Red Hat has updated its enterprise framework for automating IT processes, Ansible Tower, to version 3.4. The improved features of the software focus on workflow functionality and security.

The updates should make it possible to simplify the management of complex hybrid cloud infrastructures as much as possible, according to the open source specialist. This will enable end users to establish an automation center of excellence that will enable them to provide common solutions for automating cloud environments throughout the organization, while implementing approved strategies for deploying automation in new IT areas.

In version 3.4 of Ansible Tower, they can now define a single master workflow for this purpose. The master workflow connects the different IT areas and is designed to manage a hybrid infrastructure without the limitations of specific technology philosophies, says Red Hat.

Other improvements for workflows

In addition, there are more workflow improvements in version 3.4. Nested workflows functionality allows users to create reusable, modular components. It allows them to automate complex operations with the same ease as a simple playbook. In addition, workflow convergence allows workflow tasks to be paused, depending on the completion of several other workflow tasks, before end users move on to the step-by-step process.

Furthermore, Workflow always job templates make it possible to perform follow-up actions. According to the open source specialist, it does not matter whether previous tasks have been carried out successfully or have failed. A workflow always job template ensures that everything keeps running. Finally, the workflow-level inventory function allows end users to apply a workflow to the IT assets they have access to. This enables re-use of deployment workflows in data centers, IT environments and teams, says Red Hat.

Optimized security improvements

In addition to improvements in workflows, Red Hat Ansible Tower 3.4 also has improved security. Red Hat Ansible Tower can now also run on Red Hat Enterprise Linux in FIPS-compatible mode. This means that the software complies with the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS 140-2) security certification of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). This standard defines the requirements for cryptographic modules, including hardware and software components, to be used in a security system to protect sensitive but unclassified information. In this way, end users of the Ansible Tower solution can meet security standards without having to sacrifice useful and innovative software solutions.

Other improved functionality

Job slicing allows users to perform a single large task designed for thousands of machines and divide it into a number of smaller tasks for distribution in a Tower cluster environment. This allows jobs to be executed more reliably and completed faster, allowing users to scale up their automation more effectively, Red Hat says.

Red Hat Ansible Tower 3.4 is available immediately.

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