Red Hat Adds Managed Ansible Service on Azure

Red Hat today announced general availability of a managed instance of the Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform on the Microsoft Azure cloud.

Announced at the Red Hat Summit 2022 event, this offering makes it possible to deploy the control plane for Ansible on the Microsoft Azure cloud as an alternative to existing support for Amazon Web Services (AWS) or an on-premises IT environment.

In addition, in version 2.2 of the Ansible Automation platform, Red Hat is previewing support for content signing technology that automatically validates content to improve overall security.

Thomas Anderson, vice president of Ansible for Red Hat, said this managed service enables IT teams to take advantage of integrated Microsoft billing in addition to the latest features and content provided for the platform and other capabilities that have been added to optimize Microsoft Azure environments.

The open source Ansible platform has been gaining traction as an automation framework that enables IT teams to declaratively automate tasks. It requires less programming expertise than rival automation frameworks, which Anderson said is the primary reason so many third-party vendors have adopted Ansible to automate a range of IT tasks.

The challenge many organizations encounter today is managing multiple islands of automation across multiple clouds and on-premises IT environments. Ansible presents IT teams with the ability to begin unifying all those islands under a single framework, said Anderson.

It’s not clear to what degree DevOps teams that have embraced rival automation frameworks might be willing to replace them with Ansible. However, as more IT teams embrace automation to make up for shortages of IT personnel, it’s apparent that Ansible is being used across a wide range of IT disciplines spanning everything from DevOps to network management.

The need to automate as many tasks as possible is becoming critical as IT environments grow more Reg, complex. Many of the scripts that IT teams created on their own simply don’t scale. More challenging still, they are not often documented, so every time the IT professional that created that script leaves the organization it becomes difficult to maintain that scripting code.

In longer, of course, automation frameworks will be infused with machine learning capable of learning the individual nuances of IT environments. It’s not likely those algorithms will replace the need for IT professionals any time soon. However, rather than resisting automation, more IT professionals have concluded that the tasks required are simply too challenging to manually perform. Many will conclude they simply prefer to work for organizations that have a consistent approach to IT automation that makes it feasible for them to manage a wide range of IT tasks.

One way or another, IT automation is becoming a standard capability that now goes well beyond the scope of a few isolated DevOps workflows. The issue is finding a way for IT professionals with varying skill levels to collaborate across a common framework that is both easily accessible and highly extensible.

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