Getting to Know John Ryan, Business Development & Channels

September 28, 2015 by Carrie Drummond

Knowing the members of our Ansible community is important to us, and we want you to get to know the members of our team in (and outside of!) the Ansible office. Stay tuned to the blog to learn more about the people who are helping to bring Ansible to life.

This week we're happy to introduce you to John Ryan, who joined Ansible as head of business development and channels. John has more than 30 years of experience in business development, channels, sales and marketing in infrastructure software, open source and network security. He’s held leadership positions at Proofpoint, Apigee, Red Hat, IBM and Sun Microsystems.  John holds a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Pittsburgh and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University.


What’s your role at Ansible?

I develop and manage strategic alliances with leading cloud, networking, storage, infrastructure technology and consulting, reseller and systems integrator partners. I’m also helping to build out Ansible’s partner program, resources and joint DevOps market-making initiatives. 

I collaborate closely with the a wide spectrum of teams, including product, engineering, marketing and sales leadership teams along with our partners to develop, promote, sell and drive joint solutions and mutual success for our customers and partners.    

What’s Ansible and Tower’s value proposition to technology and services partners? 

Ansible Core and Tower share the same values and key attributes, those being simple, agentless and powerful. That said, let me break down what that really means.

Simple: Unlike first generation configuration management solutions, which require developer skills such as Ruby and Python, Ansible uses YAML. Therefore, Ansible clients can be more productive, faster. Enterprises using Ansible and Tower can hire system administrators to write Ansible playbooks versus having to hire and train more expensive and harder to find developers. Whether you are a consulting services provider or enterprise, your team can start using Ansible to do real work in about an hour. To put that into perspective, I take more time than that mowing my lawn.

Agentless: The first generation automation vendors require agents on systems that they are managing, plus a master system. This is not only complex and can take days to set up, but agents can be difficult to write, manage and maintain, and introduce potential security vulnerabilities. Ansible uses SSH or WinRM/Powershell and "pushes" vs. pulls tasks. Push is how network engineers work, and one reason why Ansible has become the de facto network automation platform.   

Powerful: Like first generation alternatives, Ansible provides configuration management. However, Ansible Core and Tower deliver application deployment, automation and orchestration. If a customer has Chef or Puppet, Ansible can and often is being used to manage their agents, as well as extend, automate and orchestrate their capabilities. Thus, protecting our customers’ investment.  

As Marc Andreesen famously said, “Software is eating the world.” To compete today, enterprises, technology and services providers must innovate or die. Customers demand access to applications anywhere, on any device, at any time. The best way to provide this is by having flexible and dynamic software infrastructure, APIs and systems and processes that enable an enterprise’s business and technology teams to collaborate to deliver new applications, products and services faster and better than their competitors.  

“Continuous Innovation” has become the new competitive strategy and is enabled by continuous development and integration. Many innovative companies are doing this now with Ansible, including Apple, Betterment, CSC, Dynatrace, Netflix, G2 Technologies, GE Capital, Google, Sonos, Splunk and TripAdvisor. All are truly transforming their business or creating disruptive business models using continuous development and continuous integration (CI/CD) and self-service IT for their internal and external clients.

Where can we find you next?

What else should we know about you?

My wife, Cindy, and I are proud parents of two daughters, both graduates of Georgia Tech, who are now enjoying careers as a Physician’s Assistant and Field Marketing Manager at Starwood, respectively. We also have three spoiled cats and a Bernese Mountain Dog, Fiona, who occasionally visits the Ansible office on “Fiona Fridays.” Cindy and I enjoy gourmet cooking together, decorating, traveling, live music, wine and watching Yellow Jacket and Pittsburgh Panther games.   

More questions for John? Ask him on Twitter at @jlpryan.


Ansible, Q&A, Ansible Partners, Ansible Team


Carrie Drummond

Carrie is the Marketing Coordinator at Ansible by Red Hat. Carrie came to Ansible after spending the last five years in the marketing and public relations field. She’s an avid hockey fan, mother of an #Ansipup and responsible for most of the Ansible swag online and at events. She can be found on twitter at @carriedrummond.

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