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AnsibleWorks gets $6M to open source IT automation

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AnsibleWorks, whose mission in life is to foster Ansible, an open source way to automate IT, now has $6 million in funding. Menlo Ventures led this Series A round which comes five months after the company was founded by a couple Red Hat vets, CEO Said Ziouani and his co-founder Michael DeHaan.

Ansible co-founder Said Ziouani.

The company’s sales pitch is that devops and systems administrators want something more “holistic” than Opscode Chef or Puppet Labs’ Puppet (see disclosure) configuration management tools to do their jobs. AnsibleWorks says it focuses both on up-front configuration management and the actual deployment itself.

On its website,  AnsibleWorks describes its core service as a:

” … radically simple IT orchestration engine that makes your applications and systems easier to deploy. Avoid writing scripts or custom code to deploy and update your applications— automate in a language that approaches plain English, using SSH, with no agents to install on remote systems.”

DeHaan, who also spent time at Puppet, started work on Ansible 18 months ago and the company claims to have garnered more than 300,000 users since then, including Aerospike, AppDynamics, Basho Technologies, and Gawker Media. The first commercial version of the enterprise product, AWX, came online last month and is available free for use on up to 10 nodes.

DisclosurePuppet 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.

4 Responses to “AnsibleWorks gets $6M to open source IT automation”

  1. ansible works great . currently, we use it across several environments, including a 400 node hadoop/hbase cluster. 1. we use it to orchestrate our change requests (e.g. communicate start of change over irc ; login to several hosts and run configuration file changes, system changes , application changes ; check things into git ; and finally communicate end of change over irc). 2. we use it for remote execution of commands . 3. as configuration management, we use it in local / pull connection mode and hosts maintain themselves.

    no agents to worry about; no “master” servers to worry about ; no certificate authority to worry about . we have been doing fine with ssh and the occasional fireball mode use.

    we are expanding our ansible use to manage 2 additional 400 node clusters

    just plain works.

  2. Still not same as being agentless…. On top of that bash shell scripting has been unix sysadmins best friends for decades. Why do you have to write omething in python to begin with?

  3. While ansibleworks is great as it leverages native ssh commands, which is built into every linux systems, what it does not say in bold letters in their campaigns is that it still needs python 2.5 or more in the target systems. And all unix systems are not used as webservers. This kind of break their claim of an agent less system. Atvleast they should make this clear in the front page of their site. I spent 3 hours trying to deploy ansible in my environment before I realized this needed dependency. And in production environment you just don’t go and install python. And when I mentioned this in the IRC channel the response of mhaan was basically its not going to happen…I don’t care etc. This is not how you do enterprise software.

    • Michael DeHaan

      Hi Akashi,

      Your comments above are not correct, thankfully! We only require python 2.4, and we do mention that in the documentation.

      You will need to install the simplejson module if you don’t have 2.5, is all.

      I’m not sure what your comment about webservers means as we’re used in a very wide variety of automation capacities, including things like Hadoop clusters and also network devices.

      Now, yes, do we require some python on the remote? We do! Python is included by default in pretty much every Linux distribution.

      Systems that don’t have python can easily bootstrap this with the raw command, which is exactly what we told you on the IRC channel :)