Deploying advanced systems into cloud and hybrid-cloud infrastructures is an important aspect of digital transformation for many enterprises. Exadel DevOps experts have the skills needed to assist clients in this area. To share some of what we’ve learned in our work, the Exadel DevOps Team is publishing a series of articles covering the tools for DevOps that Exadel commonly uses to increase productivity, efficiency, and flexibility for technical teams in order to greatly improve the delivery of successful results for our clients. In this article you will learn what is Ansible and why it is used in DevOps and will also see one of the Ansible use cases.

What is Ansible and Why It is Used in DevOps?

Ansible is a configuration and app deployment tool that we have used with many clients producing excellent business results. Ansible is a transformative technology and it has many advantages. It has allowed our clients to automate infrastructure configuration, speeding up delivery and reducing human error.

Why Ansible?

Ansible is used on projects for automation and standardization. It allows DevOps and IT to define how applications are deployed and then to automate those deployments to future environments. By standardizing, working on those environments is easier and less labor-intensive; by automating, all that work is less error-prone. In general, it’s a tool that reduces the labor cost of IT and allows you to do more by allowing you to focus more on new work and high-value tasks, that is why Ansible is useful for projects.

Ansible Use Cases: Exadel and Ansible in Action

There are may Ansible use cases at Exadel, but in this article we would like to cover how Exadel’s Ansible experts recently developed a unified environment for a large container-based application environment for a global management consulting client. This solution, which runs in both on-prem and public cloud environments, runs on over 100 servers, in 11 environments, with over 200 containers. This environment formed the backbone of all future software development at this company, meaning that it had to provide ample capability across development, testing, and production for every service that the company would roll out. The solution needed to be flexible, robust, and scalable. The company had a total workforce of 20,000 worldwide employees meaning that it’s internal tools had to scale and provide 24/7 availability.

It was crucial that the environments be unified and that the infrastructure be 100% equivalent across environments. Using Ansible we were able to build out these environments efficiently. By creating the application environments using Ansible, new environments could be built using only configuration updates. We created their entire environment using Ansible and the client has seen a significant return on investment.

The unification of environments was essential as it allowed support for and development of services for numerous internal projects in a more efficient way. Ansible was the right tool for this project to create a single point of support for all the internal projects as configured by parameters for each project. Using Ansible, Exadel managed to scale up the client’s whole infrastructure, all built on containers, which accelerated infrastructure development on a new server.

One of the significant challenges was a third-party tool (not developed by Exadel or the client) that needed to run as part of the system. This third-party tool used 100% of the resources of the cluster originally provisioned for it. Using Ansible, the Exadel team was able to spread this resource-intensive application across seven server clusters, distributing the load and making the solution function much better.

From our experience, Ansible made it much simpler to support all needed environments. All told, Ansible had the following business impact for this client:

  • Reduced infrastructure configuration time by 50%
  • Reduced human error rates by 80%
  • Reduced man-hours for infrastructure technical support by 80%

Check out our other use cases in DevOps: see a real project example on how Exadel DevOps team used Consul to monitor the entire system.

Learn more about Exadel DevOps services and the challenges Exadel DevOps experts can help to solve.