Ansible is a radically simple IT automation engine that automates cloud provisioning, configuration management, application deployment, intra-service orchestration, and many other IT needs.

Designed for multi-tier deployments since day one, Ansible models your IT infrastructure by describing how all of your systems inter-relate, rather than just managing one system at a time.

It uses no agents and no additional custom security infrastructure, so it’s easy to deploy — and most importantly, it uses a very simple language (YAML, in the form of Ansible Playbooks) that allow you to describe your automation jobs in a way that approaches plain English.

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Ansible works by connecting to your nodes and pushing out small programs, called “Ansible modules” to them. These programs are written to be resource models of the desired state of the system. Ansible then executes these modules (over SSH by default), and removes them when finished.

Your library of modules can reside on any machine, and there are no servers, daemons, or databases required. Typically you’ll work with your favorite terminal program, a text editor, and probably a version control system to keep track of changes to your content.

Playbooks can finely orchestrate multiple slices of your infrastructure topology, with very detailed control over how many machines to tackle at a time. This is where Ansible starts to get most interesting.

Ansible’s approach to orchestration is one of finely-tuned simplicity, as we believe your automation code should make perfect sense to you years down the road and there should be very little to remember about special syntax or features.

Managing an organization’s many tools and business processes is becoming increasingly complicated as technology expands. Whether your teams are performing their weekly system reboot, or looking to configure instances to a desired state, it’s no secret that automation is critical to increase speed, efficiency, productivity, and accuracy.

Provisioning: Set up the various servers you need in your infrastructure.

Configuration management: Change the configuration of an application, OS, or device; start and stop services; install or update applications; implement a security policy; or perform a wide variety of other configuration tasks.

Application deployment: Make DevOps easier by automating the deployment of internally developed applications to your production systems.

There are many other IT automation tools available, including more mature ones like Puppet and Chef, so why would you choose Ansible? The main reason is simplicity. Michael DeHaan, the creator of Ansible, already had a lot of experience with other configuration management tools when he decided to develop a new one. He said that he wanted “a tool that you could not use for six months, come back to, and still remember.”

DeHaan accomplished this by using YAML, a simple configuration language. Puppet and Chef, on the other hand, use Ruby, which is more difficult to learn. This makes Ansible especially appealing to system administrators.

DeHaan also simplified Ansible deployment by making it agentless. That is, instead of having to install an agent on every system you want to manage (as you have to do with Puppet and Chef), Ansible just requires that systems have Python (on Linux servers) or PowerShell (on Windows servers) and SSH.

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) provides scalable infrastructure and solutions to meet the needs of your organization. GCP offers on-demand instances, software-defined networking, storage and databases, and big data solutions — and they’re all available at your fingertips. GCP enables your applications to take advantage of Google’s significant infrastructure, utilizing their best-of-breed technology and innovation, and only pay for what you need when you need it.

The Ansible/GCP integration gives you everything you need to manage your IT infrastructure. From provisioning instances and auto scaling, custom networks and load balancing, and even managing DNS and cloud storage, it’s all provided.

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