Recently, the Forrester Wave, one of the vital outstanding unbiased IT business analyst studies, selected Ansible as a pacesetter in its overview of automation options. While many IT professionals already know that Ansible is the favored instrument for automating system and infrastructure configuration, software deployment, configuration administration, and steady supply, it all the time makes it a simple promote to higher administration and different customers when a company like Forrester weighs in. In the identical spirit, it additionally helps to have some examples of why one thing is common, past its business repute, to share.
In different phrases, what are you able to really do with Ansible?
Here are concepts on the way you would possibly use Ansible and why you would possibly suggest it to pals and colleagues.
As a pc geek, I are inclined to unintentionally acquire computer systems. Sometimes they’re computer systems I rescue from the garbage bin, different instances they’re computer systems folks give me as cost for serving to them switch their knowledge to their newer pc, and nonetheless different instances, it is a small fleet of machines I handle for charity organizations missing funds for a “real IT guy.” I can attest that something from two to 200 computer systems is simply too many to arrange and configure manually.
Ansible would not simply automate day-to-day duties; it will probably additionally bootstrap hardware. You can learn how to set this up in two articles:
Automate the cloud
If bootstrapping bare-metal bins appears arcane to you within the legendary “serverless” age, you is perhaps extra desirous about managing containers with Ansible. Thanks to the Kubernetes (lovingly abbreviated as K8s) module, you may discuss to your Kubernetes cluster by means of Ansible playbooks. Read extra about it in my Ansible and K8s article.
Of course, Ansible would not discuss solely to K8s. There are many different cloud-related modules accessible, together with ones for OpenShift, Atomic, Azure, Docker, Podman, and plenty of different elements of your open hybrid cloud (or, if you happen to’re not that fortunate, your proprietary one).
What’s the cloud with out containers? Once you have acquired your cloud duties automated, you will be blissful to know that Ansible additionally will help generate the containers you want when delivering your functions or spinning up companies. Tomas Tomecek guides you thru the method in his Building container images with the Ansible-bender tool article.
The fact of the matter is that there would not be a lot to Ansible if it weren’t for its glorious assortment of modules. Like third-party libraries for Python or functions in your cell phone, the technical driver of all of the helpful and surprisingly straightforward methods Ansible is legendary for are the components that different folks have already discovered for you.
A whole index of supported modules is accessible on the Ansible website, however there are lots of them. If you are discovering it troublesome to know the place to start, learn Shashank Hegde’s 10 must-know Ansible modules for a radical overview of essentially the most important.
Ansible for Windows
If you are an admin for Linux and Unix programs, Ansible is a simple and fairly pure match. But when confronted with Windows programs, you is perhaps just a little intimidated. At this level, Windows would not even ship with Python, a lot much less OpenSSH, so there are clearly some changes you will must make.
Don’t panic. Taz Brown and Abner Malivert step you thru the setup course of and a few primary workouts to get you comfy in Ansible for Windows admins.
If you are still very new to Ansible, you may obtain our free quickstart guide by Chris Short. It introduces you to the essential ideas of Ansible, the workflow, and how you can get began with it. It’s a good way to get aware of a instrument that is outstanding in skilled IT and an awesome instrument for a hobbyist to take care of the outcomes of these huge weekend tasks all through the week.
It’s that point of 12 months once more: AnsibleFest is going on October 13 and 14, and this 12 months, it is digital. If it is advisable be taught Ansible for work or your personal edification, AnsibleFest is a good way to immerse your self within the expertise. Take a take a look at the AnsibleFest convention agenda, and signal as much as get to know the total potential of Ansible.