Red Hat's Ansible Container Aims to Streamline Container Workflows

by Ostatic Staff - Jul. 06, 2016

The system automation framework Ansible, which is under the wing of Red Hat, has given rise to a new way to build Docker images and perform container orchestration within Ansible. Ansible Container allows for the complete creation of Docker-formatted Linux containers within Ansible Playbooks, eliminating the need to use external tools like Dockerfile or docker-compose.

The new toolset is now available on GitHub.  Here is more on what it can do.

There are efforts, such as the Open Container Initiative, that are pursuing standardization in the container space. But the space is still fragmented, with developers often forced to work outside of the enterprise workstream to create and deploy containerized applications. Ansible Container aims to bring Linux container development into the existing workstream through the Ansible Playbook, putting cloud-native application development side-by-side with traditional application building.

Alongside Ansible Container, the Ansible project has also launched new Kubernetes modules which allow for the production of Kubernetes templates directly from an Ansible playbook. What does it all add up to? "Combining the two new offerings, IT teams can now build Linux containers directly from a playbook and deploy to a Kubernetes-based container application platform, like Red Hat OpenShift, in a more streamlined and efficient manner," notes the Ansible Container team.

Greg DeKoenigsberg, director of the Ansible community, said: “Many users in our community have already grown accustomed to using Ansible to deploy and manage their containers, and the Ansible Container project is an encapsulation of many of the community’s best ideas, brought together into a single tool. The user traction we’ve received in a fairly short period of time indicates to us that we’re targeting a critical need in the container tooling space.”  

 The automated container creation and deployment offered by Ansible factor into Red Hat’s existing container infrastructure stack, which now includes:

A container-centric operating system in Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host.

An enterprise-grade, Kubernetes- and Docker-native container application platform through Red Hat OpenShift and the recently announced next-generation OpenShift Online public cloud service.

Infrastructure management, automation and monitoring across hybrid environments with Red Hat CloudForms, Red Hat Insights, Red Hat Satellite and Ansible Tower by Red Hat.