Ansible takes on container management FTW

Plenty of people are aware of and use Ansible to manage systems. Whether you need to provision, configure, deploy, or orchestrate systems, at scales small or large, Ansible makes it simple.

Greg DeKoenigsberg

As Ansible Director of Community Greg DeKoenigsberg describes it, Ansible is “basically distributed SSH with some other goodness on top. You describe a list of plays, and Ansible uses them to accomplish tasks you’d otherwise have to do yourself.” DeKoenigsberg teamed up with Matt Micene, solution architect from DLT Solutions, to discuss how Ansible is rapidly moving beyond host management into corralling containers.

Ansible is written in Python, with a small, functional core and a huge variety of modules for almost every imaginable function. DeKoenigsberg showed off some simple examples of Ansible playbooks, which are easy to understand descriptions of tasks. Combine an inventory of systems, variables to distinguish between them, and a set of these Playbooks, and you have a recipe to easily recreate infrastructure on demand.

So Ansible works well to manage the traditional operating system. But what about an OS like Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host? Some tasks often seen in Playbooks don’t apply. “Mostly,” said Micene, “because we need to reset our fundamental understanding of what the Atomic Host is, versus the general purpose RHEL 7.”

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Traditional or not, Red Hat has your platform covered

Are you a traditional Red Hat customer using Red Hat Enterprise Linux? You may be big on standing still. This doesn’t mean you personally. But you want your platform to be stable. You’re fielding critical applications on it, and you need it to be rock steady and predictable.

Wait, did you say you’re not traditional in that sense? Perhaps you’re looking for new features to support emerging applications, then. You want agility, flexibility, and modularity in your platform, whether it exists on premise or in the cloud.

Those are 2 really different ways of looking at the operating system.


Understanding the problem

Denise Dumas, Red Hat’s VP of Platform Engineering, understands these competing needs. So does Red Hat’s Director of Product Management Ronald Pacheco. They teamed up at the Red Hat Summit to explain how Red Hat Enterprise Linux can support both these types of customers.

As Dumas explained, “RHEL is one-stop shopping” for security, scalability, and stability. That doesn’t change for customers, whether they value a traditional or a non-traditional platform. But with modern, competing needs for infrastructure, she said, the requirements aren’t as simple. “RHEL customers expect stability but also demand innovation.”

Some folks want it to stand still. Others want to use new and innovative code. That’s quite a quandary for an operating system.

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Go upstream at Summit Community Central



At Red Hat Summit 2016, you’ll see the power of participation at work. The Red Hat® technologies that help you keep your business moving start with community participation. That’s why we feature many of our key communities in the Community Central area. At Community Central, you’ll meet principal community leaders and participants who are making the future of open source even better than it is today.

Community Central is located alongside the Partner Pavilion, on level 1 of Moscone Center West. Visit any time the Pavilion’s open. Refer to the Red Hat Summit agenda, or the Summit mobile app, for details.

Here are some of the communities you’ll see at Community Central this year:

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