What is Ansible?
Ansible is a practical and easy IT automation engine that automates cloud provisioning, configuration management, application deployment, intra-service orchestration, and many other IT tasks and processes(Red Hat Ansible, n.d.).
Why use Ansible?
- Ansible is Simple
- Human readable automation
- No special coding skills needed
- Tasks executed in order
- Usable by every team
- Get productive quickly
- Ansible is agentless
- saves time on deployment or migration
- Agentless architecture
- uses OpenSSH & WinRM
- No agents to exploit or update
- Get started immediately
- More efficient & more secure
- Ansible uses YAML
- App deployment
- Configuration management
- workflow orchestration
- Network automation
- Orchestrate the app lifecycle
How does Ansible Work?
- Install Ansible
- Identify your infrastructure pain points
- Utilize human-readable YAML
- Create playbooks to ensure applications are configured and described adequately
- Playbooks are Ansible’s configuration, deployment and orchestration language.
- Tasks are executed sequentially by invoking Ansible modules through playbooks written in YAML
- Modules are tools in the toolkit that are written in programming languages such as Python, extending Ansible simplicity to the entire stack.
- Plugins are gears in the engine that are supported by the core engine and add adaptability for various use cases and platforms
- Inventories are lists of systems, hosts, groups, inventory-specific data (variables) or static/dynamic sources in your infrastructures that automation is executed against
- Can be on-premise or cloud-hosted platforms
- Use version control for tracking changes in playbooks configurations
- Monitor and capture server inventories, details, logs,
- Orchestration with other tools such as Puppet, Jenkins, SALT, etc. to homogenize existing environments by leveraging current toolsets and update mechanisms.
Sample Ad-Hoc Ansible Commands
# check all my inventory hosts are ready to be managed by Ansible > ansible all -m ping # run the uptime command on all hosts in the web group > ansible web -m command -a "uptime" # collect and display the discovered setup for the localhost > ansible localhost -m setup
Red Hat Ansible. (n.d.). How Ansible Works. http://www.ansible.com/overview/how-ansible-works
Red Hat Ansible Automation (2021). Getting Started with Ansible [Video]. YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRoLVm6nTCU&ab_channel=RedHatAnsibleAutomation