Red Hat Brings Cloud Automation Platform to Azure

Microsoft partner Red Hat's hybrid cloud automation product is now available on the Azure cloud.

The Ansible Automation Platform is an enterprise framework for building and operating IT automation at scale, letting users create, share and manage automation in many different areas, including development, operations, security, networking and so on.

After Red Hat acquired Ansible, the company described the technology like this in 2017:

"Ansible was founded to provide a new way to think about managing systems and applications that better fit this new world. Historically, management vendors and home-grown scripting solutions were created to manage stacks of software on servers. In contrast, Ansible was created to orchestrate multi-tier applications across clouds. From configuration to deployment to zero-downtime rolling upgrades, Ansible is a single framework that can fully automate today's modern enterprise apps."

The new move to Azure was the latest partnership effort with Microsoft. In fact, a 2019 RCP article described how "Microsoft Touts Internal Use of Red Hat Automation Tool" in its own Fortune 100-class operations.

In announcing the Azure move, Red Hat alluded to that longstanding partnership.

"The collaboration between Red Hat and Microsoft delivers a powerful solution that provides customers flexibility in how they adopt automation to deliver any application, anywhere, without additional overhead or complexity," Red Hat said in a Dec. 8 news release.

The new offering integrates with Azure services such as Azure compute, network and storage, which the company said can boost the ROI of automation and help organizations scale their IT operations.

It's currently in a private preview, for which users can sign up to join.

Just days before the announcement, Red Hat introduced Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform 2.1, noting the addition of a new Automation mesh and other new and improved features and functionality.

The company said Automation mesh provides a simple, flexible and reliable way to scale automation of large inventories across diverse network topologies, platforms and teams, providing:

  • Dynamic cluster capacity. You can increase the amount of execution capacity as you need it.
  • Global scalability. The execution plane is now resilient to network latency and connection interruptions and improves communications.
  • Secure automation. Bi-directional communication between execution nodes and control nodes that include full TLS authentication and end-to-end encryption.

"Public cloud adoption continues to grow tremendously," Red Hat quoted Jevin Jensen, research vice president, Intelligent CloudOps Market, IDC, as saying. "In addition, the complexity of managing this growth and meeting line of business digital transformation requirements has put added pressure on IT operations teams. New automation solutions are needed to keep pace. Incorporating an enterprise automation platform is an attractive addition for public cloud customers looking to address this challenge and expand their use cases quickly. As the need for enterprise-wide efficiency grows, so does the need for efficiency in their IT systems."

Jensen's research firm, IDC, earlier this year published a report titled "Enhancing IT Operations with Automation Is a Priority in 2021." According to the report, "virtually (97 percent) of organizations see major barriers to their ability to effectively employ automation across their enterprise. Through 2023, many IT automation efforts will be delayed or will fail outright due to underinvestment in creating IT/Sec/DevOps teams with the right tools and skills. The end goal is to deliver consistent, coherent and cooperative automation at scale."

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.