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Latest Version of Red Hat Ansible Engine Enables New Cloud, Network, and Windows Automation

Red Hat announced the general availability of Red Hat Ansible Engine 2.6, the latest release of its simple, powerful, and agentless open source IT automation solution. Red Hat Ansible Engine 2.6 adds new content for automating across hybrid and multicloud environments, along with simplified connections to network APIs and updates for Ansible deployments overseeing Windows environments.

When Red Hat Ansible Engine 2.6 combines with Red Hat Ansible Tower, Red Hat’s centralized control plane for managing and optimizing automated systems at enterprise scale, organizations can more easily extend automation across complex footprints. This includes hybrid and multicloud environments as well as diverse infrastructure, network, and application deployments.

The new features available in Ansible Engine are aimed at enabling users to more rapidly expand their infrastructure, without expanding manpower. Red Hat Ansible Engine 2.6 focuses on three key areas of automation:

Multicloud
Network
Windows
Simplified multicloud provisioning

Red Hat Ansible Engine 2.6 helps organizations provision in public cloud and in on-premises virtualization infrastructure more simply through updated modules covering Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure. The public cloud modules add capabilities designed to match the latest functionality available in the respective cloud environments. Additionally, an improved AWS EC2 Instance module can provide a more streamlined user experience when provisioning new and managing existing EC2-backed instances. When users provision their cloud infrastructure with Ansible Engine, creating, managing, and administering deployments on an ongoing basis is done through a single tool - helping to meet policies regardless of cloud provider.

This release also extends the support for VMware vSphere-deployed infrastructure, including VMware Cloud on AWS, enabling users to use automation across the hybrid cloud including legacy infrastructure. Additionally, the new VMware modules improve support for tags, fact gathering, and host management. The modules also extend automation beyond the operating system layer to enable automated application lifecycles on these infrastructure deployments.

Enhanced networking capabilities

Red Hat Ansible Network Automation 2.6 delivers new vendor agnostic modules that provide users with a common language. Previously, network managers learned vendor-specific commands, which could be both time consuming and create additional complexity. Through new networking modules available in Ansible 2.6, a single language can be used across multiple network environments, including Juniper and Cisco. Additionally, new connection mechanisms available in Ansible Engine 2.6 help simplify management connections to network devices.

In addition, Ansible now offers support for Infoblox, including a collection of critical network services (DHCP, DNS, and IPAM), collectively known as DDI. The fully-supported Infoblox modules available in Ansible Engine 2.6 enable customers to more easily automate the IP address selection, reservation, assignment, and retirement process without human intervention. Additionally, the Infoblox support enables users deploying systems across multiple clouds as well as virtualization platforms to more effectively automate their IP address management next to their application deployments.

Simplified Windows automation
Red Hat Ansible Engine 2.6 extends Ansible’s capabilities for automating Windows environments with new features and enhancements for managing computers and active directory, scheduling tasks, and better error handling.

Improved extensibility

Additionally, with the new capabilities in Ansible Engine 2.6, users can now more easily and programmatically extend Ansible in their environments with new plugins for Red Hat OpenStack Platform, Red Hat Satellite, Red Hat Virtualization, Amazon EC2, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure. This enhancement is designed to streamline how Ansible calls inventories and receives data back, helping to make inventory modules easier to maintain and upgrade.

Ansible Galaxy 3.0
In addition to Red Hat Ansible Engine 2.6, Red Hat also recently launched a new version of its Ansible Galaxy service, a public-facing hub for community and partner-generated Ansible Roles to make it easier to find and share Ansible content. This latest version of Ansible Galaxy features an improved user interface, modernized code base, and new containerized infrastructure provided by Red Hat OpenShift Dedicated. This release also adds support for OpenShift Ansible Broker content to define and distribute multi-container services on Red Hat OpenShift Dedicated using the greater simplicity and power of Ansible Automation.

Availability
Red Hat Ansible Engine 2.6 is available now through the Red Hat Customer Portal.

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