Our Most Popular Blog Posts of 2016

December 21, 2016 by Kaete Piccirilli


2016, what a year. Ansible upgrades galore, Tower 3 was released, a tipping point for DevOps, and much more.

All these themes were reflected in our blog this year. From doing more with automation, working across platforms (think Windows automation), orchestrating containers at scale, to exploring all the great new features in Tower 3, we covered a lot.

Just in case you missed them, here are our 10 most viewed blog posts of the year (plus a sneaky few honorable mentions).

1. 6 Ways Ansible Makes Docker-Compose Better

Containers are an integral part of DevOps workflows. With containers you can be sure that if you build an application once, you can run it in the same way across every environment along the application lifecycle. That’s great, until one developer announces the need for a second, third, or fourth container. More of them, all doing different things, and all connecting together – somehow. But how? Docker has a tool that can help – docker-compose. But it’s limited to environments with a Docker-centric view of the world and doesn’t solve non-Docker orchestration problems. That’s where Ansible comes in. Read more

2. Testing Ansible Roles with Docker

Ansible plus Docker was a big deal in 2016, so here at #2 we have tips for testing Ansible roles with Docker. As you progress from an Ansible newbie to a power user you start doing more stuff. This can make the Playbooks and roles that you create and maintain more complex which, in turn, may slow development as you manually verify variable permutations. If this sounds like you, it’s time to start testing. This blog post offers tips on how to get started by using Docker and Ansible to automatically test your Ansible roles. Read more

3. Ansible Best Practices

This blog post covers some of the most important and impactful best practices you can apply to your work developing automation solutions with Ansible. Tips and examples include naming your plays and tasks, using prefixes and human meaningful names with variables, how to use native YAML syntax, and more. Read more

4. Ansible 2.2 Network Updates

The leap from Ansible 2.1 to 2.2 brought with it some substantial changes to the networking modules. Network modules now comprise 20% of the modules available in the core, that’s exciting and there’s more to come. But in the meantime, check out this round up of what went into Ansible 2.2. modules and what you can expect from enhancements in networking modules. Read more

5. How Ansible Makes Automating Windows Easier

2016 saw several improvements in Ansible for Windows support, as well as new features that make automating Windows with Ansible easier. It’s all part of Red Hat’s commitment to cross-platform management which will continue to accelerate. In this popular post, we highlight a few of the items for Windows in the 2.0 release and offer a quick peek at what’s to come. Read more

6. 5 Reasons we Started the Ansible Container Project

Earlier this year we announced the Ansible Container project, with the goal of allowing users to build, deploy, and orchestrate containers at scale, all from Ansible Playbooks. In this post, we share what the project will mean for the Ansible community and how we can all work together to make it as useful as possible. Read more

7. Free Ansible eBook Excerpts

Back in the summer we offered free excerpts of some of the most popular Ansible eBooks from Packt Publishing. If you didn’t get a chance to read them then, why not use the holidays to catch up on Mastering Ansible, Open Stack Administration with Ansible, and Extending Ansible. Read more

8. 2016: The Tipping Point for DevOps

DevOps was everywhere in 2016, as we predicted. New technologies emerged at the pace of a baseball pitching machine gone haywire, and everyone had an opinion about which way is north. Sometimes DevOps can seem like one giant hairball. But here at Ansible, we remain true to our roots – simplicity. Check out this post about what that means in the age of DevOps. Read more

9. Introducing Ansible Tower 3

Tower 3 boasts an entirely reworked UI that makes it simpler and easier to use Tower to automate your environments and share your automation. On top of that, we equipped this newest edition of Tower with a host of new features to speed productivity and visibility within your Tower workflows, managing complex deployments and scaling the power of automation. This post offers a quick overview of what’s new. Read more

10. A Shiny New Way to Manage VMware Guests

Managing VMware guests in Ansible has changed a lot in recent years. We’ve added a whole bunch of new modules for managing VMware infrastructure and consolidated all VMware interaction around the pyvmomi Python library, we’ve even extended the VMware dynamic inventory. Check out the updated play using the new module in this post. Read more

2016 Honorary Mentions

That’s our top 10 of the year, but we’ve also found room for a few honorable mentions. Here's a few posts that deserve an encore because of the insights they provide:

Security is Hard. Why Not Automate It

Security automation doesn't get a lot of time in the spotlight, but it's something that deserves more thought and attention. Learn how Ansible brings a combination of qualities to the table that make it an excellent tool for hardening your security infrastructure through automation. Read more

The Future of Automation

Automation is a hot topic. From self-driving cars to automated IT infrastructures. Letting computers do the tasks that are mundane and wasteful, is all about getting your life back, so that we can focus on what’s important to us. This post explores the future of automation, and the basic tenet of automation – simplicity. Read more

Migrating the Runbook – A Journey from Legacy to DevOps

A lot of us here at Ansible got our start in IT in automation. Solving problems for people using technology. Yet, we still see runbooks in action – a list of manual steps somebody had to do to deploy code into production. It’s a process that leaves much to chance. This post explores the culture of resistance to automation and DevOps, and shares some insights on how you can migrate old methods by introducing simple, easy-to-use technology that puts people at the fore. Read more


Community, Ansible


Kaete Piccirilli

Kaete is the Senior Manager, Product Marketing for Management and Automation at Red Hat. Prior to joining Red Hat Ansible, she was the product marketing manager for a DevOps Implementation Training and Consulting company. A mother of three girls, she received an undergraduate degree from Clemson University and an MBA from NC State University. Kaete is an avid supporter of the Clemson Tigers. You can follow her on twitter at @kaetepiccirilli.

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