February 16, 2022
IBM officially announced last week that the Ansible automation platform is available for Power servers. The offering provides certified terminal collection modules for IBM i, AIX and Linux running on Power.
Ansible was originally developed to be a lightweight and reliable configuration management system for servers, applications, networks, containers, security, and cloud. The software, which Red Hat acquired in 2015 (before Red Hat was subsequently acquired by IBM), was designed to model customers’ IT infrastructure and manage it with an agentless approach.
The primary interface administrators use to define actions with Ansible are YAML file-based playbooks. These playbooks, which Red Hat says are so simple they “approach plain English”, define the configuration, deployment, and orchestration activities that Ansible will perform on managed endpoints. Administrators assign each endpoint a specific role, which Ansible can invoke as tasks.
At runtime, Ansible connects to managed endpoints and sends small programs, called Ansible modules, which are written to be resource models of the desired state of the system, Red Hat explains. Ansible runs these modules (it uses SSH by default) and then removes them when done.
Ansible has been supported on IBM i and AIX since July 2020, when IBM unveiled a slew of modules for those platforms. Called Ansible Content for IBM Power Systems, the offering included 20 different automations, with plans for more.
In March 2021, IBM and Red Hat deployed another dozen Ansible modules for IBM i for specific tasks, such as checking if a patch was downloaded or if a PTF was installed, or setting up Db2 Mirror on a target node.
Around this time, IBM also provided nine “roles” that Ansible can use to automate IBM i activities, such as capturing a virtual server through PowerVC to generate a deployable image.
Ansible had already caught the attention of IBM i customers, said Steve Sibley, vice president and global offering management at IBM. “We’re seeing a lot of customer interest,” he said. computer jungle.
In the months that followed, IBM’s Ansible drumbeat only intensified. IBM representatives have given presentations on Ansible at several conferences, as Ansible seems to be one of the main ways IBM hopes to bring additional automation to the IBM i installed base.
Ansible history figures to better follow IBM software announcement from last week for Ansible Automation Platform for Power. While Ansible content was already available on IBM i and AIX, the product now has a new name and, it seems, new certifications for the IBM Power environment to go along with the certifications for the x86 and IBM Z environments.
IBM sees Ansible as a primary way to automate various tasks on IBM i and AIX, including managing configurations, patches, security, and deployment of operating system and application code and updates. He also sees Ansible playing a role in “continuous delivery,” as well as providing a means for centralized backup and recovery and for managing and provisioning virtualization environments.
For more information on how IBM and Red Hat integrate Ansible and IBM i and AIX, see https://www.ansible.com/integrations/infrastructure/ibm-power-systems.
Ansible Automation Story improves on IBM i
Red Hat’s Ansible automation comes to IBM i
Four Hundred Monitor, February 16
Infor customers share IBM i stories