Case Study: Industry Use Case of Ansible

Ansible is an IT automation tool and at the current time, many companies are adopting it and getting benefits from this amazing tool. NASA is also one of them which is using Ansible to solve their problems and this is so helpful for them. To discuss more the problem and the solution let me first introduce Ansible.

What is Ansible?

Ansible is an open-source automation tool, or platform, used for IT tasks such as configuration management, application deployment, intraservice orchestration, and provisioning.

Ansible runs on many Unix-like systems and can configure both Unix-like systems as well as Microsoft Windows. In this agile world, everyone is running for automation and Ansible is one of the best tools to achieve automation in industries.

How does Ansible work?

Ansible works on a push mechanism. There is one controller node and others are managed nodes by a push mechanism. Ansible is an agentless tool. The controller node pushes to their managed node to do some configuration. There is a lot of freedom whereby by creating an inventory we can add our managed node with our controller node and when necessary can easily do some configuration.

What is NASA?

NASA stands for National Aeronautics and Space Administration, is a U.S. government agency that is responsible for the science and technology related to air and space. This organization sends satellites into space so that they can study the outer world and provide information to the real world. The agency shares what it learns so that its information can make life better for people worldwide. Read more…

What problem NASA was facing?

NASA needed to move roughly 65 applications from a traditional hardware based data center to a cloud-based environment for better agility and cost savings.

To run all over the cloud we need multiple VPCs(Virtual Private Clouds) and AWS accounts. Now, this becomes hard to manage multiple accounts and the applications running over them. Even the simple things like ensuring every system administrator had access to every server or simple patching are extremely burdensome.

How ansible solved the problem?

Ansible has a facility of Ansible Tower, using it NASA could be able to manage and schedule the cloud environment.

What is Ansible Tower?

Ansible Tower is Ansible at an enterprise level. It is a web-based solution for managing your organization with a very easy user interface. It provides a dashboard with state summaries of all the hosts, allows quick deployments, and monitors all configurations.

Result after using Ansible

As a result of implementing the Ansible Tower, NASA is better equipped to
manage its AWS environment. Tower allowed NASA to provide better operations and security to its clients. It has also increased efficiency as a team.

By the numbers:

  • Updating nasa.gov went from over 1 hour to under 5 minutes.
  • Patching updates went from a multi-day process to 45 minutes.
  • Achieving near real-time RAM and disk monitoring (accomplished
    without agents).
  • Provisioning OS Accounts across the entire environment in under
    10 minutes.
  • Baselining standard AMIs went from 1 hour of manual configuration
    to becoming an invisible and seamless background process.
  • Application stack set up from 1–2 hours to under 10 minutes per stack.

Final words

Not only for NASA, but there are so many different companies are automating their things. This tool is super easy to learn and very powerful in configuring the system. Start learning this today..

Thanks for reading :)

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