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OpenStack Automation with Ansible

Moinul Islam, Analog Devices

The purpose of this article is to provide insight on an alternative approach to provisioning virtual machines aside from VMware. The target audience includes, but is not limited to, software developers who deal with virtual machine automation. Due to the high expense of VMware’s service provider license and its infrastructure that supports vRealize, vCenter, and other tools, we utilized our resources to put together a cost effective, alternative approach that accomplishes the same tasks. Our solution is an approach that makes use of open-source technologies that have DevOps methodologies using Ansible Tower® to interact with OpenStack® , which are implemented via playbooks to provision virtual machines. We integrated this technology in our Cyber Range™ software, described as a case study in this article to prove this methodology a success.

This article covers how Ansible Tower is one of the easiest ways to create, deploy, and configure virtual machines from OpenStack using playbooks. System performance, IT automation, deployments of complex systems, and speed productivity are the key criteria in software development in regard to interacting with virtual machines. All these features are available in Ansible Tower, which have REST APIs to easily embed it into existing tools and processes. A secure portal where users can request new IT services and manage specific cloud and IT resources can be achieved using Ansible Tower as an open-source tool for automating application deployment and upgrades, as well as the configuration of software for networking and security.

Why Ansible?
Ansible® is a simple automation tool that can perfectly describe an IT application infrastructure. It’s easy-to-learn, selfdocumenting, and doesn’t require a grad-level computer science degree to read. Automation shouldn’t be more complex than the tasks it’s replacing.

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