Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Automating Linux Updates With Ansible And Rundeck

If you are experiencing growth within your organization and find yourself having to make tough decisions in the spirit of progress, solutions for keeping your IT team productive are definitely in order. One of the many ways that you can streamline productivity and limit mundane tasks lie in the ability to create scripts that eliminate repetition..

For example, in most cases, dozens or even hundreds of servers are being used on a daily basis. Each one of those servers has an authentication and login procedure. By creating a script in Ansible, you can automate this process and save valuable time throughout the day. This frees up precious time your employees need to knock out more complicated issues.

Simplifying your cloud provisioning options is a smart strategy because changes and updates happen frequently and upgrades all of your servers to meet those changes is the proverbial "time killer". Automating this process eliminates the chance for human error and is known to improve employee morale. Incorporating Ansible into your IT department's daily routine can show immediate results and instantaneously transform the way your team handles its day-to-day activities.

If your engineers are spending too much time performing easy tasks that seem more repetitive than impactful, a switch to Ansible can have the results you seek. What's even more appealing about Ansible is that the YAML-coded scripts can be as simple or complex, as the experience level of your IT team. Knocking out the basic, everyday tasks will put hours back onto your productivity clock, but having the knowledge to create more challenging scripts that handle multiple-step processes can be a major game changer.

The most important thing your organization has is time. Time means money. Proper usage of time determines productivity and task completion. There are a plethora of options in today's marketplace. Ansible is a highly attractive alternative to its competitors because it is agentless and doesn't require you to make manual changes to dozens of nodes. It's convenient and easy-to-use, not to mention that the software is well-supported with numerous modules for scripting tasks and a development team eager to answer questions.

How Ansible Works
Ansible provides the framework to script your most common and repetitive tasks, into what they call "playbooks". Once these playbooks are created, they can utilize available modules (ie. Yum or Apt modules), not only for Ansible, but for other modules, as well. These modules plug into available operating system tools to perform tasks on the nodes. If a module is not available, the playbooks can use command syntax to run. Basically, anything that would work on a command line of a node can be scripted into a playbook for Ansible.

How Rundeck Works
If you should decide to incorporate Ansible into your development teams toolbox, you should give serious consideration to using Rundeck in tandem. Rundeck provides the reporting, scheduling and organizational tool that your team needs to stay on-point. If you are a smaller business, you will see other alternatives in the marketplace, but they are cost restrictive and not as much of a "value purchase" as Rundeck.

While Ansible serves as the tool to help you create scripts, Rundeck gives you the slick-looking, front-end platform to make sense of it all. The ability to see historic views of each task, the end result of those tasks and options for job assignments are an effective way to keep your entire team in communication mode and knowing what the team gameplan is at all times.

The perfect one-two combination for your Linux updates is by using Ansible with Rundeck for a streamlined approach to your workday.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Artificial Intelligence In Education

Now that we have some idea how Artificial Intelligence (AI) will impact Millennials, banking and financial institutions, and small businesses, how will it impact the classroom?

Educators have pinpointed 10 ways it will influence the way we educate our kids. They include:

The automation of basic activities.
Adapting the curriculum to the needs of the students.
Identify where courses should be improved.
AI "tutors" offering additional support to students.
Provide helpful feedback to students and teachers.
Alter how teachers and students interact with information.
Change the role of teachers.
Help make trial and error learning less threatening.
Offer new ways to find, teach, and support students.
Change where students learn, who teaches them, and how they learn basic skills.
It is not uncommon for today's teachers, whether they do their work in elementary, secondary school, high school, or college, spending their evenings and weekends grading papers or exams. No doubt a teacher or two would much rather use this time to interact with students, spend more time preparing classes, or even work on their own personal development.

Help is on the way thanks to AI. The technology can automate grading for such things as multiple choice and fill-in-the-blank tests. Moreover, computer scientists are working toward the existence of software that will grade essays.

In addition, AI software will allow teachers to individualize learning. This will allow students to learn at their own pace with teacher assistance.

Since teachers are concentrating on educating their students, they can be unaware of gaps in their lectures and in educational materials. Such gaps can cause confusion among some students about certain concepts. AI can find a trend of too many students submitting a wrong answer to a particular question or homework assignment and alert the teacher to the problem. This will permit teachers to change their presentations in a manner that will solve the issue. Students can be given a more customized message that helps them understand concepts. Meanwhile, AI is providing them with constant feedback that helps them better understand concepts.

Just as in other segments of the economy where AI is or will change the human workforce to work more in conjunction with the technology, teachers too will adjust to this working pattern. Teachers will enhance the lessons that AI has taught the students with actual hands-on experiences.

AI will open up trial and error as a form of learning and allow students to experiment and learn without fear of failure.

As AI becomes more ubiquitous in the field of education, it will help colleges recruit students and help students select courses. It could customize every aspect of the educational experience to be closer to their needs and goals. For example, some colleges are already offering AI-guided training that help students make the transition from high school to college. Some day AI may help students select a college that has the program that fits with their interests.

And, just as AI has revolutionized how we get our information, it will do the same in education. Doing research will involve AI and result in the development of information sources never seen before.

In short, AI will revolutionize education to a point where students can learn anywhere and at any time wherever they are in the world. For better or worse, it may also hasten the replacement of teachers in certain areas of the educational process.

Keep up with what is in store in the brave new world of AI with the help of WorkFusion.

The less you know about AI, the more you need to check out WorkFusion.