Itential + Red Hat Ansible: The Dynamic Duo Accelerating Network Automation

by | October 3, 2018
Itential + Red Hat Ansible: The Dynamic Duo Accelerating Network Automation

We recently announced our partnership with Red Hat but that was just the beginning. Now we are excited to announce the integration of our two technologies to accelerate network automation. This release delivers significant opportunities for organizations to enhance and extend their use of Ansible for network operations by leveraging Itential’s Network Intelligent Workflow Builder to deliver true end-to-end automation across IT operations.

Let’s take a deeper dive into some of the key capabilities of the Itential for Red Hat Ansible solution:

Expansion of Ansible Use Cases

Ansible is a well-established solution in the IT space but has typically not been leveraged for network specific tasks. Red Hat has made tremendous progress in the last 3-6 months on expanding Ansible’s capabilities into the network. When paired with Itential’s low-code and intelligent network automation solution, the traditional IT server management use cases Ansible is widely used for can be expanded across many new domains. Itential provides you the opportunity to produce network intelligent workflows that manage not just the server configuration that Ansible has always done, but also the configuration of connectivity between those servers and the appropriate security configurations on firewalls and other network devices. This capability is applicable to both physical and virtual networks, as well as components involved in providing cloud services to your users.

Federation and Decoration of Ansible Playbooks, Role and Modules

Much of the management of Ansible Playbooks and Modules today is done at the command line level and editing of YAML files. To ease the management of these items, the Itential solution provides a low-code approach that includes federation of existing Playbooks and Modules for use in network automation.

Itential provides the opportunity to enhance the tasks involved by enabling intelligent workflow functions such as:

  • Presenting user friendly forms for manual interaction on items as needed
  • Introducing decision points where validation of success, failure, or other criteria can be defined within Itential’s MOP templates and executed within a Playbook run to intelligently direct the next steps based on the validation results
  • Allowing for the automatic collection of other key data either from the network or integrated systems for use in the automation being executed

Ansible Tower Integration

Itential now integrates with Ansible Tower, allowing Ansible customers to fully leverage the power of Itential for network automation. Itential protects your investment in the Ansible Tower environment by providing a solution that complements it to supply automation functionality. The Itential solution and Ansible Tower operate side by side in a cooperative manner to enable the leveraging of any Tower Workflows you may currently have in place, as actions that can be executed in the network intelligent workflows in the Itential solution. This expands the capabilities of Ansible Tower into new domains in the same manner as Ansible itself.

Itential Modules for Ansible

Itential is supplying a set of Ansible modules to the open source community that allow for the execution of the solution’s capabilities from Ansible and Ansible Tower. This closes the loop and allows for any of these components to leverage the other two as needed.

For more on this visit our GitHub here.

It is an exciting time for Itential and Ansible customers. Red Hat Ansible has expanded the capabilities for their customers and Itential is leveraging these new network automation capabilities to drive transformation and management of the modern network. By combining Ansible’s DevOps capabilities with purpose-built network automation functionality from Itential, an environment is created which simplifies NetOps by significantly reducing to almost eliminating coding required by developers and network engineers. If agile network automation is your end goal, Itential for Red Hat Ansible is in a unique position to accelerate your journey towards a modern automated network.

For more information on our integration, click here or register for our live webinar, “Supercharge Ansible for Networking with Itential” on Oct. 30.

Patrick Moore

Patrick Moore served as the Director of Network Automation Strategy at Itential where he was responsible for managing the delivery of services to implement network automation for clients leveraging both Itential products and custom developed solutions before his passing in 2019.

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