What is Ansible: Everything You Need to Know


Let’s admit that industries are getting more competitive than ever! Companies need to possess a magic stick that uplifts their businesses and provides an edge over the competitors. More precisely, they require eliminating redundant tasks and enhancing the efficiency of their workflows. Is there a way to do so? Luckily, yes! Automation is the key to managing repetitive jobs and achieving an optimized business.

When discussing automation, we cannot ignore Ansible. Since its emergence, Ansible has blossomed into an essential entity for enterprises. Millions of companies have invested in Ansible and remain open to massive hiring for Ansible experts.

You’ve made the perfect decision by choosing Ansible as a career alternative. Now, what? Getting into the complex terminologies, installation, and configuration can be overwhelming for a beginner. So, you need a handy guide to get started in the world of Ansible. We’ve got you covered!

Below is the ultimate Ansible starter kit for you. From what is Ansible to the fundamental concepts, you will learn all essential things about Ansible. Let’s get started!

What Do You Mean by Ansible?

Understanding the meaning of Ansible can be an excellent way to begin your journey in the industry. So, let’s see what we mean by Ansible.

Ansible is a popular term in the automation industry, and it is an open-source automation engine for IT processes. Ansible is an optimized platform that manages repetitive tasks and simplifies your business workflows. Since Ansible helps in automating redundant work, a business can achieve enhanced efficiency, improved scalability, more reliability, and consistency in their IT environment.

Ansible – What are the Uses?

You already know that Ansible helps in managing the repetitive mess in your business through automation. But, what exactly does Ansible automate? To become an Ansible expert, you need to understand the specific applications of the IT automation engine. Here are the paradigms where you can leverage Ansible.

  • Provisioning: You can use Ansible to provision and set up servers required in infrastructure.
  • Managing Configurations: You can use Ansible in Implementing similar configurations to applications and OS, scheduling services, leveraging security protocols, and managing other configuration jobs.
  • Deploying Applications: Automating the deployment of in-house applications to production systems is another Ansible use case.

With the above uses for Ansible, it has become an automation groundbreaker among enterprises. 

Now, let’s understand some more theoretical aspects regarding Ansible.

What are the Benefits of Using Ansible?

Besides being a game-changer for enterprises, Ansible has become one of the best domains for automation learners. So, apart from discussing the advantages of Ansible for companies, we will also talk about the benefits of learning Ansible.

  • Easy to Learn

Good news for learners! Ansible is one of the most straightforward engines to learn for beginners. Apart from the comprehensive documentation offered by Ansible developers, you can find numerous online tutorials and courses that can help you understand its concepts.

Having a minimal learning curve and learning period, Ansible is a popular choice among the want-to-be automation engineers these days.

  • Python is a Sigh of Relief

Python is considered one of the topmost easy-to-grasp programming languages. Luckily, Python backs Ansible, making the entire framework simple to understand for beginners.

  • Agentless Nature

Ansible does not depend on external agents installed on remote servers for management, and it is an agentless engine that leverages the Paramiko module for master-agent communications. Such a thoughtful architecture narrows down the syllabus and reduces time to grasp Ansible for automation engineers and other employees.

  • YAML Dependency

The Ansible playbooks are written in YAML. From the seamless configuration perspective, YAML is superior to JSON, and hence, many enterprises prefer a YAML-driven automation engine like Ansible for their purposes. Besides, YAML is a highly comprehensible language and has a minimal learning curve.

  • Ansible Galaxy

Ansible offers a centralized repository to store all automation content for better accessibility and reusability called Ansible Galaxy. It helps enterprises save configuration modules, download, and install them as and whenever required during server setup.

As you saw, Ansible is a popular choice for companies and learners. So, do you want to build a career as an Ansible automation engineer? Cheers if it’s a yes! Furthermore, you need to evaluate your current understanding to do so.

Ansible Prerequisites: What Do You Know So Far?

You’re just a step away from transforming into an Ansible expert. You need to fulfill the prerequisites before learning Ansible. Here are the requirements:

  • Linux System Administration

Most, if not all, courses expect the students to have a fair knowledge of Linux system administration. You are all set to learn Ansible if you are preparing for the RHCSA certification or are already certified.

  • Python

Python is the most significant language behind Ansible playbooks. So, having some experience in Python can help you grasp the automation engine concepts in almost no time.

  • YAML

Although it is not mandatory, some exposure to YAML can help you speed up the learning journey.

Some Essential Ansible Concepts

Let’s walk through some of the essential concepts in the Ansible ecosystem.

  • Inventory

Inventory is nothing but a list of all managed nodes, comprising specific IP addresses of each of them. Inventory creates groups and organizes the nodes for more scalability.

  • Collections

Collections are a format for distributing Ansible content, such as playbooks, modules, roles, and plugins. Ansible Galaxy allows you to install and use collections.

  • Modules

Modules are the executable units of code for Ansible. Each module serves a distinct purpose, ranging from controlling VLAN ports on specific network equipment to administering users in a particular type of database. You can use a task to call a single module or a playbook to invoke many modules.

  • Tasks

Like any other software environment, a task is Ansible’s unit of action.

  • Playbooks

Playbooks are the essence of automation in Ansible. It’s a saved list of tasks that you can run in the same sequence again and over again. 

As you have covered the fundamentals of Ansible, you are ready to learn the engine. So, what makes you wait? Get an Ansible course and start your journey today!


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