Ask a Red Hat salesperson what is her favorite product to sell, and she’ll probably tell you OpenShift. Close on its heels, however, is Ansible, the open source automation platform Red Hat acquired in late 2015. Ansible has been on a tear of late, quickly rising to become the hottest devops tool in the market.
The question is why. A bigger question, however, is what it means for Red Hat. For a company that thrives deep in the bowels of enterprise infrastructure, Ansible (and OpenShift) represent a march toward a simpler way to deliver IT.
Popular with the geeks
The reason Ansible is so popular within Red Hat’s field is that it’s wildly popular with enterprise IT. How popular? Well, Ansible already finds its way into a third of all Red Hat deals, as Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst indicated on the company’s most recent earnings call. That is staggering when you consider that Red Hat didn’t acquire Ansible until late 2015, and Ansible didn’t even exist as a project until 2012 or as a company until 2013. For Ansible to be contributing in a significant way to Red Hat’s $2 billion-plus in annual revenue is a major accomplishment.