Ascender: Enterprise Infrastructure Automation

Enable complex infrastructure changes with the click of a button or an API call.

Ascender is a platform that provides all of the structure to implement enterprise infrastructure automation via Ansible playbooks—effectively, securely, and at scale.

Ascender automates mundane tasks, simplifies the execution of more complex tasks, and creates audit trails to track changes, reducing costs and increasing productivity for infrastructure teams.

Introducing Ascender

Ascender, leveraging open source Ansible AWX, governs automation of Rocky Linux workloads and other infrastructure at an enterprise level. With Ascender, a single administrator can apply complex patches, security hardening standards, or other changes to a fleet of servers or other devices—with the click of a button or an API call. Ascender’s web-based GUI and REST API allows for easy consumption of automation by end-users who have varying levels of technical expertise and responsibilities. In addition, audit logs and access controls prevent unintended changes and production downtimes. Ascender can now be deployed via the Ascender installer. Check out the Ascender Installer Github repository which includes simple instructions to walk users through an install.

Ascender Automation GUI

Ascender directly addresses numerous challenges faced by infrastructure teams

Team Silos

Within an enterprise, teams may use different tooling to manage their own domains within the technology stack, making it more difficult for administrators when holistic infrastructure changes need to be made.

Repetitive Tasks

Teams often perform tedious tasks (such as patching servers) that can be extremely time-consuming at scale. This restricts the time teams could be contributing to business-impacting, revenue-generating work.

Lack of Centralized Audit

Teams largely lack the ability to audit any infrastructure changes, making it difficult to roll back to previous states or track and understand what changes were made, when and by whom.

Domain Expert Bottlenecks

Typically, a select few individuals have the tribal knowledge and/or technical expertise to perform the more complex changes to the infrastructure. As a result, critical work is often paused until these individuals are available to oversee it.

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Centralized Management

Ascender offers a centralized platform for managing Ansible automation. It provides a web-based GUI and API that allows users to define and organize inventories, playbooks, and variables. This simplifies the management and organization of Ansible assets, making it easier to maintain and scale automation infrastructure.

Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)

Ascender utilizes RBAC, allowing administrators to control access to various resources based on user roles and permissions. This ensures that different users or teams have appropriate access levels and restrictions, enhancing security and compliance.

Workflow Automation

Ascender provides a visual workflow editor, allowing users to create complex automation workflows by chaining together multiple Ansible playbooks. This helps automate multi-step processes, such as application deployments, system configurations, and infrastructure provisioning.

Scheduling and Job Monitoring

Ascender allows users to schedule Ansible jobs to run at specific times or intervals. It provides a job monitoring interface that displays real-time logs, status updates, and executed job results. This enables better visibility and control over automation tasks, thereby facilitating troubleshooting and monitoring.

Collaboration and Version Control

Ascender integrates with version control systems like Git, enabling collaboration among multiple users or teams working on Ansible projects. It provides features for version control, including code branching, merging, and rollbacks. This promotes collaboration, code sharing, and the adoption of DevOps practices.

Auditing and Reporting

Ascender keeps track of executed Ansible jobs, maintaining an audit trail of changes made to infrastructure and configurations. It provides reporting capabilities that allow users to generate detailed reports on job execution, including success/failure status, execution time, and output. This helps in compliance, troubleshooting, and performance analysis.

REST API

Ascender provides a browsable REST API, which allows third-party applications and/or services to integrate with Ascender. These integrations make it easier for end users to consume automation by using more familiar interfaces (such as Jira or ServiceNow), and for other services to programmatically invoke automations or other functions (such as CI/CD platforms, monitoring platforms, or scripts).

Ascender Installer

Ascender is available for turnkey deployment with Kubernetes. CIQ has tested the Ascender Installer on K3s,  and will soon support more Kubernetes flavors, starting with Amazon EKS. The installers are available via the Ascender Installer Github repository. You can also follow the install guide here.


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