Ansible adds .1 to Ansible 2.0, de-betas networking

Also covers MS and Docker bases

Ansible has pushed out version 2.1 of its eponymous automation platform, with a large part of the update consisting of peeling off beta stickers on features it announced earlier this year.

The vendor unveiled a foray into networking back in February at its London AnsibleFest. That technical preview has now been formalised as a “first order feature set”, director of Ansible Core Jason McKerr wrote in a blog post today, with support for Cisco, HP Enterprise, Juniper, Arista and Cumulus.

“Ansible’s agentless model works particularly well in the network management space,” McKerr wrote, “and with a lot of help and support from the vendors, we are very pleased to have our first major release with support for these features.”

That London event also saw the platform jack up its Windows support, and according to McKerr, “We significantly upped our game for both Windows and Azure Cloud. We’re happy to take the beta tag off of our Windows support, and make it a fully supported part of the Ansible automation platform.”

This includes Kerberos and NTLM support, and a full suite of modules for Azure, which according to McKerr, “allow first-class management of most basic resource types (eg, virtual networks, storage accounts, NICs, virtual machines), as well as deployment of Azure Resource Manager templates.”

“We’ve also built a shared framework for supporting new Azure resource types, so it’s much easier for the Ansible community to keep up with changes to the Azure platform, and to wrap custom resources in Ansible modules,” he added.

Even the smallest product rev would feel half-cocked these days, without mentioning containers, and Ansible 2.1 plays the game with McKerr saying a key focus for 2.1 was to “further mature our Docker support.”

In practice this means rewrites of existing Docker modules, and the addition of a new one, docker_service, which allows users to use Docker’s compose language from the file system or embedded in an Ansible playbook, with the former allowing “deployment and scaling of multi-container applications within the context of broader Ansible playbooks”. ®

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