The need for automation in complex IT environments is not new and you’ll find that many ecosystems already have their own orchestrators. Plenty of existing DevOps tools are all about coordinating tasks and realization of the “Infrastructure-as-Code” approach.
But what are the chances that you are going to be able to constrain your orchestration to just one environment? That’s where Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform comes in. Ansible Automation Platform’s library of modules and easy extensibility make it easier to orchestrate different “conductors” in different environments, all using one structured syntax.
When choosing what to use when implementing new scripted functionality, Ansible Automation Platform is often an efficient replacement for “bare” scripting. Ansible Automation Platform works as a universal “glue” for IT artifacts in organizations. It is often helpful for infrastructure provisioning, deployment and testing as well as operations automation for Kubernetes and Red Hat OpenShift.
Below are some examples of how automation can help your organization:
- Minimize human error and manual work by automating operational tasks
- Increase team efficiency and capacity for more advanced tasks
- Reduce skill requirements across multiple domains while achieving better task completion time
- Reduce drift and outages via better consistency in execution and more scalable processes
- Establish and maintain desired baselines for systems to meet compliance
- Lower risk of security breaches and other security-related incidents through patch management
Speaking about enterprise security in particular – it is not a homogeneous entity. It is normally a portfolio of multivendor solutions run by disparate and often siloed teams. With so many different layers, automation proves to be efficient in helping security operations teams integrate and share accountability and chain multiple security technologies together.
Plan efficient improvements with automation
Before jumping into implementing automation, it is worth pausing to ask a few questions:
- How complex is the use case?
- Can I reduce human error?
- Can I reduce the deployment time and speed up my tasks?
- How frequently am I doing this task?
- How much time can I save by automating this task?
- What is the potential return on investment?
- Can I save some money?
There are well-known open practices that can be very helpful in taking a structured approach to adopting automation. They are summarized in the following short video:
Deliver automation efficiently
The following are the key aspects of an engineering solution, which need to be balanced carefully:
- Value of the solution to customers from business perspective
- Health of the solution in production environment
- Requirements for the solution
- Design of the solution
- Development and delivery of the solution
- Automation level
- Security and compliance
- Cost of the solution
In situations when the original project plan may change all of a sudden or if the environment is highly innovative or dynamic, the risk of imbalance of the above-mentioned aspects can be too high. For such projects, it just makes sense to be more adaptable and agile to deliver on time and on budget, with the expected quality. In our experience, about 80% of projects are like that.
Over time, agile practitioners have identified several common ceremonies / practices to effectively facilitate agile development and delivery of IT solutions. Here is how those practices map to the “Delivery Loop” mentioned in the video above:
- Backlog Refinement (options practice)
- “Increment Planning” or “Sprint Planning” (delivery practice)
- Daily Standup (foundational practice)
- Showcase or Demo (delivery practice)
- Retrospectives (foundational practice)
- “Definition of Done” (foundational practice)
Better confidence in your automation or container adoption journey with Red Hat Open Innovation Labs
Red Hat Open Innovation Labs can assist your organization embark on an automation or container adoption journey! Your people will learn to build products the open source way – Red Hat’s immersive residency pairs your engineers with open source experts, transforming your ideas into business outcomes.
In a 4-12 week Open Innovation Labs residency, you’ll learn to connect your team’s ideas with the best that open source communities have to offer. Red Hat experts bring deep experience with Red Hat technologies, open source communities, and the key transformative practices needed to unlock your teams’ potential.
The World Health Organization (WHO) embarked on an 8-week Red Hat Open Innovation Labs residency, held virtually, to create a DevOps platform. Here is a short video summarizing it.
It is also worth checking the following engaging presentation to have an idea what professionals drive the engagements: “Turning stories into software” by Donna Benjamin.
Red Hat Open Innovation Labs provides senior IT leaders with a collaborative approach to improving strategic efficiency. By leveraging the Labs’ expertise, embracing open source technologies, and cultivating a culture of innovation, organizations can unlock tremendous value to help propel their businesses forward. Join Red Hat Open Innovation Labs and embark on a transformative automation or container adoption journey that will reshape the future of your organization.
About the author
Red Hat Open Innovation Labs offers an immersive residency that pairs your engineers with experts in open source technology, transforming abstract ideas into tangible business value. Throughout the residency, your team will gain valuable insight around DevOps best practices and come away with the tools to seamlessly integrate Red Hat technology and open source methodologies into your IT strategy.