Productive IT organizations maintains a balance between automated and manual operations. One goal of automation is net saving in the effort to manage systems. Properly implemented automation brings robustness to the system. However, improper automation not only brings overhead to system management, but also impairs the IT system in a dangerous way. For an organization, it is important to build a realistic automation strategy for its IT system.

Apart from saving effort, the other benefit of automation is consistency. In DevOps, there has been many existing patterns and tools for IT automation. Originally, tools such as Jenkins, was developed to automate many day-to-day activities within development team. Today, they are evolved with full CI/CD capabilities, and serve as the engine of automation for an entire workflow running across departments. In the time of cloud, there are plenty of pipeline tools (Jenkins, Bamboo, Circle CI), and every major public cloud vendor tries to lock customer in their technology (Azure DevOps, GitHub Action, AWS code pipeline).

DevOps Automation: A Guide to Getting Started | Tiempo Development

The CI/CD pipeline drives the automation, but it has fairly limited capacity in configuring many remote systems. Configuration management tool (e.g. Ansible, Chef, Puppet) fills in this demand. A configuration management system deals with many remote systems, with potentially different state, and aims to bring consistency across the fleet.

Read more about automation:

  • Automated Deployment Pipeline 3 of 3 - Background We have previously covered a pipeline example with Jenkins calling Ansible to leverage OpenSSH configuration and Ansible inventory. We also discussed a use case with declarative pipeline. In this posting, I will provide another advanced example, built on declarative pipeline. The pipeline file will be pulled from Git repository.… ... Read moreAutomated Deployment Pipeline 3 of 3
  • Automated Deployment Pipeline 2 of 3 - In this posting, we continue to discuss Jenkins' ability to automate deployment routines. Jenkins supports freestyle project out of the box, as well as Pipeline with several plugins. Freestyle project allows user to specify multiple steps on UI. This does not scale well when your entire process involves many steps.… ... Read moreAutomated Deployment Pipeline 2 of 3
  • Automated Deployment Pipeline 1 of 3 - The business case You launched a software application. You installed it on two customer sites. You support the application mostly by SSH to customer server and run Bash commands, or slightly better, Bash scripts. The product is a hit to the market. You hired 20 support specialists in a customer… ... Read moreAutomated Deployment Pipeline 1 of 3
  • Ansible at scale 2 of 2 - Template (with Jinja2) and files In an Ansible role, we can use files or templates to achieve similar results for configuration files. If the configuration file is the same across all targets then we can place it in files directory to push out. If the content of configuration file varies… ... Read moreAnsible at scale 2 of 2
  • Ansible at scale 1 of 2 - The Ansible In Depth white paper outlines Ansible's use cases in four categories: Configuration managementApplication deploymentOrchestration: for coordinating a multi-machine process such as interacting with load balancer and rolling cluster upgradeAs-needed task execution: ad-hoc tasks on large number of hosts At work, my original automation scheme involves several Ansible Playbooks… ... Read moreAnsible at scale 1 of 2

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