what we’re excited about in this release.

Workflow Enhancements

The enhancements to workflows in Red Hat Ansible Tower 3.4 are a combination of internal and customer requested features. This is designed to bring needed hybrid cloud management capabilities to engineers and administrators around the globe.

Workflow Convergence

Workflow convergence enables a convergence step that tracks the completion of multiple workflow jobs before continuing. For example, when deploying application updates there might be a need to wait until a group of nodes drains from a load balancer pool before having a service stopped on any node in the group. This helps enable a more complete dependency chain for jobs inside workflows.


Nested Workflows

Workflows have been able to have job templates Continue reading

The release of Red Hat Ansible Engine 2.7


Red Hat Ansible Engine 2.7 is now available, featuring improved stability, speed and performance.

Preparing for the Future

Ansible Engine 2.7 continues to improve compatibility with modern versions of Python. As a result of changes to support newer versions of Python, support for running Ansible Engine with Python 2.6 has been removed. Management of systems with Python 2.6 installed is still possible, though the system Ansible Engine is running from must have Python 2.7 or Python 3.5 or later. This means if ansible-pull is being used the system running ansible-pull will need Python 2.7 or Python 3.5 or later.

A new file locking feature is designed to prevent race conditions when delegating to a central resource. For example, if a play calls for several hosts to write to a single file on a remote host it is likely multiple hosts would attempt to write to the file at the same time. This can now be done in Ansible Engine 2.7.

Deprecating use of features is often a challenging task. This task can be even more challenging when it involves multiple Ansible core modules. In Ansible Engine 2.7, several modules have Continue reading

Ansible Tower 3.3 Available Now


We're happy to announce that Red Hat Ansible Tower 3.3 is now generally available. In this release, there are a number of enhancements that can help improve the automation in any organization. The team has been hard at work adding functionality with Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform, more granular permissions, scheduler improvements, support for multiple Ansible environments, and many other features.

Here are a few we are excited about!

Ansible Tower + OpenShift Container Platform

Push-button Ansible Tower deployment for Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform users is now here! Ansible Tower 3.3 is now a supported offering on Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform. The new Ansible Tower pod service in Red Hat OpenShift makes it easy to add capacity to Ansible Tower by adding additional pods. This enables users to scale at runtime as needed. Best of all, Ansible Tower is configurable directly from Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform.

  • Scale Ansible Tower up and down at runtime as needed
  • Add capacity to Ansible Tower by adding additional pods

All configurable directly from the Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform UI, CLI, and API.

More Granular Control

Ansible Tower now allows for even easier configuration of jobs for use Continue reading

Ansible Integrations at AnsibleFest


AnsibleFest is fast approaching! We couldn’t be more excited to be holding our 13th AnsibleFest in Austin, TX. This year's AnsibleFest is on track to be the biggest one ever. Ansible is the proverbial Swiss Army knife in the office desk drawer. The Ansible Integrations track will highlight the combined power of Ansible when used with other technologies. Combining Ansible with other technologies enables organizations to reach new heights with their automation.

As someone who has worked in the DevOps space for years, I'm looking forward to this track. It's filled with talks from speakers that have improved their existing tooling with Ansible. There are a few sessions you might find me standing in the back of (time permitting, of course) that I’d like to highlight here:

1. Ansible and HashiCorp: Better together from Sean Carolan, HashiCorp and Dylan Silva, Red Hat

Automation tools don’t have to be competitive. Great things can be achieved when you combine great tools together and collaborate. Come along and learn how Ansible users can leverage HashiCorp tools/products to achieve their goals of an automated enterprise through complimentary security, image management, post provisioning configuration and integrated end-to-end automation solutions. Read more here.

Having used Ansible Continue reading

Automation Everywhere At AnsibleFest austin


AnsibleFest is fast approaching! We couldn’t be more excited to be holding our 13th AnsibleFest in Austin, TX. It must be true that everything is bigger in Texas, because this year's AnsibleFest is on track to be the biggest one ever. We have more sessions, more content, and more opportunities to learn from Ansible, from partners, and from each other. So much more in fact, we have made AnsibleFest a multi-day event for the first time ever.

This year, we have so much content that we’ve created six tracks. Plus, we have a new Getting Started Hub for those of you beginning on your automation journey with Ansible or Red Hat Ansible Tower. If you want to get a deeper dive, we will be offering onsite Ansible Automation and Ansible Network Automation Technical Workshops.

This year’s breakout sessions are split into six tracks of content:

To give you more insight into what to expect, we will be blogging about each track in the coming weeks. We will highlight some of the most exciting, interesting, and useful content for attendees (although, let’s be honest it’s Continue reading

The Total Economic Impact of Red Hat Ansible Tower


The Total Economic Impact of Red Hat Ansible Tower is a Red Hat commissioned Forrester Consulting study published in June 2018. This study demonstrates the cost savings and business benefits enabled by Ansible. Let’s dive into the what Ansible Tower enables, the efficiencies gained, the acceleration of revenue recognition, and other tangible benefits.

Faster Revenue Recognition

Revenue recognition is a critical aspect of business operations. Quickening the pace of revenue recognition is something every organization has their eye on. Forrester’s TEI of Ansible Tower observed a company cutting delivery lead times by 66%. Imagine the pace of feature deployment an organization experiences when cutting lead times from days to hours!

System reconfiguration times fell as well. Automating changes due to new bugs or policy changes across systems helps mitigate the costly impact of reconfiguration. This company found that the total time savings of being able to reconfigure a fleet of systems through Ansible automation reduced staff hours by 94% for this type of work.

The TEI also measured the security and compliance gains of Ansible Tower. Ansible Tower reduced staff hours spent patching systems by 80%. This also meant that patching systems could occur more often. This helped reduce the Continue reading