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Lucas M. Ríos
Lucas M. Ríos

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Getting Started with Ansible: An Introduction to Automation, Configuration Management, and Orchestration

🔐 Introduction to Ansible

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🤖 Ansible is an open-source automation tool that simplifies complex tasks, speeds up workflows, and increases productivity. It allows users to automate configuration management, application deployment, and task automation.

🔑 Ansible is agentless, which means it does not require any software or agent to be installed on the remote machines that it manages. Instead, it uses SSH or WinRM to connect to remote hosts.

📝 Ansible uses a simple and human-readable syntax called YAML (Yet Another Markup Language), which makes it easy for users to create and manage their automation scripts. Ansible playbooks are written in YAML and are a set of instructions that tell Ansible what to do.


💻 Ansible supports a wide range of platforms, including Linux, Unix, macOS, and Windows. It also integrates with a variety of cloud providers such as AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform.

♻️ Ansible's idempotent nature allows it to be run multiple times without changing the end result. This makes it easy to test and re-run automation scripts without worrying about undesired changes or side effects.

🛠️ Ansible is highly extensible and can be integrated with other tools and services. For example, it can be integrated with Git, Jenkins, and many other DevOps tools to create a powerful and streamlined automation pipeline.


Here are some examples of what Ansible can do:

  • Automate the installation and configuration of software packages on multiple servers
  • Deploy web applications and services to multiple servers simultaneously
  • Manage network devices such as switches and routers Provision virtual machines in a cloud environment
  • Configure and manage container orchestration platforms like Kubernetes

Overall, Ansible is a powerful and flexible automation tool that can help organizations automate their IT workflows and increase their efficiency. Whether you're a developer, system administrator, or IT professional, Ansible can help you streamline your automation processes and achieve your automation goals.

Practical case

Let's say you have a web application that you want to deploy to multiple servers simultaneously. You want to automate the process of deploying the application to the servers and make sure that the servers are configured correctly before the deployment. You also want to ensure that the application is deployed consistently across all servers, even if you need to re-run the deployment process.

To accomplish this, you can use Ansible to write a playbook that automates the deployment and configuration process. Here's an example of what the playbook might look like:

- name: Deploy web application
  hosts: webservers
  become: yes

    app_name: myapp
    app_version: 1.0.0
    app_port: 8080

    - name: Install dependencies
        name: ["git", "python3-pip", "nginx"]
        state: present

    - name: Clone repository
        dest: /opt/{{ app_name }}-{{ app_version }}

    - name: Install Python dependencies
        requirements: /opt/{{ app_name }}-{{ app_version }}/requirements.txt

    - name: Configure Nginx
        src: nginx.conf.j2
        dest: /etc/nginx/sites-available/{{ app_name }}
        - Reload Nginx

    - name: Enable site
        src: /etc/nginx/sites-available/{{ app_name }}
        dest: /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/{{ app_name }}
        state: link
        - Reload Nginx

    - name: Start application service
        name: {{ app_name }}
        state: started
        enabled: yes
        daemon_reload: yes

    - name: Reload Nginx
        name: nginx
        state: reloaded

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In this example, the playbook specifies that it will be run on a group of hosts called "webservers". It then defines a set of tasks that will be executed on each of these hosts.

The first task installs the necessary dependencies on the hosts using the apt module. The next task clones the application's Git repository to the hosts using the git module. The third task installs the Python dependencies of the application using the pip module.

The fourth task configures Nginx by generating a template file based on a Jinja2 template and copying it to the appropriate location using the template module. It then notifies the Reload Nginx handler, which is defined later in the playbook.

The fifth task enables the Nginx site by creating a symbolic link to the site's configuration file using the file module. It also notifies the Reload Nginx handler.

The sixth and final task starts the application service using the systemd module. It also ensures that the service is enabled to start automatically on boot and notifies daemon_reload to reload the systemd configuration.

The playbook also defines a handler called Reload Nginx, which reloads the Nginx configuration using the systemd module.

By running this playbook with Ansible, you can automate the deployment and configuration of your web application across multiple servers with ease.

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