WINDOWS IS COMING? WINDOWS IS HERE!

April 27, 2015 by Bill Nottingham

WINDOWS...is_here

Back in June, we told you that Windows was coming. We’ve continued to improve the support, with the help of the outstanding Ansible community, and we’d like to highlight some of the improvements in Ansible 1.9. We now offer additional modules, support for domain authentication, and more.

For more information on Ansible’s Windows support, check out our Windows page, or our Ansible Intro to Windows documentation.

As always, we couldn’t do this without our outstanding Ansible community. Thanks to Chris Church, Jon Hawkesworth, Trond Hindenes, Peter Mounce, Chris Hoffman, Paul Durivage, and more!

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Topics: ansible

Ansible at PyCon - Achieving Continuous Delivery: An Automation Story (Video)

April 13, 2015 by Dan London

James Cammarata spoke at PyCon 2015 this past week and presented his talk, Achieving Continuous Delivery: An Automation Story. 

 


And his slides:

 



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Topics: ansible

Ansible and Containers: Why and How

April 2, 2015 by Greg DeKoenigsberg

Ansible__Containers_1

Everyone loves the promise of containers.  

More specifically: everyone loves the promise of a world where they can build an application on their laptop, and have that application run exactly the same way in every environment -- from their laptop all the way to production, and at every step in between.

That's still a holy grail, though.  In the meantime, people seem to be looking for practical ways to get all of the advantages of containers -- consistency, lightweight environments, application segregation, and so on -- while still maintaining the flexibility required to work with the many environments that are not amenable to containerization.

Which may explain why so many people... wow, just a lot of people... seem to be talking about Ansible and containers together:

 

ansible-docker-lolwut

So why are people using Ansible with Docker and other container formats?  A few reasons:

* Ansible playbooks are portable. If you build a container with a pure Dockerfile, it means that the only way you can reproduce that application is in a Docker container. If you build a container with an Ansible playbook, you can then reproduce a very similar environment in Vagrant, or in a cloud instance of your choice, or on bare metal.

* Ansible playbooks are composable. Ideally, containers should be as simple as possible, but as the complexity of a container grows, defining that container with a single Dockerfile can become complex and unwieldy. Ansible playbooks can be built up using roles, so that even complex playbooks are easily read, and different roles can be reused across many environments.

* Ansible can manage full environments. With Ansible, you can manage not only the containers, but the environments around the containers. Docker instances still need to run on hosts, and those hosts need to be launched, configured, networked, and coordinated.

* Ansible can model containers and non-containers at the same time. This is especially important, as containerized applications are nearly always talking to components -- storage, database, networking -- that are not containerized, and frequently not even containerizable.  

* Ansible is a hedge against container format churn.  There are many container formats. Docker is the clear leader, and there are many contenders: LXC, LXD, Rocket, Drawbridge, and more all the time. Building with portability in mind now means being protected from potential container wars in the future.

Don't take our word for it.  There are plenty of people out in the real world who are not only using Ansible and Docker together, but also talking about why they've chosen this path, with hundreds of presentations on SlideShare to explore.  

Ask around; a lot of people will be happy to tell you why Ansible is their preferred way to move towards a more containerized world.

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Topics: docker, ansible, containers

AnsibleFest NYC TIckets Now on Sale

April 1, 2015 by Dan London

ANS-FEST-NYC15_CIR_horiz_onBLK_72dpi

We are excited to announce the date for AnsibleFest NYC 2015

When: June 4th

Where: Conrad Hotel NYC - 102 North End Ave, New York, NY 10282

AnsibleFest is a day-long conference bringing together Ansible users, developers and industry partners to share best-practices, case studies and Ansible news.  If you are a developer, sysadmin, operations director or devops practioner, AnsibleFest is for you.

Past speakers have included Twitter, Google, Rackspace, EdX, HP, Twilio, Cumulus Networks, Telescope.tv and many more - as well as members of the Ansible Team.





SPECIAL OFFER: Buy an Ansible Tower Starter Kit and get 4 free tickets. Simply enter the promo code festnyc at checkout. BUY NOW 

If you are interested in speaking, please contact CFP@Ansible.com

If you are interested in sponsoring, please email sponsor@Ansible.com for details

Be sure to follow us on Twitter to stay informed of all of the AnsibleFest news. We'll be announcing some special surprises in the weeks leading up to the event.

 

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Topics: ansiblefest

Work Smarter, Not Harder with Security Baseline Configuration Automation

March 26, 2015 by Justin Nemmers

Many security baseline processes are rife with challenges. Whether organizations use scripts to manually brute-force their system-level compliance baseline, or perhaps leverage the all-too-common “Gold Disk” approach, routine security baseline compliance remediation remains largely an unsolved and constant challenge even for the most mature of IT organizations.

Even for organizations that are using an existing management tool to help with their security baselining, issues frequently arise around how to identify systems that require baselining as they come online, and then immediately recognize what needs to be done on those systems in order to verify their compliance.

To add to the challenge, applying a baseline to a newly deployed server or application is one thing, but validating compliance throughout the server and application lifecycle typically requires a separate set of tools or processes, or at very least scripts that are smart enough to smartly change the existing state of a server or application without impacting its availability.

MindPoint Group knew there was a better way. The security folks at MindPoint group are leveraging the power and simplicity of Ansible to bring automation to the problem of security baselines. And thanks to Ansible’s design, the work that MindPoint group has done is as useful for existing systems as it is for new. We’ve collectively started with the DISA STIG for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, but will soon be expanding to other baselines such as the CIS benchmark, and other operating systems.

Given MindPoint Group’s expertise in using Automation to repeatedly and securely apply and remediate various security baseline standards, who better than MindPoint Group CEO Matt Shepherd to talk about why automation is the only way to ensure compliance?

Read what Matt has to say.

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Topics: stig