30 Nov 2017
What is Ansible?
Ansible is relatively new devops tools that arrived after puppet and chef were already established players in the market. It has a different approach to solving the IT infrastructure and automation issues. The original author of Ansible created it, with the intention that to deploy infrastructure, you shouldn’t be required to learn programming. To connect to remote servers that needs to be managed, ansible either uses ssh for *nix based system and winrm(windows remote management) for windows based systems.
How Ansible Works?
Ansible Training is supposed to be simple, elegant, scalable and easy to learn. The instructions/steps/tasks to be performed are written in YAML. Tasks are executed sequentially. In the task, we are required to declare the state of the system. Eg: a package vim should be installed. How it’s to be installed, that’s handled/managed by module, we don’t have to worry too much about it. If that package is already installed, then ansible will simply ignore that step. This is called as Idempotence.
YAML, It’s a simple text format, that easy to read and write both for humans as well as machines. The magic that drives ansible happens in something called as modules. Modules can be written in any programming language. Ansible is quite fast and doesn’t require any agent to be installed on the target server. You can even use ansible to configure router/switches, the one’s that are supported by Ansible (and it’s quite a list).
Benefits of Ansible Certification:
If you really need to dig deep into Ansible and create your own custom modules, only then, you are required to learn or know a programming language.
Another important benefits of Ansible is that it’s free and open source. It’s written in Python and anybody who understands python can read the code and modify it if needed to suit their own requirement. Judging by the popularity and adoption by the industry, Redhat bought Ansible in 2015, and is now official part of Redhat’s offering. Don’t worry ansible is still free and open source, Redhat is further enhancing, contributing code and growing this project. Redhat offers a web based GUI platform called Ansible Tower and it’s paid and quite expensive in my opinion. That’s how Redhat is making money on Ansible. Ansible tower provides a Central management, along with good analytics and reports, and CMDB/inventory.
Ansible is good at Change Management, Automation, Provisioning and Orchestration. With this one tool you can manage your servers as well as your applications. That means no need to learn any application specific deployment tools like capistrano, fabric etc.
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