A large healthcare provider in New York City was seeking an application-agnostic solution to standardize automation in the data center across multiple networking vendors. The enterprise was already using Dell EMC Open Networking solutions to simplify data center management. Now it was time to ramp up automation capabilities to enable IT staff to better support a growing network environment. IIS recommended Ansible from Red Hat, a simple, human-readable programming language and platform used to drive automation at scale in the network stack.

The Ansible modules for Dell EMC Networking solutions enable IT administrators to configure, maintain, and optimize the state of network platforms running OS10, OS9 and OS6. Using Ansible to provision and manage Dell EMC PowerSwitch platforms allows IT to rapidly deploy new devices, change network configurations, and audit running network device configurations against known baselines using the same tools across multi-vendor environments. Rather than write custom code to automate tasks, the Ansible automation engine uses simple task descriptions that even the newest team member can create and understand on first read. This not only saves up-front costs, but makes implementing changes easier over time.

Through Ansible, the provider found they were able to easily script automated network tasks instead of using labor-intensive manual processes to provision individual systems and services for their IT operations and DevOps teams. This speeds deployment, enables continuous improvement/continuous delivery, and reduces expenses by minimizing the time and effort required to design, provision, and manage the network.

Ansible not only standardizes and automates operations for faster deployment, it collects analytics to create a shareable, scalable, smarter network infrastructure. And it does so without the need to install additional software on Dell EMC PowerSwitch devices. Ansible provides IT staff with broad visibility into network conditions, integration with servers, and VMware footprint for granular control over network functionality. Define "plays", or multiple actions to be performed by particular groups of servers or hosts as one task to shave hours off updating services. Stop reinventing the wheel. Ansible allows IT to solve a problem once, and then automate the solution for a repeatable, error-free experience going forward.

In addition to enhancing network agility and efficiency through Red Hat Ansible automation, the healthcare provider also realized:

  • Reduction in change process/change control operations
  • Fewer incident reports and ticketing
  • Simplified orchestration and repeatability in deployments and updates
  • Proactive responses to outages
  • Reduced engineering overhead through reduced man hours with zero-touch deployment features
  • The ability to perform updates with zero downtime
  • Improvements in best practices, as Ansible collections for Dell EMC Networking solutions are validated and certified by RedHat
  • Predictability for future growth and scalability based on demand for services

As a partner of both Red Hat and Dell Technologies, IIS has the sales and technical expertise to help your organization reap the benefits of network automation and system integration. Contact IIS to learn more about what Ansible automation can do for you.

Jay Singh

Written by Jay Singh