Ansible Use Cases and Microsoft Case Study

Ansible is an open-source automation platform. It is a simple automation language that can perfectly describe an IT Infrastructure in Ansible Playbooks

Ansible can manage powerful automation tasks and can adapt to many different workflows and environments.

Ansible Use Cases

Provisioning

Provisioning is the process of bootstrap or launch resources needed.

There’s a number of types of provisioning

  • Server provisioning: Server provisioning is to set up a server for required resources
  • User Provisioning: User provisioning is to setup user and their access, authorization privileges and group the users based on the roles and tasks they do
  • Network Provisioning: Network Provisioning to set up the network to be used or access by users, servers, containers,s or IoT devices
  • Service Provisioning: Service Provisioning set up of service and managing the data related to that service

Configuration Management

Configuration is to install required packages, edit configuration files in resources we provisioned.

After we launch resources, the very next step is to configure. To deploy the application we need to configure the environment on which the application can run.

There are multiple resources and multiple replicas of resources for different teams to configure. Doing the configuration manually is really hard and needs a lot of time and there are manual errors also involved in configuration.

To solve these challenges we can use Ansible to automate the configuration we just have to define which package to install and which file to edit and so on. Ansible automation platform will show the visual about the configuration of the systems.

App Deployment

Application deployment is a process to deliver the application to users from developers

We have done with provisioning, Configuration to deploy applications. We have to deploy the application on multiple servers, we can automate that as well with repeatable, reliable, simple to write, and maintain playbooks

Continuous Delivery

Continuous Delivery is to deliver the software updates and patches, regularly to users without many manual things.

Security Automation

When you define your security policy in Ansible, scanning, and remediation of site-wide security policy can be integrated into other automated processes and instead of being an afterthought, it’ll be integral in everything that is deployed.

  • There is a quick need to respond to security attacks in a company. Responding to those manually is almost impossible. Those actions can be automated with the Ansible. Ansible has a huge collection of ready-made modules, roles, and playbooks to respond quickly to security issues

Orchestration

Orchestration is to plan, manage and coordinate multiple things. It can also be automated with the Ansible.

  • Orchestration is about bringing together disparate things into a coherent whole.
  • Automation of Orchestration is one of the cool things a company can do to make be optimized.

Microsoft Case Study

Microsoft, The name which doesn’t an into. They are leveraging the power of Ansible to do Network Automation. Microsoft created a standardized, centralized network automation environment that reduces routine, repeatable tasks and complexity. DevOps teams across the company can now focus on sharing knowledge, building skills, and creating innovative technology solutions.

Microsoft’s mission is to “empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more”.To support this mission, Microsoft has set a goal of end-to-end digitization, an approach that will simplify processes and experiences for end-users across all of its services and applications.

Benefits :

  • Adopted centralized, phased automation to verify and reuse production code
  • Established DevOps culture focused on learning new skills and collaborating across teams
  • Saved thousands of work hours by mitigating network downtime and reducing production code defects

Keeping pace with customer and partner expectations required addressing increased complexity across Microsoft’s corporate network infrastructure — comprising tens of thousands of endpoints, more than 400 engineers, and close to 150,000 total employees — that connects all of Microsoft’s offices, sites, and retail locations worldwide.

To simplify and scale at pace with market demands, Microsoft looked to create a scalable, technology-agnostic automation framework that would reduce manual workloads with efficient tools and processes, as well as mitigate performance and security issues with standardized, tested code. This new solution would replace its legacy production automation solution to provide comprehensive automation capabilities, supported by a more collaborative, iterative development approach.

STANDARDIZED NETWORK AUTOMATION AT SCALE

Microsoft has automated typical engineering operations, such as delivering logic-based updates to guarantee services are available to users, using its staged Ansible environments. Other routines, such as sophisticated telemetry, ticketing, logging, and analytics, are triggered by network events. Ansible-based IT automation also aids the organization in adopting a staged, iterative approach to code development, which protects code quality by releasing tested, verified network configurations on a regular basis.

Choosing a user-friendly automation solution not only helped Microsoft tackle complexity by creating a single source of truth for services, dependencies, and integrations, but it also allowed nonengineers to focus on service design with peer-reviewed code. DevOps teams may now work more efficiently to provide end-users with new, important features and services while preserving production performance.

MICROSOFT EMBRACES A COLLABORATIVE DEVELOPMENT MINDSET

Microsoft underwent a cultural shift to facilitate its embrace of current automation technology. Developers are studying networking, while network engineers are learning software development and development tools like Git and Ansible. There is a company-wide dedication to acquiring new skills and technology.

This DevOps approach to both job responsibilities and professional growth has resulted in improved team communication and collaboration. Zero to Hero, a training series on automation principles and developing Ansible playbooks, was built by one engineer. Additionally, self-hosted Python learning groups have been established, with over 100 active users discussing and sharing material in an internal automated forum.

MICROSOFT OPERATIONS TEAMS SAVE THOUSANDS OF HOURS OF WORK WITH ANSIBLE WORK

By decreasing production downtime and network configuration problems, Ansible has helped Microsoft save thousands of hours of work each year, including several weeks of work. The company has minimized the number of flaws and issues introduced into its production environment by performing code peer reviews and gated check-ins through preproduction environments.

Want to get started with Ansible?

We made it, Thank you!

You can connect me :

LinkedIn : Siva Naik Kethavath

Twitter : KethavathSiva

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Kethavath Siva Naik

Kethavath Siva Naik

Technical Volunteer at ARTH

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