Ansible Provisioning: Effective Method of Provisioning

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Oct 16, 2023

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Automating infrastructure provisioning is the initial step in automating any application's operational life cycle. Provisioning is the tedious process of establishing settings, assigning memory and storage space, etc., prior to their actual use. Let's see how Ansible Provisioning simplifies and expedites this process.


What is Ansible?

Ansible is an open-source automation platform or tool used for configuration management, application deployment, intraservice orchestration, and provisioning. IT infrastructures are too complicated and often need to expand too rapidly for system administrators and developers to keep up if they were required to handle everything manually. Automation simplifies complicated processes, making developers' responsibilities more manageable and enabling them to concentrate on other value-added activities. In other words, it saves time and improves productivity. As stated before, Ansible is fast gaining prominence among automation technologies. Let's examine some of the factors contributing to Ansible's popularity.


Ansible Features


Configuration Management


Ansible is designed to manage configuration in a very straightforward, consistent, and dependable way. You may start using it right now if you already work in IT. Infrastructure is simply described in Ansible configurations, which can be read by people and processed by computers. A password or SSH (the network protocol known as Secure Socket Shell) key is all you need to start controlling computers. An illustration of how simple configuration management is using Ansible Simply write down all of the nodes' IP addresses (also known as remote hosts) and create an Ansible playbook to install the latest version of the desired software on each node, then execute the playbook from your control computer. This will update all of the machines in your company.




Similar to how a conductor blends the sounds generated by all the many instruments into a coherent creative piece, orchestration entails combining several components into a beautifully functioning whole. For instance, while deploying an application, you must oversee not only the front-end and back-end services but also the databases, networks, storage, etc. Additionally, you must ensure that each work is completed in the correct sequence. Ansible employs provisioning, automated processes, and other techniques to make task orchestration simple. Additionally, since Ansible playbooks are portable, you can utilize the same orchestration anywhere you need it after you've established your infrastructure using them.

Application Launching


Multitier programs may be rapidly and simply deployed with Ansible. To automate your systems, you won't need to create any new code; instead, you'll define the activities that must be completed by creating a playbook, and Ansible will figure out how to bring your systems to the condition you want. To put it another way, you won't need to manually setup the programs on each system. Ansible utilizes SSH to connect to the remote hosts when you run a playbook from your control system and execute all the instructions (tasks).


Integrity and Security


Site-wide security policies (such as firewall rules or limiting user access) may be put into place in conjunction with other automated procedures, much as with application deployment. All the remote hosts will immediately get the new security information if the corresponding playbook is executed after configuring the security details on the control computer. This implies that you won't need to manually check each computer for security compliance on a continuous basis. Additionally, for added protection, Ansible does not allow access to an admin's user ID or password in plain text.


Cloud Provisioning


Automating the provisioning of your infrastructure is the first step towards automating the life cycle of your apps. You can set up bare-metal servers, virtualized hosts, network devices, and cloud platforms with Ansible.


The need for Ansible provisioning


As was already said, setting up the environment, or provisioning is the first step in automating the operational life cycle of the applications. Multiple hosts must all have the exact identical setup for large deployments. What are the odds that, if you manually configure 10 hosts after provisioning one, they would all have the exact identical configurations? How long will you spend doing the same boring task? Ansible can help us in this situation. One playbook may be used to provide hundreds of hosts. Magic? Haha! No, simply automation's progress.


Advantages of Ansible


Ansible is a cost-free open-source tool. Thus it does not require any extra cost for the user.

Extremely easy to set up and use

The use of Ansible's playbooks doesn't need any specialized coding knowledge. Thus it is very much accessible to non-IT people as well.


Ansible is a very powerful open-source automation platform. You can model even very complicated IT procedures with Ansible.


No matter where an application is installed, the complete environment may be orchestrated. Additionally, you may alter it to suit your requirements.


On the client systems you wish to automate, no additional software or firewall ports are required to be installed. Additionally, you do not need to build up a distinct management structure.


There is greater capacity for application resources on your server since you don't need to install any additional applications.


Also, know the ansible vs kubernetes


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Ansible Structure

Let's now speak a little bit about the components of the Ansible environment.


Modules are similar to brief programs that Ansible distributes to all nodes or remote hosts from a command machine. The modules control things like services, packages, and files and are performed by playbooks (see below). Ansible runs all of the modules for updating software or doing other necessary tasks, then removes them when the job is complete. For daily activities, Ansible offers more than 450 modules.


Plugins are additional bits of code that extend functionality, as you undoubtedly already know from using many other tools and platforms. Although Ansible includes a variety of plugins, you may also create your own. Examples of plugins are action, cache, and callback plugins.


Ansible playbooks function similarly to task instructions. They are straightforward files created using the human-readable data serialization language YAML, or YAML Ain't Markup Language. Playbooks, which explain the activities to be completed quickly and without the user needing to know or remember any specific syntax, are actually at the core of what makes Ansible so successful. In addition to declaring settings, they may also plan the phases of any manually organized job and execute them simultaneously or sequentially. Each playbook is made up of one or more plays, and each play's purpose is to assign a set of hosts to certain roles that are represented by tasks.


 A single, straightforward file contains a list of all the computers you use with Ansible (the control machine and nodes), together with information on their IP addresses, servers, databases, and other resources. Once the inventory has been registered, you may use a simple text file to assign variables to any host.


Several APIs (application programming interfaces) are available, allowing you to expand Ansible's connection types (i.e., to support methods other than SSH for transport), callbacks, and other features. 


In this article, we gave you an in-depth knowledge of what Ansible is, what is its need, its features, and its structure. If you are also seeking a means to join this system and want to learn more about Ansible in DevOps, the ideal way to do so is to seek out the finest online platform for DevOps training. StarAgile provides numerous courses that assist in getting both a practical and academic understanding of all DevOps principles. With this certification, you will be able to get hands-on knowledge of ansible provisioning environment creation. You will be able to learn from the industry's most accomplished specialists. So, do not wait any longer and begin your profession immediately.


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