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How Ansible Might Just Be the Ideal IT Management Tool
On February 5 in London, AnsibleFest 2015 will feature a day-long series of learning seminars by Ansible developers. Our IT Operations Manager, Marius is one of the speakers and he will present “How to Automate Big Data with Ansible”.
If you’re not familiar with Ansible, it is an IT automation, management, configuration, and provisioning tool that allows for extremely easy management across servers. This open source code tool is a product of GitHub, and deploys easily and quickly across any number of servers from two to a thousand. Some users are currently using Ansible with more than 20,000 nodes.
Unlike its competitors, Puppet and Chef, there is no big learning curve to overcome, setup is a breeze, and configuration is child’s play. Here is what you need to know in order to decide if choosing Ansible for your big data management endeavor is the way to go.
The Case for Using Ansible
[caption id=”” align=“aligncenter” width=“400”] When you and your team see how easy working with Ansible, you’ll likely never use anything else again.[/caption]
Ansible uses an agentless architecture. This IT automation engine fully automates tasks like configuration management, application deployment, intra service orchestration, and cloud provisioning. It makes remote execution and configuration management a simple and unified process. Written in Python, starting up with Ansible takes just minutes, and it scales seamlessly across one server to a thousand. As easy as Ansible makes configuration, having even two servers makes it worth the while.
The Power of Using Ansible
[caption id=”” align=“aligncenter” width=“400”] Deploying two servers? Twenty two? One thousand and two? Makes no difference to Ansible.[/caption]
Ansible makes a master server unnecessary, and there is nothing to install on the servers in order to take advantage of it. Tasks that ordinarily have to be performed over and over again for each server are done once for all, without having to deal with the complex learning and setup processes required for competitive solutions. It works with any operating system via SSH, and no software or applications have to be installed on the server in order to use Ansible.
How does it work? You simply let Ansible know the IP addresses of all the servers and run the script. That’s it. It configures in YAML files, and is easily human-readable in English. Ansible is useful for going it on your own without the use of a DBaaS provider, as well as for managing a cloud infrastructure.
Using Ansible Playbooks
A feature of Ansible that is most useful and powerful is Playbooks, which is exactly what the name would indicate. Playbooks establishes a list of ordered tasks in regular English language. These are sharable, so Ansible is ideal for collaborative efforts. Playbooks are handy for installing, upgrading, HA configuring, performance testing, scaling chores, maintaining servers, routine tasking, benchmarking, etc.
Learning More About Ansible
If you are unable to attend AnsibleFest 2015 in London in February, stay tuned to the BigStep blog, where we will be posting more about the why’s and how’s of making the most out of this powerful new IT management tool. Bookmark the Bigstep blog and add it to your RSS feed for regular updates today.