Using Ansible for your IT Infrastructure:

Alright, so what is Ansible? Ansible is an open source framework tool for administering, updating, pretty much anything you'd ever need to do with your IT infrastructures. Ansible allows you to kind of programmatically create recipes to do everything I just said, admin, update, and all that fun stuff, and really where it shines is this work has always been typically scripted or done manually by hand over and over again, which A, can be boring, and B can be quite risky, because what if you make a mistake. Especially in open source, you change a config file, everything comes crashing down.

So what Ansible does really well is it allows you to efficiently just roll out changes, bring in new machines, what-have-you, but also most importantly reduces a lot of the risk that comes with managing a lot of stuff, as in it's the same thing every time. So what we love about Ansible is, well yeah, it makes us faster, it makes us less susceptible to mistakes.

But a more pointed real example is what we here at 45 Drives use it for, we love Ansible mainly for our deployments of Ceph clusters and supporting our customers with the setup of the Ceph clusters. So we kind of piggybacked off a wonderful open source project that the Ceph developers and some other people in the open-source community developed, Ceph Ansible, and we put our own little kind of layers on top of some of the extra things there, and we use those to really make what can be a long, somewhat cumbersome process and quickly get your cluster stood up efficiently in a matter of a couple hours.

So, I started with Ansible can be used for anything, I mentioned that we use it for our Ceph deployments, but really I can't hit home enough that Ansible really is the future of IT management; it is so easy and so free in how you can programmatically just make it work for your environment, whether you're helping someone or you're running your own system or systems, and which kind of leads me into one of the fun facts, a lot of people don't know about Ansible, where they think it's for administering all their Linux servers and stuff, it can actually administer Windows computers as well. So, for those in mixed environments and Mac computers I believe as well, so like Ansible truly is what we feel is a cornerstone of the IT world moving forward.

And one little thing that actually I use Ansible for all the time is gathering a lot of information quickly about your server. You want hardware, IP information, disk names, everything, you can just run the setup module with Ansible and you get everything that's running on your box there, so it's quickly become just a useful tool for, well, supporting our customers and just internally learning some information about my server so I don't have to walk out to it.

So, more information about Ansible, obviously this is the funniest answer, Google it, but more seriously, there is so much information and so much good work being put out by the users of Ansible, by the developers of Ansible, it's really clear to see that there's a huge community behind this and that's why we believe it’s really taking off (it already has taken off), and two, if you want to see more about our little extra packages that we've included with the Ceph Ansible project that I mentioned earlier, check out our Github, github.com/45drives.

Alright, well thank you for watching, I hope you found this information helpful, and I will catch you next week for our next tech tip.

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