IT automation (sometimes referred to as infrastructure automation) uses software to create repeatable instructions and processes that reduce human interaction with IT systems. The right automation platform—installed and running in the right location—can improve IT provisioning, configuration management, patching, app orchestration, security, and compliance.
Those benefits of automation are more noticeable when the automation software is running as close to the thing it's automating as possible.
For example, automation tasks starting in a U.S. datacenter are going to execute slower in Japan than in the same U.S.-based building. The closer the automation software is to the physical execution location—the same building, room, rack, or row—the faster the automation will be.
When automation is rolled out to the edges of a network, it can speed up transactions. And while the acceleration enabled by automating a single transaction is measured by just seconds (sometimes even microseconds or even nanoseconds), those seconds add up.
For example, theme parks are increasingly using smart bands. These bands allow visitors to access park transportation, food, retail, and even save their place in line—all in the name of enhancing the visitor experience. But those benefits are only possible by scanning the band, which traces back to edge hardware, upon which automation software can run. So the operational management, patching, and orchestration that was once performed manually one device at a time can be automated using a playbook.
Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform automates edge workloads just as it automates database and server-side workloads. And since both Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat OpenShift are optimized for edge deployments, Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform can run as a fully supported solution on top of our Linux® operating system (OS) or container orchestration engine at your network’s edge.
Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform uses blueprints of automation tasks called playbooks. Ansible playbooks are frameworks that can program edge applications, services, and server nodes. Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform always runs as the control node—the location at which automation tasks execute from—so that you can automate points of sale, WiFi access points, networking routers, ticketing systems, IoT devices, or anything with a programmatic application programming interface (API) or Linux OS.