Following a look inside Ansible 2.0 and Ansible Tower 2.2, the open-source community took the lead at AnsibleFest NYC in presentations showing how the versatile technology works in tandem with popular platforms such as Docker and OpenStack.

In a presentation entitled “Operating Your OpenStack Cloud Using Ansible,” Rackspace cloud solutions architect Walter Bentley explained why, to him, “The combination of OpenStack and Ansible just feels right.”

He explained that putting Ansible and OpenStack together makes sense because due to existing Ansible modules for Linux management and OpenStack, working with Ansible on OpenStack is essentially like working with a Linux kernel. Ansible playbooks can be written against APIs or Python CLIs, he said, and only Python and SSH are required on the target device or environment, with no clients or agents needed to set up administrative functions.

“With an OpenStack cloud, it’s fully distributed; it’s x number of machines you have to chase down on cloud or virtual or bare metal servers,” said Bentley. “Designing roles with unique variable values is as easy as writing an e-mail.”

Bentley proved his point by inviting an AnsibleFest attendee onstage to perform some live tasks in OpenStack in an Ansible version of “The Price is Right.”

Building a Docker-ized microservice in Node using Ansible
In another presentation, Irakli Nadareishvili, director of strategy for CA Technologies’ API Academy, explained why Ansible in conjunction with HashiCorp’s open-source Consul monitoring and configuration tool is a great way to orchestrate microservices and Docker containers.

He described microservice architecture as a style where a complex system is decomposed into a collection of autonomous, independently deployable services that are small, easily replaceable, and able to deliver one distinct capability. The problem in what he referred to as a “decoupled jungle” is knowing where each of these microservices is and what it’s doing.

“With microservices, your operations maturity must be at a certain level for you not to hurt yourself. You need to have full automation,” said Nadareishvili.