Red Hat Brings DevOps to the Network with New Ansible Capabilities

Red Hat extends Ansible’s agentless automation framework to network infrastructure devices; At launch, Ansible supports devices from Arista, Cisco, Juniper, and more


Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world's leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that it is bringing DevOps to networking by extending Ansible - its powerful IT automation and DevOps platform - to include native agentless support for automating heterogeneous network infrastructure devices using the same simple human and machine readable automation language that Ansible provides to IT teams. With expanded Ansible networking capabilities, Red Hat is aiming to help customers orchestrate entire application infrastructures, including network devices, with one automation tool.


The cloud and automation offer a significant opportunity to evolve and advance the network, bringing together once disparate technologies and teams. Through Ansible’s new networking automation capabilities, Red Hat is bringing the benefits of DevOps to a new area of IT, and aiming to help customers do a better job with their networks.

Jay Lyman

research manager, Cloud Management and Containers, 451Research

The 2015 “SDx Cloud Management Report: OpenStack and More,” highlighted the results of a recent survey on cloud architectures and platforms, stating, “When asked what they felt was the most immature component in cloud management, the overwhelming response was the network at 76%.” By including network devices as part of the overall architecture of Ansible, Red Hat customers can benefit from increased IT agility through operational efficiency, bridging the traditional divide between IT operations and networking teams, and advancing agility and modernization efforts.

Using Ansible’s simple, powerful, and agentless approach, organizations will have the ability to unify operational methodologies across their IT infrastructure in a new way - by orchestrating compute, applications, virtualization, and now, networking. This approach offers many customer benefits, including:

  • For network teams looking to apply more agile DevOps methodologies to network infrastructures, Ansible can enhance their ability to build and operate heterogeneous network devices, freeing them up to focus on evolving the network to meet the changing business needs instead of manually pushing network configuration.

  • For systems and applications teams that wish to include network devices in a holistic approach to application workload management, Ansible’s native network device support enables them to extend their DevOps tools and practices to heterogeneous network devices.

  • For executives and senior management concerned about their organization’s ability to automate and orchestrate solutions in an increasingly complex IT environment, Ansible provides a framework that integrates diverse network devices without introducing vertically integrated, vendor specific applications and operational methodologies.

At launch, Red Hat's Ansible networking framework provides support for:

  • Arista Networks – Arista EOS;

  • Cisco Systems – Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI); Cisco IOS-XE®; Cisco IOS-XR®; and Cisco NX-OS;

  • Cumulus Networks Cumulus Linux;

  • OpenSwitch; and

  • Juniper NetworksJunos OS.


Support for automating network infrastructure devices in Ansible is available immediately.

Supporting Quotes

Todd Barr, general manager, Ansible, Red Hat

“Today’s networks are complicated, and largely comprised of multi-vendor solutions, making them rather inflexible and slow to react to business changes. Bringing a DevOps mindset and approach to the network gives customers the ability to make network operations a repeatable, more predictable, and automated process. By bringing the power of Ansible, the popular open source IT automation solution, to the network, we’re giving customers the ability to solve their complicated networking automation and workflow problems in a new way.”

Jay Lyman, research manager, Cloud Management and Containers, 451Research

“The cloud and automation offer a significant opportunity to evolve and advance the network, bringing together once disparate technologies and teams. Through Ansible’s new networking automation capabilities, Red Hat is bringing the benefits of DevOps to a new area of IT, and aiming to help customers do a better job with their networks.”

Joe Hielscher, director of Business Development and Alliances, Arista Networks

"Red Hat and Arista share a goal of enabling joint customers to focus on improving their businesses, rather than learning complex proprietary tools. Arista EOS and CloudVision, combined with Ansible by Red Hat, deliver standards based tools for datacenter administrators, enabling enhanced operational efficiency and application of DevOps methodologies for cloud networking.”

Mike Cohen, director of product management, Cisco

“The trends of cloud, big data, and microservices demand ever increasing speed, scale, and flexibility in network infrastructure. By building on Cisco’s open software architecture and open APIs at the core of our IOS-XE, NX-OS and ACI platforms, Ansible offers our customers an extremely powerful IT automation tool to pave the way for adopting the DevOps model.”

Brian Ortbals, vice president, Advanced Technology, World Wide Technology (WWT)
“Ansible is an integral part of World Wide Technology’s network automation strategy. Network automation and programmability using Ansible is a key component of the training curriculum of WWT professional services Cisco ACI deployment engineers. WWT has developed a solution using Ansible to consistently and efficiently configure Nexus 9000 series switches to customer specifications in our Integration Technology Center (ITC). This announcement further solidifies the relationship between WWT and Red Hat to help realize the operational efficiency of #netdevops for our customers.”

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