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Exclusive: Startup AnsibleWorks pitches open-source IT configuration, deployment tool

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A couple of former Red Hat (s rhat) veterans think there’s an easier way to configure, deploy and manage IT across an organization and founded AnsibleWorks to attack that problem.

Ansible co-founder Said Ziouani.
Ansible co-founder Said Ziouani.

Systems administrators and developers want one tool for deployment, configuration and management — they don’t want to deal with agents and add-ons, said Said Siouani, CEO of Santa Barbara, Calif.-based AnsibleWorks.

No doubt Ansible’s orchestration engine will face off against popular configuration tools like Opscode Chef and Puppet Labs’ Puppet (see disclosure). Siouani characterized Ansible as a more “holistic” solution than what is on the market now in that it focuses on configuration management and actual deployment.

Ansible co-founder Michael DeHaan.
Ansible co-founder Michael DeHaan.

Ansible itself is an open-source project kicked off a year ago by Michael DeHaan, one of the Red Hat vets who also spent time at Puppet Labs (see disclosure) and was also the force behind Cobbler, a popular Linux server installation tool.

In the ensuing year, Ansible has drawn some name-brand users including Aerospike, AppDynamics, Basho Technologies, and Gawker Media. And, as of Tuesday, AnsibleWorks will provide maintenance and service subscriptions for that toolset.

“We’re coming into this fresh with an all-open source solution that is flexible enough to configure all your systems — physical, virtual and which uses a text-based language, not scripting, which makes it easy to learn to use,” said Siouani, who spent 10 years at Red Hat and was most recently executive vice president of sales at Eucalyptus.

Disclosure: Puppet Labs is backed by True Ventures, a venture capital firm that is an investor in the parent company of this blog, Giga Omni Media. Om Malik, founder of Giga Omni Media, is also a venture partner at True.

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