Usually, robots are the first thing we can think of when we hear the word automation. For industrial or manufacturing processes, this is true; as we see more activities such as packaging and printing undergo factory automation where human workers simply provide oversight at a control panel or other Human-Machine Interface (HMI).
Such automation greatly helps to enable products to be made faster and easier, while giving companies more time to focus on things that require critical thinking, such as planning and strategising. However, as businesses go through a digital transformation where more processes are now done digitally, infusing more automation within their IT infrastructure is probably one of the most important things for companies to do at the present.
However, automation isn’t just about autonomous robots. Technology is now allowing companies to automate more aspects of IT to tackle the most repetitive tasks and sometimes even complex processes that may take humans a long time to execute. With the automation of IT operations, organisations can be assured that these tasks are not prone to human errors, while the workforce can focus on critical tasks that require human input as well as that bit more of innovation.
Think You Know Ansible? Think Again
If you’ve been looking to automate your IT, it’s highly likely that you’ve heard about Red Hat Ansible. Ansible is a well-known automation engine capable of performing system configuration, automation and management at scale. While it has been around for quite some time, there’s still this misconception that tools such as Ansible only allow companies to automate a handful of IT operations, especially when it comes to the provisioning of hardware, such as servers or network devices. But there’s more to it than that.
Red Hat Ansible is a powerful tool that can be used to automate, manage, configure and deploy a wide range of areas within your IT, from the cloud to your most mission-critical applications, security and even DevOps. It is a truly flexible automation platform to facilitate success from multiple points in your IT infrastructure.
The best part about Ansible is that its Playbook-based automation is simple to use without requiring any special coding skills. Rather than writing custom code to automate your systems, your team writes simple task descriptions that even the newest team member can understand on the first read - saving not only up-front costs but making it easier to react to change over time.
It is also repeatable and very flexible so that you can customise it based on your specific requirements and orchestrate the entire application environment regardless of where it is deployed.
Whatever you want to automate, Ansible can easily integrate with your current infrastructure without having to install any extra software, firewall ports or a separate management structure. It gives you the power to deploy multi-tier applications reliably and consistently, all from one common framework. You can configure needed services as well as push application artefacts from one common system.
In order to be effective in today’s IT environment, businesses have to become more agile – and to do that, it is better to rely on programmatic, infrastructure-as-code approaches when automating their IT configuration, provisioning, security and application releases.
Benefits of Enterprise-Wide IT Automation
There is actually a wide range of areas in IT that companies can automate with Red Hat Ansible, especially these crucial areas:
Hybrid and Multi-Cloud – Let’s face it, enterprise cloud is becoming very complex. Automation allows you to manage your hybrid and multi-cloud environments under a single set of processes and policies to improve consistency, scalability and speed.
DevOps – You can’t have successful DevOps without automation, as it helps to accelerate your processes, continuously scale environments and build CI/CD workflows to support fast, agile application and service development and launch.
Security – With automation, you can detect and remediate issues much faster, apply consistent policy throughout your organisation and streamline daily operations to make security an intrinsic part of your processes, applications and infrastructure.
Infrastructure – By automating common management tasks, such as configuring, provisioning, deploying and commissioning, you can simplify operations in the face of growing infrastructure size and complexity.
Network – Applying automation to your network resource and service management allows you to speed up network configuration and updates, reduce errors and support the needs of rapidly shifting workload requirements.
In short, using a platform such as Red Hat Ansible will enable your business to standardise and automate IT operations and configure activities across these different elements to bring you that much closer to achieving enterprise-wide automation.
According to a study conducted by analyst firm IDC, organisations that use Red Hat Ansible Automation realised huge cost savings, as well as major types of business value, including:
Improved IT operational productivity across a variety of infrastructure teams, many configuration tasks and IT operations processes are standardised and automated.
Faster deployment of new computing, networking and storage infrastructure resources.
More efficient and secure application lifecycle management.
Better scale and speed of application development and deployment using fully automated CI/CD toolchains to accelerate time to market.
Improved application performance and availability due to reduced unplanned downtime.
But the important question remains. What is the best way to apply IT automation within your organisation and address its unique challenges? Companies like Ingram Micro have the expertise and experience in helping local businesses achieve successful enterprise-wide automation.
If you would like to find out how Ingram Micro can help your business to leverage Red Hat Ansible’s programmatic, software-driven approach in order to gain significant productivity, agility and operational benefits, click here.