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Diagram of the impacts of automating the hybrid cloud


During AnsibleFest 2022, Red Hat announced its hybrid cloud automation initiative. This is a focused product effort to better support automation use cases across public cloud, private cloud and cloud-native infrastructures.

The Ansible content ecosystem team, together with Red Hat’s partners, has been working on a new set of Red Hat Ansible Certified Content Collections and Ansible validated content to address the most common automation use cases across best-of-breed cloud technologies. 

Today, you can start your hybrid cloud automation journey using Ansible validated content for an out-of-the-box, trusted starting point you can learn from, customize and develop your skills with. Build your automation strategy with the rich, supported foundation of hybrid cloud content.

Large organizations are crossing a new threshold in their cloud adoption journey. Whether they are early adopters or approaching the cloud for the first time, IT organizations now have access to more information, best practices and guidance from years of collective experience, which allow a more strategic approach to cloud operations.

If we had to summarize what we learned in the past 15 years, it would boil down to three points:

  • Cloud isn’t a single platform, but it’s a combination of technologies interconnected through data and operations. The attempt to consistently converge these is driving the concept of hybrid cloud.
  • Hybrid cloud operations don’t stop at provisioning and retirement of workloads. Services have a much more complex lifecycle that is not only here to stay, but is made more difficult because of the aforementioned challenges.
  • The promise of hybrid cloud is to provide unprecedented flexibility and reachability for the services that large enterprises deliver or rely on. This comes with challenges of scale, complexity and speed that can’t be managed by human operators without the support of automation.

All the platforms you need

The reasons for adopting a cloud consumption model may vary. Some of them are common to most industries, others are very specific to individual organizations, tied to their own market and strategy. What is becoming increasingly frequent is the parallel adoption of public cloud providers, such as AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud, as well as private cloud technologies like OpenStack and cloud native platforms including Red Hat OpenShift.

Another thing that enterprise veterans know perfectly well is that every time a large organization adopts a new technology, it doesn’t replace what is there, at least not immediately. It’s commonly added to the corporate portfolio and integrated over time with other systems and infrastructure. This is the reason why we’ve worked to provide a solid foundation of Red Hat Ansible Certified Content Collections to support the integration of all leading cloud technologies, and we’re leveraging the breadth of reach of Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform to enable horizontal interoperability across the enterprise infrastructure.

The full hybrid cloud lifecycle

While increasing the simplicity and reliability of provisioning and retirement operations remains important, it’s just a tiny fraction of what hybrid cloud operations actually are. Red Hat and its partners invested vertically to support the entire lifecycle of cloud workloads and services, supporting customers in a journey that can be broken down into three stages:

  • Orchestration: When you deploy, migrate and eventually retire cloud resources, and then more importantly interconnect them to be operated consistently through a unified framework.
  • Operationalization: When you leverage said framework to collect information from your hybrid cloud footprint, translate your own processes into automated workflows and use both to support complex use cases like automated troubleshooting.
  • Governance: When you combine the reach you gained in the first stage with the visibility and operations you achieved in the second stage to enable higher-order use cases to optimize and enable business continuity and compliance for your services.

Automation as a force multiplier

Over the years, automation proved to be a foundational technology to help cope with the challenges of scale, complexity and speed born in the public cloud and now spread across all IT domains. Three key traits you should consider when choosing an automation technology:

  • The ability to orchestrate thousands of endpoints no matter where they are or what vendor they belong to.
  • The simplicity of translating complex architectures in a series of steps, defining repeatable and auditable workflows that are easy to share and customize.
  • The availability of tools that lower the bar of adoption and expansion of the use cases you care about, bootstrapping your automation initiative.

Wherever you are in your automation journey, Ansible Automation Platform’s hybrid cloud automation initiative will give you:

  • Guidance provided by subject matter experts on how to better approach specific platforms, through Red Hat Ansible Certified Content.
  • An opinionated approach to what foundational use cases you should approach first, through Ansible validated content.
  • The ability to use Red Hat Ansible Certified and validated content as building blocks to interoperate across different parts of your hybrid cloud infrastructure while using Ansible Automation Platform as the foundation to help overcome the challenges of scale, complexity and speed.

Even more important is the delivery of these capabilities through the Ansible language, which is readable and transparent. Adopting hybrid cloud automation is an opportunity for learning, enabling your organization to save time and money, and building your own hybrid cloud expertise starting from a trusted foundation.

Want to learn more?  Here are some helpful links:

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.

Prior to Red Hat, Ferrari worked as an industry analyst and consultant for over a decade, helping global organizations, including Fortune 1000 and Fortune Global 2000 companies. He has directed numerous international projects, from infrastructure assessment to product and partner selection.

Ferrari has held different IT management roles throughout his career and has expertise in architecting and managing complex IT projects, including datacenter consolidation through virtualization technologies, organization-wide security assessments and private and hybrid cloud projects. He is based in London.

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