Curious about Ansible? Our lead engineer Brett Kelly, is telling us all about it in this week’s Tech Tip! to find out why we love using this automation tool here at 45Drives and how to use Ansible in your infrastructure – check out the video below!

Hey, Brett Kelly here with 45Drives! This week on our weekly tech tips I’m talking about Ansible and why we love it here at 45Drives.

Alright, so what is Ansible? Ansible is an open-source framework tool for administering, updating…pretty much anything you’d need to do with your IT infrastructures. Ansible allows you to programmatically create recipes and will do everything I just said, admin, update – all that fun stuff. Really, where it shines is – typically this type of work has either been scripted or done manually by hand over and over again which can be boring and risky.

Doing it manually carries risks as each time you perform an operation as you have a chance of human errors and is slower than using Ansible. Ansible allows you to efficiently roll out changes, bring in new machines, and greatly reduces the risks involved with these operations.

What we love about Ansible is – it makes us faster and makes us less susceptible to mistakes. We often use Ansible when setting up Ceph clusters for our customers to smooth out the deployment and support.

For our deployments, we piggybacked off a wonderful open-source project called “ceph-ansible” from some of the Ceph developers and others in the open source community. We added a few extra packages for our own deployments. We use those to make a long – somewhat cumbersome process and quickly get your cluster up efficiently – within a matter of a couple of hours.

I started with Ansible can be used with anything, I mentioned that we use it for our Ceph deployments but really I can’t hit home enough that Ansible is really the future of IT management. It is so easy and so free in how you can programmatically make it work for your environment. Whether you’re helping someone or running your own system.

Many think Ansible is only for Linux, but it can also administer Mac and Windows computers as well. Ansible is also great for those in mixed environments. Ansible has quickly become a useful tool for supporting our customers and our own servers.

We also use Ansible often to gather information quickly about a server. If you want hardware, IP information, disk names, or anything else you can just run the setup module for Ansible and you will get everything that is running on your server.

There is a wealth of good information available from the sizeable Ansible community for those looking to learn more. 

If you want to find out more about the packages we included in the ceph-ansible project check out our GitHub page. We use all the packages together to greatly smooth out what could otherwise be a long cumbersome project of deploying your clusters.


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