Ansible Tower

Let's learn about the roles of Ansible tower and source control in the network automation process.

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Ansible tower

Ansible Tower is a commercially available, GUI-based, playbook orchestration system that provides the ability to scale network automation solutions to even larger deployments. Role-Based Access Control (RBAC), playbook scheduling, reporting, and inventory management are all key components of Ansible Tower. Ansible Tower can make it easier to integrate Ansible in the organization. It provides a more familiar GUI-based approach and includes some key components most organizations require such as RBAC, reporting, and playbook scheduling. Ansible Tower can also be integrated into some source control CI/CD pipelines. An open-source version, AWX, is also available.

Source control

After a successful transition from a collection of configurations to code, source control needs to be implemented. The organization’s development team likely has source control implemented which can be leveraged with best practices and processes for changes to source code. Source control is a vital component of the new NDLC for network engineers and operations.

Treating the network as code implies strong source controls. Network configurations stored as code benefit greatly from these source controls as the given state of the network, or individual components of the network, are known at all times. Changes that are tracked using source control display the exact changes and the pre-change/post-change state of the network device’s intended configuration. Strong source control means that when problems occur on the network, it is extremely easy to answer the standard “what changed?” question.


Git is a free, open-source, and distributed version control system created by Linus Torvalds in 2005 for the development of the Linux kernel.

Consider Git is the glue that holds the NDLC lifecycle together by tracking all changes to files using commits. These tracked changes are included in the history of all Git repositories. These changes can be rolled back to any point in time.

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