IBM officially supports Red Hat Ansible for mainframe DevOps

IBM took a refreshing stage to modernize mainframe DevOps assist with Pink Hat Ansible Licensed Written content for Z this 7 days and designs other, comparable integrations among the Z mainframe and distributed programs IT automation instruments.

Considering the fact that IBM closed its $34 billion acquisition of Pink Hat last July, it has blended open resource instruments from its new subsidiary into its individual solution line, together with assist for Pink Hat OpenShift on the Z mainframe which became readily available last thirty day period. IBM also supports mainframe DevOps integrations with Git and Jenkins through Z Open up Improvement.

The trend of opening the mainframe to distributed programs administration instruments ongoing this 7 days with new Ansible Licensed Written content for Z that consists of link plugins, action plugins, modules and a sample playbook officially certified and jointly supported by Pink Hat and IBM. These types of instruments were formerly readily available in open resource communities, but this week’s launch marks the initially official assist for Pink Hat Ansible IT automation on the IBM Z mainframe.

“What is actually appealing is that [IBM and Pink Hat] are now together with that content material for IBM Z as portion of Ansible’s certified content material, which indicates they are going to assist it — exam it, make certain it is really backwards-appropriate — all the matters the Pink Hat assist membership entails,” stated Mary Johnston Turner, analyst at IDC. “That indicates developer and IT ops admins that are trying to standardize and far better combine their toolchains will be ready to involve the IBM Z system in [all those efforts].”

IBM and Pink Hat share assist

Of the a few concentrations of assist, Pink Hat will take care of Concentrations 1 and 2 and IBM will take care of Amount three. Buyers will acquire Ansible content material licenses and assist from Pink Hat, but if there is a trouble with the Z modules that needs they be altered, that ticket will get routed to IBM’s improvement group.

IBM and Pink Hat technical assist groups operating alongside one another cooperatively is crucial, not just for easily integrating Ansible with Z, but in the context of the all round IBM-Pink Hat relationship, a single marketing consultant stated.

“The two of them in all scenarios have to protect all the (assist) bases and there shouldn’t be a trouble,” stated the very long-time IBM marketing consultant, talking on affliction of anonymity. “But they are continue to finding accustomed to realizing every single other’s moves.”

The shift to blend mainframe improvement in with distributed programs through instruments these types of as Pink Hat Ansible and OpenShift also demonstrates customers’ want to consolidate the IT automation instruments they use to handle disparate environments, according to IBM officers.

[Buyers] want to know when IBM is going to get all this to function with IBM Z at the infrastructure layer, OS layer and middleware layers. That is what we are concentrated on.
Barry BakerVice President of program, IBM Z

“A good deal of the banking companies notify us they have a little little bit of stuff going on with AWS and a good deal of on-prem matters and traditional IT, and that they have an strategy to automate all the things about Ansible,” stated Barry Baker, vice president of program for IBM Z. “But they want to know when IBM is going to get all this to function with IBM Z at the infrastructure layer, OS layer and middleware layers. That is what we are concentrated on.”

Barry BakerBarry Baker

It truly is the ideal shift supplied Ansible’s standing in the market place for automating a array of distinctive jobs from provisioning to configuration administration, community administration and orchestration, analysts stated.

“[This is] a further massive stage towards producing [IBM method Z] a legitimate open system and integrating it with the relaxation of the data middle,” stated Peter Rutten, investigate director with IDC’s business infrastructure apply. “It truly is a smart shift and a single not just youthful generations of Z groups will recognize.”

Ansible end users also favor it simply because it is agentless by default and supports infrastructure as code composed in familiar programming languages these types of as Python, rather than domain-specific languages favored by some competing instruments.

Presently there are no “hardened hooks” that let a clean integration among Ansible content material for Z and Pink Hat OpenShift, according to Baker. But given that Ansible can handle nearly any method it can entry by way of SSH, it will not likely necessarily involve the restricted integration that, for case in point, UrbanCode Deploy needs.

The content material to begin with readily available in Ansible for Technique Z is also fundamental, but end users will be ready to mix all those creating blocks into more sophisticated workflows applying Ansible Tower, Johnston included.

Mainframe DevOps goes for mainstream instruments

IBM has proprietary, mainframe-specific automation instruments for Agile improvement workflows, these types of as Rational Team Concert (RTC), but seller executives say business end users have been sending very clear signals that they favor to handle mainframe DevOps applying familiar instruments by now in area for the relaxation of the IT surroundings. In the case of RTC, end users have indicated they favor Git. IBM also gives UrbanCode Deploy for CI/CD with mainframe DevOps integrations, its Z Open up Improvement strategy going forward will be anchored about Jenkins.

“In places where IBM does not have a top instrument or a single that delivers us with plenty of aggressive differentiation, we are not going to try out and develop a single,” Baker stated. “RTC is sturdy for carrying out more fashionable improvement for Z, but a good deal of end users have by now standardized on Git and notify us they really don’t will need anything additional.”

Baker stopped short of expressing that instruments these types of as Git will switch RTC in the near time period, but with some 250 items in the portfolio he manages, some rationalization will be inescapable, he stated. RTC, a mature instrument, is regarded a “element finish” solution but there is certainly space for innovation, according to Baker.

“We have no designs for saying the end-of-existence for RTC, but we know we have to commit in Git and other offerings, way too,” he stated. “It is a balancing act.”