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Red Hat redraws Ansible Tower so even enterprise managers can get it

Engineering worldview not always ... appreciated in the enterprise

Red Hat has given its Ansible Tower a good scrubbing down before smoothing the UI to better penetrate big money corporate accounts.

Tower is Red Hat’s paid for version of the open source Ansible automation platform, effectively a GUI and services package around the core product. Well, we say GUI, but Tower 3.0, released today, has taken a long hard look at the UI, and decided it needed fixing.

Red Hat’s head of Ansible engineering, Tim Cramer said that to date, Tower had been “designed by engineers, for engineers.” He added, “It’s crucial we don’t have people being confused when they start using tower. Hence, 3.0 has a more streamlined interface when it comes to complex deployments.

Following with the complexity/confusion theme, permissioning has been overhauled, making it easier to enact explicit permissions for specific teams or organisations.

Cramer also highlighted increased networking support, with support from Cisco, Juniper, Arista and Cumulus. This essentially builds on the networking integration added with the last major update of the core Ansible platform back in February.

That February upgrade also saw much talk of integration with Microsoft. However, there was little mention of Microsoft in today’s announcement. Cramer said that Microsoft was an issue for the core open source product. Once integration is taken care of that level, Microsoft resources are just another part of the total inventory for Tower to manage.

Cramer said the key issue with the latest upgrade was to make Ansible a more palatable platform for enterprises. The product had originally gained traction in smaller organisations, or where techies could take out a credit-card subscription under the radar. Larger rollouts and deployments were more likely to need higher level approvals, and Ansible are “trying to make sure it’s easy for the guys to do that.”

Now that UI is suitably palatable for less tech-focused managers, the next release would focus on engineering for those bigger deployments, said Cramer, and with “3.1, we’ll be looking at how to scale out Tower much better". ®

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