Automation is a big part of a sysadmin's job—any time you can avoid manual intervention means you can save time and decrease the risk of human error. Ansible is one of the most popular tools for automation, so if you want to learn new ideas and best practices around automating IT, AnsibleFest is an excellent place to start.
The free virtual event will be held from 10AM to 2PM on September 29 and 30. It includes dozens of keynotes and breakout sessions that explore ways to automate with open source technology—including many that will appeal to sysadmins at every level of their career.
The COVID-19 pandemic has once again moved AnsibleFest to an online format, which means you don't need to travel to take advantage of this knowledge sharing. And all the general and breakout sessions will be available on demand after the event in case you have other obligations during the scheduled times.
To help you get started, here are some of the sessions you may want to put on your "must see" list.
Starting your journey
Automating network operations improves reliability and gives sysadmins time for higher-value tasks. In Getting started: Journey to network automation, Red Hat's Sean Cavanaugh and Trishna Guha will share some of the steps you can take to manage your network more efficiently and accurately with automation.
Knowing what you're trying to accomplish is the first step in writing code. Robert de Bock, Linux DevOps architect at Good, will talk about defining Ansible roles and testing them within your continuous integration cycle in Test-driven development with Molecule.
Tadej Borovšak, an Ansible expert at XLAB Steampunk, will show you how to write error-resistant and reliable Ansible playbooks in Avoiding common mistakes in your Ansible playbooks.
Take your network automation to the next level by attending Build and manage your network using CI/CD. In this presentation, Aruba Networks' Tiffany Chiapuzio-Wong and Karthikeyan Dhandapani will show how to integrate Ansible into open source tools such as Jenkins and NetBox to onboard devices on enterprise cloud networks.
In Secure and monitor RHEL: Using the Linux system roles execution environment with Ansible Automation Controller, Brian Smith, Richard Megginson, and Peter Kettman of Red Hat will show how to use Linux system roles (a set of Ansible roles) to help ensure consistency and save time when configuring Red Hat Enterprise Linux and monitoring your environment's performance.
Keith Calligan and Eric McLeroy from Red Hat will offer practical advice and playbooks for provisioning servers in Ansible OpenShift BIOS, firmware, OpenShift Container Platform, and OpenShift Container Storage deployment using workflows.
Mihai Criveti, CTO for cloud native and Red Hat solutions at IBM, will explore building secure pipelines and OS images and more in Automate everything—DevSecOps for OS images with Ansible, OpenShift Virtualization image pipeline.
In Simple container automation with Podman and Ansible, Red Hat solution architects Robert Baumgartner and Karoly Vegh will provide an overview of containerization with Podman and demonstrate multiple ways to automate containers with Ansible.
Ansible at the edge
Extending the hybrid cloud to edge locations can create management challenges that automation can ease. In Automate the edge, Brian Coursen and Michele Null of Red Hat will explain ways to use the Ansible Automation Platform to scale the management of hundreds or thousands of edge compute nodes.
The proliferation of the Internet of Things (IoT) devices threatens to create management chaos for sysadmins. In Ansible for Internet of Things—Take control of thousands of IoT devices, Zim Kalinowski will show how you can use automation to provision and maintain IoT devices at scale.
You may already know something about automating traditional IT—servers, networks, deployments, and the like—with Ansible, but the platform can do much more. In Automating the uncommon—Ansible automates everything! tech author and software developer Jeff Geerling will demonstrate how he uses Ansible to automate his home internet, building HTML pages, and even updating Ansible's own dependencies.
If you're looking for guidance on using automation to innovate faster, add Creator, admin, user: Supporting automation for everyone to your list. A group from Red Hat and United will share advice, tools, and other resources for using automation to support new initiatives at scale and speed.
For a real-life look at the "excitement, frustrations, successes, and challenges associated with incorporating IT automation," plan to attend Tales from the field: A day in the life of a sysadmin. A group of sysadmins from Red Hat and Bielefeld University will describe the myths, benefits, and career opportunities they've experienced with IT automation.
Whether you're just starting your Ansible journey or looking for new ways to simplify it, Bell Canada: Managing Ansible as code may give you some suggestions. Bell cloud computing senior software developer Bassel Saleh will partner with Red Hat's Sean Sullivan to share Bell's real-world experience in implementing Ansible Automation Platform as code.
[ Download now: A system administrator's guide to IT automation.]
An open and collaborative culture is a key factor in a successful digital transformation. Priti Kumar of Red Hat will share open organization pillars and some tips for creating culture change in Opening your org: From idea to reality.
The group of people from Red Hat, Discover, and RedMonk leading Supporting organization-wide automation efforts will discuss ways to increase visibility and scale automation across the enterprise.
There are many opportunities for sysadmins to expand their knowledge of automation in general and Ansible in particular at AnsibleFest. Check the schedule for the time of each session and register so that you don't miss any of these (and other) great presentations.