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May 01, 2019
Becoming an Ansible dynamic inventory master
By: Andrew Eckart and Scott Van Velsor

So, you have designed, built and are now maintaining the most complex CI/CD pipeline you have ever seen, and it actually works to enable weekly delivery. You have successfully integrated infrastructure, platform and application automation into a single, glorious solution. You have reached the pinnacle of your DevOps career. Awards, fame and a talk-show world tour are near.

Then a request comes down from the development team. They want to add three more applications to the pipeline. No problem, you planned for that.

Then a request comes down from the test team. They want six new test environments, one for operations test, two for functional test, one for regression, and two for performance test. And they want those six for all four applications.

Sweat beads begin to form. Sure, one application and a few environments, you can handle that. Or even a few applications and an environment or two. No problem. Yet, you now have four applications and six environments for each plus production—that’s 28 different configuration baselines to establish, version and maintain. That’s a lot of property files. Welcome to the complex world of configuration data management in a DevOps world.

Consider this on the scale of 40-50 applications and over 30 test environments. That was the scalability challenge we had at one of our Federal clients.

The client started off with the humble beginnings of maintaining two release paths with four test environments on a mainframe platform. After transitioning everything from the mainframe to over 40 application modules, the system became significantly more complex.

To simplify this complexity, we developed a highly, scalable solution, making use of a component-based organizational structure for our Ansible roles. It spans the infrastructure, platform and application baselines for all components. It provides the needed structure, security, versioning and control in your Ansible roles. It even gives you the linking and wiring between your infrastructure, platform and application components.

Discard your property files and step up to the next level.

Join us at Red Hat Summit, on May 8 in Boston, where we will discuss how driving Ansible playbooks with dynamic inventories of configuration data can take automation to the next level by providing greater control, operability and configurability of systems. In addition, we will share the pros and cons of driving Ansible automation with a scalable solution and how doing so has allowed Accenture to effectively manage 30+ execution environments and their underlying infrastructure and platform components for one of our Federal clients. Hope to see you in Boston!

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