Improving Provisioning in VMware with Ansible

Videos  /  AnsibleFest San Francisco 2017  /  Mindpoint Group

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AWS and OpenStack get a lot of attention as the cool platforms to build on, and with good reason. They are truly cloud platforms that provide abstractions to deliver elastic compute and storage. However, there are still substantial enterprise investments in VMware. While there are a number add-ons and third-party tools available to deliver orchestration and advanced management capabilities, these are additional investments and increase the sprawl of loosely-integrated tooling in IT organizations.

This causes a problem in most VMware organizations:

  • Either the platform costs too much; or
  • Teams do most of the management manually or through a patchwork of scripts/tools.

In either case, the terms cloud, automation, and orchestration mean different things for teams supporting VMware than they do for other groups.

In this session, the Lead Engineer for the Department of Justice Security Operations Center will talk about how VMware support in Ansible has changed over the last 12 months, and how to close the gap in terms of being able to consider your VMware infrastructure a real cloud platform with fully automated provisioning, elastic storage features, and managing even your base infrastructure as code. You’ll see how he’s used just four Ansible modules to deliver implement this capability at JSOC allowing them to provide more stable and reliable infrastructure while increasing the speed at which new services are delivered to the front-line troops defending the enterprise. This presentation will step through the caveats to consider, the Ansible content you need, and how to structure host_vars files.

In this session you will learn:

  • What recent development has been happening around VMware in Ansible modules;
  • How to think about elastic compute & automated provisioning in a VMware world;
  • How to stop caring about disk sizing/partitioning and learn to love hacking elastic storage for VMware VMs; and
  • Where you can go next from this starting point.





Matt Shepherd, Vice President, Information Security & Privacy, MindPoint Group

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