Ansible Automation Platform tries sparing teams from reinventing the wheel

Ansible Tower

With AnsibleFest in full swing, Red Hat introduced Ansible Automation Platform to its community, a new offering to facilitate cross-team collaboration that adds some long missed packaging options.

According to the introductory blog post, Ansible Automation Platform will offer a subscription bundling Ansible Engine, Ansible Tower, and Ansible Network Automation with new additions Ansible Content Collection, Automation Hub, and Automation Analytics. The new product is meant to be used across teams and domains and adapt to their level of automation maturity.

“Today’s organizations are often automating different areas of their business (such as on-premises IT vs. cloud services vs. networks) each with their own set of Ansible Playbooks and little collaboration between the different domains.” writes Ansible Automation product manager Richard Henshall. “Organizations are often recreating the wheel – automating processes that have already been done.” 

To keep that from happening, Red Hat has come up with a new packaging format for managing and consuming modules, plugins, roles, documentations and playbooks. It is called Ansible Content Collections and should help distribute Ansible content independent from the project’s release cycle.

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Something like this was missed by quite a few organisations, and not only because keeping up to speed with the changes from one Ansible version to the next can be a challenge in its own right. Speaking of which, the rate at which new versions appear will drop in the coming months, with Red Hat announcing that longer release cycles of eight months will become the rule to ensure Ansible’s stability. 

Certified and officially supported Content Collections will find a home in the also new Automation Hub, making sure that users have a place to find content that sticks to internal standards and poses less risk to their environments. To round off the package, Automation Analytics gives insight into how an automation environment is performing, and provides statistics and data around the most used resources.

The Automation Platform is available in standard and premium versions, which differ by the level of support (5×8 vs 7×24) and, apparently, features. Pricing is available upon request only. To give you a rough idea upfront, however, Red Hat says costs are based on the number of nodes, which includes systems, hosts, instances, VMs, containers, or devices, you want to manage.

Companies that already have a subscription for Ansible Tower or Engine should be able to access the Automation Platform by upgrading to the latest version of their product in early November. If all goes to Red Hat’s plan, that is.

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