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At AnsibleFest 2021, we introduced a re-architected Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform to meet the changing needs of the open hybrid cloud, so teams can create, test and deploy automation with greater speed and scalability in cloud-native and containerized environments. What many customers will notice is that the feature terminology looks unfamiliar; this was done to reflect the cloud-native foundation of Ansible Automation Platform 2. The naming changes include:

Ansible Automation Platform 2 is built to deliver a more consistent, connected experience, and the feature naming should mirror this. There are several new components that shift where the automation takes place; when the pieces of the platform change, it’s a sensible time to re-evaluate everything else. We focused on renaming the existing parts to better match the new style and update the descriptions to more adequately equate what they actually do for customers.

Ansible Automation Platform 2, released in an early access program this summer for feedback and bug fixes, is how we refer to the overall platform architecture and capabilities enabled by the new version. It’s the combination of automation controller, automation mesh, automation hub and automation execution environments in the cloud-native architecture required for operating, managing and scaling modern IT automation in a complex hybrid world. In November, Ansible Automation Platform 2.1 is planned to be the first generally available version, complete with significant enhancements. 

Ansible Automation Platform 2 enables enterprise-wide automation 

IT organizations have faced continual pressure to support rapid innovation at-scale, but current global dynamics have only added to this challenge. Automation has come to the forefront of IT strategy, emerging as a boardroom imperative due to a need for rapid business changes, strong ROI and efficiency benefits. Part of this strategy is effectively connecting existing IT and process siloes organization-wide, where Ansible Automation Platform can serve as common ground across domains and disciplines. 

According to an IDC report1, "consistency of operations across digital infrastructure technologies silos is the top selection criteria for management and security solutions." Yet, according to another IDC report2, "97% of organizations see major barriers to their ability to effectively employ automation across their enterprise."

Businesses need to build alignment across product lines and IT teams to set appropriate standards for how automation can be invoked. Ansible Automation Platform 2 makes it easier to create automation, share it across the organization and then deploy it at scale to connect workflows with a lower barrier to entry to actualize an automation-focused culture. 

Customers have been asking for more speed and scalability, so we designed Ansible Automation Platform 2 for this. The new capabilities with automation mesh bring greater consistency to support scale and complexity across diverse environments with dispersed edge networks, while the automation controller allows users to scale automation reliably and systematically as demand requires. 

Customers will be excited to see that automation execution environments now allow for greater portability of standardized sets of automation resources. This can help drive self-contained automation, even shifting automation left into the development process. The new execution environment builder provides the capability to move and build custom containerized environments for more repeatable and reliable automation, while the new automation content navigator can more quickly validate that content is working as intended. 

Looking ahead

With the new architecture of Ansible Automation Platform 2, customers can expand their uses and integrate automation as a single tool to manage a variety of areas, both traditional and cloud-native. Teams can push to the edge and automate operational and IT scenarios from one space, making it easier to manage hybrid cloud environments. The containerization of the platform can help organizations to scale up and scale out their cloud deployments, while also managing their existing, on-premise datacenter and infrastructure activities. 

As we dive deeper into a hybrid cloud world, the enhanced architecture opens up new possibilities for more complex automation that spans heterogeneous environments. The platform’s new modularity enables an event, wherever it may occur, to send data back to the control center to make a decision without intervention. 

It also allows for composability, so heavyweight tasks can occur in the datacenter, while lightweight tasks can run at the edge. This can help create new pathways for customers to build and execute automation in different ways, so organizations can focus on big picture innovations with more efficient solutions, all backed by Red Hat’s expertise and commitment to delivering open technologies. 

Keep an eye out for new enhancements to Ansible Automation Platform, and learn how our customers around the world are using Red Hat’s open hybrid cloud portfolio to achieve technological advancements.

2 IDC Survey Spotlight. "Enhancing IT Operations with Automation Is a Priority in 2021." Document #US47555321, March 2021.

About the author

Kaete Piccirilli is the Director, Product Marketing for Ansible Automation. For over five years, Kaete has been a leader on the the Ansible Automation product marketing team. Prior to joining Red Hat Ansible, she led product marketing for a DevOps Implementation Training and Consulting company.