Automating Linux Updates With Ansible And Rundeck

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If you are experiencing growth within your organization and find yourself having to make tough decisions in the spirit of progress, solutions for keeping your IT team productive are definitely in order. One of the many ways that you can streamline productivity and limit mundane tasks lie in the ability to create scripts that eliminate repetition..

For example, in most cases, dozens or even hundreds of servers are being used on a daily basis. Each one of those servers has an authentication and login procedure. By creating a script in Ansible, you can automate this process and save valuable time throughout the day. This frees up precious time your employees need to knock out more complicated issues.

Simplifying your cloud provisioning options is a smart strategy because changes and updates happen frequently and upgrades all of your servers to meet those changes is the proverbial “time killer”. Automating this process eliminates the chance for human error and is known to improve employee morale. Incorporating Ansible into your IT department’s daily routine can show immediate results and instantaneously transform the way your team handles its day-to-day activities.

If your engineers are spending too much time performing easy tasks that seem more repetitive than impactful, a switch to Ansible can have the results you seek. What’s even more appealing about Ansible is that the YAML-coded scripts can be as simple or complex, as the experience level of your IT team. Knocking out the basic, everyday tasks will put hours back onto your productivity clock, but having the knowledge to create more challenging scripts that handle multiple-step processes can be a major game changer.

The most important thing your organization has is time. Time means money. Proper usage of time determines productivity and task completion. There are a plethora of options in today’s marketplace. Ansible is a highly attractive alternative to its competitors because it is agentless and doesn’t require you to make manual changes to dozens of nodes. It’s convenient and easy-to-use, not to mention that the software is well-supported with numerous modules for scripting tasks and a development team eager to answer questions.

How Ansible Works

Ansible provides the framework to script your most common and repetitive tasks, into what they call “playbooks”. Once these playbooks are created, they can utilize available modules (ie. Yum or Apt modules), not only for Ansible, but for other modules, as well. These modules plug into available operating system tools to perform tasks on the nodes. If a module is not available, the playbooks can use command syntax to run. Basically, anything that would work on a command line of a node can be scripted into a playbook for Ansible.

How Rundeck Works

If you should decide to incorporate Ansible into your development teams toolbox, you should give serious consideration to using Rundeck in tandem. Rundeck provides the reporting, scheduling and organizational tool that your team needs to stay on-point. If you are a smaller business, you will see other alternatives in the marketplace, but they are cost restrictive and not as much of a “value purchase” as Rundeck.

While Ansible serves as the tool to help you create scripts, Rundeck gives you the slick-looking, front-end platform to make sense of it all. The ability to see historic views of each task, the end result of those tasks and options for job assignments are an effective way to keep your entire team in communication mode and knowing what the team gameplan is at all times.

The perfect one-two combination for your Linux updates is by using Ansible with Rundeck for a streamlined approach to your workday.

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