Ansible: Operations for Developers - demo and handson workshop

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With Ansible you will be able to provision an entire environment with a single command as well as automate some simple SSH commands.

Automatic deployments are en vogue these days. It seems to become ever more relevant to know how to approach automation and CI/CD, and for good reason. A major advantage is that automatic deployments are consistent. You take the “human error” out of the equation: no longer will you forget to run that one script or to tweak this setting in that obscure file. This session will introduce Ansible and is targeted towards operators and developers who wish to learn about provisioning, deployment and orchestration.

In the world of servers and virtual machines Ansible is a very popular and powerful tool. Ansible allows you to provision Virtual Machines, as well as manage the entire configuration, deploy applications and orchestrate environments. Very complex deployments can be reduced to a single command or a single mouseclick. Basically, Ansible allows you to automate anything you could do with SSH commands. The cherry on top is that your Ansible code will also serve as documentation of your infrastructure (infrastructure as code).

Currently containers are becoming increasingly important. Kubernetes and Docker are often seen and one might ask, why would Ansible still be relevant? Ansible will remain relevant because Kubernetes clusters and Docker containers need a VM to run on. Ansible allows you to install Kubernetes and Docker and basically provide the platform on which to run your containers.

In this session we will use a VM with Ansible installed to install and configure an Apache webserver on another VM and we will deploy some software to it. You will learn the workings of the Ansible syntax and how to structure an Ansible "Playbook" (the set of commands to be run during a deployment), and how easy it is to add extra VMs once you have a Playbook. We will use Vagrant and Virtualbox.

Agenda:

• Introduction to Ansible, why use it, what does it do and what doesn't it do?
• First handson with Ansible
• Dinner
• In-depth Ansible: how to deal with sensitive information, improving the architecture and adding extra VMs
• Second handson with Ansible

No specific knowledge is required but the "programming mindset" is certainly useful.
Make sure you have a laptop with Vagrant and Virtualbox installed beforehand. If you are running Windows do make sure Hyper-V is disabled (it is enabled when you can run Docker containers), otherwise Virtualbox will not work!

1. Download and install VirtualBox - https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads
2. Download and install Vagrant - https://www.vagrantup.com/intro/getting-started/install.html

Speaker: Michael van Gastel