Docker’s on the road map as well, and it should get some attention in future releases. Greg DeKoenigsberg, director of community for Ansible at Red Hat, said, “We’ve got a lot of users who use Ansible as the mechanism to deploy Docker containers. Some people use Ansible to build their containers, some use it to deploy their containers. They do this because it’s a good way to deploy across infrastructure.
“As you move to microservices, the complexity moves from within the virtual machine to the relationships between containers. We have found the Ansible community does a lot of that. It puts our Docker modules to a lot of use, so we’ve got a lot of demand for bringing that stuff up to code, so to speak.”
Those modules are growing fast, too. As of the Ansible 2.0 release, there are more than 150 extension modules that add capabilities to Ansible. The Ansible team said there are another 100 waiting in the wings; this is why the they will be reworking its module review process to break the logjam between submitting a module and having it available for redistribution to other users via Ansible’s official channels.
Finally, networking should see some enhancements in future releases. According to DeKoenigsberg, “Network administrators have a pretty poor set of tools at their disposal, especially if they’re responsible for a wide variety of hardware. A lot of people in the networking space started picking up Ansible fairly early on because just about every switch has SSH on it. Even if it doesn’t have Python, you can still log in and run scripts.”
That means networking hardware can be provisioned in the same way as servers. “You can put together repeatable playbooks in a way that describes what you’re doing in the network on a repeatable basis,” said DeKoenigsberg. “Some folks in the Ansible community have worked on an Ansible-ish API to talk to network devices. We hired someone to work on the networking problem full time. Soon after 2.0 comes out, we’ll be talking about network functionality, what modules are going to exist there, and how we think that can be a game changer for a lot of folks in that space who haven’t had the chance to create DevOps-y processes in the networking world.”