During AnsibleFest 2022, we announced the launch of Ansible validated content. This new initiative is focused on delivering an expert-led approach for automating your platform portfolio across infrastructure, networking, cloud, security and edge use cases.
Ansible validated content is a new set of collections containing pre-built YAML content (such as playbooks or roles) to address the most common automation use cases. You can use Ansible validated content out-of-the-box or as a learning opportunity to develop your skills. It's a trusted starting point to bootstrap your automation: use it, customize it and learn from it.
Whether you’re a seasoned automation architect or just getting started with your automation journey, there are two things you need to be successful:
- A rich and trusted ecosystem of integrations that supports the platforms in your IT portfolio
- Subject matter expertise to start building reliable automation on top of said platforms
For over three years, Red Hat Ansible Certified Content has been our answer to the first need and, in this relatively short period, the program has been growing exponentially. The ecosystem that supports it brings a growing number of best-of-breed partners with whom we are creating and supporting the integration with hundreds of platforms in the form of Ansible modules.
However, having access to what needs to be automated is only half of the story. With the release of Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform 2.3, you now have access to Ansible validated content. This is Red Hat’s way to translate subject matter expertise into actionable operations and to provide more best practices for building reliable automation on top of integrated solutions. Ansible validated content aims to answer the question of how tasks should be automated according to the guidance of experts with years of production experience working with thousands of customers.
Why should I care about Ansible validated content?
Automation practices in large organizations are always on a journey:
- You may be approaching a new domain you have never automated before (e.g. I need to automate my physical networking infrastructure);
- You may be working on a domain you know well but that needs to be constantly extended with new platforms (e.g. I need to expand my hybrid cloud automation to include Microsoft Azure);
- You may be creating cross-functional workflows for the first time (e.g. I need to automate changes on security devices through ServiceNow ITSM tickets).
Wherever you are in your journey, you will benefit from:
- Ansible validated content’s opinionated approach to what foundational use cases you should focus on first
- Guidance provided by subject matter experts on how to better approach specific platforms
- The ability to use Ansible validated content as building blocks you piece together to consistently interoperate across different parts of your IT infrastructure
Even more important is that we deliver these values through the Ansible language, which remains readable and transparent, making Ansible validated content a fantastic opportunity for learning, enabling your organization to build your expertise using a trusted source.
What does “validated” mean?
Validated content stems from and complements Red Hat’s Validated Patterns initiative.
A selection of Ansible content is curated by experts like the Red Hat Automation Community of Practice to ensure:
- The use cases are based on successfully deployed customer examples
- The content creators are trusted and verified subject matter experts
- The content itself adheres to the latest best practices and guidelines issued by Red Hat’s engineering team
- Ansible validated content is tested against supported versions of Ansible Automation Platform and are production-ready
At the end of the curation process, Ansible Automation Platform becomes a trusted delivery system for you to access and consume Ansible validated content in your organization.
What is Ansible validated content for?
Today, Ansible validated content is authored by Red Hat and, in the future, our partners to cover foundational automation for edge, hybrid cloud, infrastructure, networking and security use cases.
For each of these domains, the use cases span all stages of operations from Day 0 (e.g. “What architecture do I need to have in place to have this app up and running?”) to Day 2 (e.g. “How do I maintain these systems or perform routine operations on them?”).
Similarly, they can focus on specific platform operations (e.g. “How do I configure SSH on my RHEL workloads?”) or be platform agnostic (e.g. “How do I maintain firewall rules across my organization when I have multiple firewall vendors?”).
While it would be impossible to capture the unique needs of every organization’s operations, we're confident your IT teams will be able to find relevant Ansible validated content that supports their efforts.
What does Ansible validated content look like?
In 2019 we introduced Ansible Content Collections as our new standard for packaging, distributing and consuming Ansible content (playbooks, roles, modules, plugins, tests and documentation). Ansible validated content is distributed as collections of YAML-based content (e.g. roles and playbooks). Ansible validated content complements and builds upon Red Hat Ansible Certified Content Collections.
Where can I find Ansible validated content?
Ansible Automation Platform 2.3 puts a lot of emphasis on improving supply chain security and to support this effort, Ansible validated content will initially be available as a pre-loaded option inside of private automation hub. In the future, Ansible validated content will be available in Ansible automation hub on console.redhat.com. We will create more Ansible validated content over time, with contributions from Red Hat and our partners.
Both Red Hat and the Ansible content ecosystem team are extremely excited about this new tool and the opportunities it will unlock for you. As always, your input as customers, automation practitioners and users is fundamental in shaping its future. Try Ansible Automation Platform 2.3 for yourself—install private automation hub and start learning with Ansible validated content.
About the author
Massimo Ferrari is Management Strategy Director at Red Hat, responsible for developing strategic product direction for Ansible Automation Platform as well as fostering its partner ecosystem.