Juggling Ansible, OpenShift and K8s? This is for you: Red Hat couples automation to cluster management

'We’ve got the initial plumbing working' Linux distro bod tells our vulture

Red Hat is integrating its Ansible automation platform and Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes.

“We've known people use Ansible and OpenShift and Kubernetes together for years,” Red Hat senior manager Richard Henshall told The Register. “But here we get a bona fide integration between the two.” Typical uses would be to automate deploying system updates, configuring load balancers, or scaling server resources.

The integration is in technical preview. “We’ve got the initial plumbing working, so it’s exposed through Advanced Cluster Management (ACM),” said Henshall, referring to the company’s tool for controlling OpenShift clusters and applications.

“You configure an Ansible Automation Platform source, which is based on the Ansible Tower API. You can then specify hooks to your workflows to access whatever jobs are running in the background.” The system uses a Kubernetes CRD (Custom Resource Definition), in effect an extension of the Kubernetes API, in conjunction with a Red Hat Kubernetes operator. “That is also a good foundation for future integrations from Kubernetes natives apps,” said Henshall, “using a way that’s natural to a Kubernetes application to interface with something based on an HTTP REST API.”

Can this work with other Kubernetes distributions, or just OpenShift? “At the moment it’s specific to OpenShift,” said Henshall, “but I guess the nature of Ansible it is could turn that way.”

The Kubernetes operator is currently packaged and deployed with ACM but from next year will be in the Red Hat OperatorHub, a catalog of approved operators. “ACM is just the first adopter,” said Henshall.

The Ansible part requires an OpenShift Content Collection, a package of Ansible modules which can be installed from a cloud-hosted catalog called Ansible Automation Hub. This OpenShift add-on has wider scope than just the ACM integration, and can be used for “any additional tasks people want to automate against OpenShift,” said Henshall.

Red Hat's virtual summit is under way

Talk about physical to virtual translation: Red Hat officially emits OpenShift 4.4, Fedora 32 in online conference


Red Hat has also now introduced Private Automation Hub, an enterprise version of the Automation Hub that allows organizations to create a custom respository of Ansible resources. “They can control which versions are used, and also add their own content,” Henshall explained, “giving them a place to build an internal community to help automation grow as a discipline.”

Ansible is an open source project and has “downloads north of half a million a month,” according to Henshall. It can be used for free, but as teams get larger people migrate to the Red Hat paid-for offering, he said, to control access and get support.

What’s next for Ansible? Henshall said Red Hat is not quite where it wants to be in terms of support for edge and IoT deployments. “Ansible is easily applicable to it. There are some things we want to do, to take better command of that.”

Virtual AnsibleFest is under way, and day two will include a focus on “Automation at the Edge”.

“It will be on where we see the future of technology, how we’re going to run it in a container,” said Henshall. “It’s what happens when you’ve got a device sat 3000 miles away at the end of an intermittent connection and the changes we’re going to introduce to make that a sweet spot." We can expect more news on this subject early next year.®

Similar topics

Other stories you might like

  • Stolen university credentials up for sale by Russian crooks, FBI warns
    Forget dark-web souks, thousands of these are already being traded on public bazaars

    Russian crooks are selling network credentials and virtual private network access for a "multitude" of US universities and colleges on criminal marketplaces, according to the FBI.

    According to a warning issued on Thursday, these stolen credentials sell for thousands of dollars on both dark web and public internet forums, and could lead to subsequent cyberattacks against individual employees or the schools themselves.

    "The exposure of usernames and passwords can lead to brute force credential stuffing computer network attacks, whereby attackers attempt logins across various internet sites or exploit them for subsequent cyber attacks as criminal actors take advantage of users recycling the same credentials across multiple accounts, internet sites, and services," the Feds' alert [PDF] said.

    Continue reading
  • Big Tech loves talking up privacy – while trying to kill privacy legislation
    Study claims Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, Microsoft work to derail data rules

    Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, and Microsoft often support privacy in public statements, but behind the scenes they've been working through some common organizations to weaken or kill privacy legislation in US states.

    That's according to a report this week from news non-profit The Markup, which said the corporations hire lobbyists from the same few groups and law firms to defang or drown state privacy bills.

    The report examined 31 states when state legislatures were considering privacy legislation and identified 445 lobbyists and lobbying firms working on behalf of Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, and Microsoft, along with industry groups like TechNet and the State Privacy and Security Coalition.

    Continue reading
  • SEC probes Musk for not properly disclosing Twitter stake
    Meanwhile, social network's board rejects resignation of one its directors

    America's financial watchdog is investigating whether Elon Musk adequately disclosed his purchase of Twitter shares last month, just as his bid to take over the social media company hangs in the balance. 

    A letter [PDF] from the SEC addressed to the tech billionaire said he "[did] not appear" to have filed the proper form detailing his 9.2 percent stake in Twitter "required 10 days from the date of acquisition," and asked him to provide more information. Musk's shares made him one of Twitter's largest shareholders. The letter is dated April 4, and was shared this week by the regulator.

    Musk quickly moved to try and buy the whole company outright in a deal initially worth over $44 billion. Musk sold a chunk of his shares in Tesla worth $8.4 billion and bagged another $7.14 billion from investors to help finance the $21 billion he promised to put forward for the deal. The remaining $25.5 billion bill was secured via debt financing by Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Barclays, and others. But the takeover is not going smoothly.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022