Digital business has changed the world very quickly. Technology is the backbone of an application, but the deployment process is also equally important to delivering the application in a periodic fashion, as well as staying competitive in the market. Before automation was adopted by the software industry, software developers wasted a lot of manual effort and maintained complex coordination procedures to deploy an application in the application server.
The deployment process is the most vital aspect of software delivery. Deployment managers are looking for a tool, process or mechanism that is robust, platform-independent, easy to deploy or rollback the software, and also cost-effective.
Keeping those requirements in mind, software engineers have developed Ansible. Today, most of the software industry is planning to shut down their existing paid deployment processes and move to free Ansible deployments.
A Simple and Powerful IT Automation Tool
I’ve been working on an alternative approach to deployment as part of my current role at a leading Australian bank. In order to make their applications Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCIDSS) compliant, this bank is moving its application servers into a secure Cardholder Data Environment (CDE) zone, as well as migrating its source components repository from SVN to Bitbucket. On top of this, the bank is looking for a robust and automated deployment process, which can replace their existing, paid systems.
My team from Wipro recommended Ansible with Go Pipeline. Thousands of companies are using Ansible to deploy their software to application servers. It’s a simple yet powerful open-source tool that accelerates DevOps initiatives and is capable of deploying the application in multiple environments simultaneously.
Ansible is free, robust, and applicable for heterogeneous systems (Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Windows, etc.) and heterogeneous applications (JAVA, Mainframe, etc.) It is also capable of getting source components from Nexus, Subversion (SVN), or Bitbucket, and deploying them in the DevOps environment.
Moreover, it’s easy to integrate with User Interface (UI) applications like Go Pipeline. We’ve already deployed some of the applications using Go Pipeline and they went to production smoothly. Ansible has saved us huge deployment costs and reduced numerous manual interventions.
There are several reasons to use Ansible as a deployment tool:
- Its working mechanism looks fairly simple and follows a modular approach.
- It’s free, robust, capable of deploying the application over heterogeneous systems, and is able to handle a heterogeneous application technology stack.
- It’s easy to integrate with UI applications like Go Pipeline.
- It’s scalable: following a role-based approach, it can easily integrate a new role for a new operation.
- It allows users to deploy the application in multiple application servers at a time, a timesaving benefit that increases efficiency.
- It is secure, as a deployment engineer can deploy multiple applications from a centralised server without a login to the actual server.
- It offers an efficient deployment tool in a complete package.
Advantages of Ansible Over Other Tools
Ansible offers many benefits versus other tools available in the market:
- Cost effective: free and open-source.
- Platform flexibility: applicable to heterogeneous platforms like Linux and Windows.
- Application flexibility: applicable to heterogeneous applications like Java, mainframe, and .Net.
- Modular: Ansible scripts are divided into roles and tasks, allowing deployment engineers to better understand and maintain their scripts.
- Reusable: Ansible allows you to reuse components across various operations.
- Secure: without logging in to each actual server, a deployment engineer can deploy multiple applications from a centralised server.
- Templates: templates help you deploy an application in various environments or regions with minimal changes to variables.
- Easy to use: Ansible easily integrates with GUI applications like Go Pipeline.
- Efficient: deploy applications into multiple application servers at a time.
- Partial deployment: supports partial deployment of certificates, properties, etc.
- Scalable: easily expand the application by adding roles and tasks.
Using Ansible and Go Pipeline
In my next post, Using Ansible and Go Pipeline for DevOps Deployment, I give an overview of Ansible project creation and how it integrates with Go Pipeline. This includes how to organise an Ansible project, establish connectivity with various servers, and configure a Go Pipeline user interface application.