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Red Hat Releases Ansible 2.3

April 13, 2017

A new version of Red Hat Inc.’s Ansible open source IT automation framework is now available on GitHub. This latest release features broader support for Microsoft Windows, enhanced networking capabilities, and simplified integration of community contributions.

To the second point, Ansible 2.3 supports persistent connections via command line interface connection and/or the newly added NETCONF connection method. As a result, one SSH connection can be active across multiple Ansible tasks.

That expedites work. In fact, Red Hat and its partners say this new capability accelerated network performance by up to 10 times in their tests.

Also new with this release is support for Apstra, Arista Networks, Avi Networks, Big Switch Networks, Cumulus Networks, Fortinet, Huawei, Lenovo, Ordnance, and Palo Alto Networks modules. Ansible now supports 29 network platforms and 267 networking modules.

“Increasing network complexity and a rapidly expanding threat landscape is driving the need for flexible tools that enable organizations to

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automate their security and network operations to suit their individual needs,” John Maddison, senior vice president of products and solutions at Fortinet, said. “Fortinet's Ansible 2.3 integration provides additional DevOps tools that enable our carrier, service provider, and enterprise customers to optimize their network operations to fully leverage the broad, powerful and automated defenses of the Fortinet Security Fabric.”

Red Hat with Ansible 2.3 also has introduced a single, centralized location for the community and the Ansible Core team to make contributions and issue submissions and tickets.

Ansible can be used to automate everything from cloud computing deployments, to Linux containers, to physical and virtual servers. It applies a DevOps approach to the network so processes related to it are more predictable and repeatable. And that makes today’s complicated, multivendor networks more agile and manageable.

“Ansible has quickly become one of the most important tools in the network operating tool belt,” said Dave Thelen, extensibility engineer at Arista Networks. “Whether it be automating the deployment of an entire data center or using play books to more efficiently troubleshoot issues, Ansible allows tasks that used to take significant time to be automated quickly with a very low learning curve. The enhancements that are included in 2.3 will allow for automating even more tasks for networks of any size and complexity.”

Edited by Alicia Young

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