If you’re in IT, you’ve probably heard about the Ansible vs. vRealize automation debate. Your organization may have invested a significant amount of money and time in deploying your VMware infrastructure. But you may not have met the objectives you’ve set out.

These objectives require a paradigm shift in your thinking about IT management. You need to take an approach that allows operations to deliver on the demands of your organization. To maximize your VMware investment, you must ponder over the following:

  • How do you build in flexibility to keep your platform and infrastructure options open?
  • Are the solutions you’re using delivering value and promoting business change?


Ansible Can Help Maximize Your VMware Investment

To achieve your transformation objectives, you need to do more with what you already have. This is where Ansible comes in. It automates your VMware infrastructure and helps to accelerate the process from development to production.

What Is Ansible?

Ansible is an open automation tool used for configuration management, intraservice orchestration, application deployment, and provisioning. Today, automation is more critical than ever. After all, IT environments have become complex. They often scale too quickly for developers and IT administrators to keep up.

Automation helps to simplify complex tasks. Not only does it make developers’ jobs easier, but it also allows them to focus on more critical tasks. In short, Ansible frees up time and increases operational efficiency.

Here’s why Ansible has become so popular with modern enterprises:

  • It’s a free open-source tool.
  • It’s simple to set up and use.
  • You don’t need special coding skills to use Ansible playbooks.
  • It’s powerful. It lets you model complex IT environments.
  • It’s flexible. It’s possible to orchestrate your entire application environment no matter where you’ve deployed it.
  • It’s agentless. You don’t have to install other tools or firewall ports on the client systems you need to automate.
  • It’s efficient. Since you don’t have to install additional software. There’s more room on your server for application resources.

Ansible Vs. vRealize Automation – Automate and Accelerate

Ansible Tower is a retail product from Red Hat. It provides IT with a single pane of glass view for managing playbook templates, repositories, and more. The use of Tower with the Ansible Engine gives users a web-based portal to manage deployments and monitor configurations. It also enables role-based administration. Tower is an excellent product, even for Ansible newbies. But the thing is, Ansible is not a complete Cloud Management Platform. This is where vRealize Automation comes in.

vRealize Automation (vRA) is a CMP from VMware. It provides comprehensive management of public, private, and hybrid clouds. Now, if you have both vRA and Ansible, you can integrate these tools to enable you to provision new applications in a multitenant, multi-cloud environment. Once done, you’ll be able to use guest agents and software components of vRA to deliver Ansible Playbooks.

One of the easiest ways to go about it is to use the SovLabs plug-in.

How the Ansible Tower and VMware vRA Integration Works


You will need the following:

  • vRA 7.3 and Ansible Tower 3.x
  • Ansible Organization and Inventory Script. You should configure it using vra.py from SovLabs.
  • Use the generate_ansInv.sh script to configure inventory on Ansible Tower.
  • Setup job templates and projects on Ansible Tower.

vRA Procedure

Step 1

You’ll need to install and license the SovLabs Ansible Tower module. After you’ve finished, three Tower Catalog items will appear.

Step 2

Start by running Add Ansible Tower Endpoint. Next, fill in the host credentials and other details, and then click Submit.

Once done, the Ansible Tower endpoint should appear under the Items tab or Day 2 actions.

Step 3

Navigate to the Catalog tab. Select Add Ansible Tower Inventory Profile. Choose the Endpoint and then add a hostname for the vRA IaaS service. Click Submit.

You can opt to go with the default settings or apply dynamic groups and filters.

Step 4

Create a profile to connect the job templates to vRA. You’ll be able to choose one or more jobs in a single profile.

Step 5

Once you’ve completed the profile, it’s now time to set up the blueprint. You can do this by attaching Ansible Tower job templates to blueprints. It’s as simple as assigning a property.

Step 6

Now publish and entitle it for users. Done!

Ansible Is the Glue that Bonds DevOps and VMware

The chances are high that VMware isn’t your only infrastructure tool. Ansible has an extensive list of capabilities and integrations that allow you to model almost any organization process. And the best part is, you don’t have to invest in new tools. You can use the tools you have today.

A lot of organizations are using Ansible and vRealize Automation to glue together complicated workflows across physical networks. They’re also able to manage configurations to make sure everything is just right every time. Finally, Ansible supports multiple public cloud service providers.