Book Image

Mastering Ansible, 4th Edition - Fourth Edition

By : James Freeman, Jesse Keating
Book Image

Mastering Ansible, 4th Edition - Fourth Edition

By: James Freeman, Jesse Keating

Overview of this book

Ansible is a modern, YAML-based automation tool (built on top of Python, one of the world’s most popular programming languages) with a massive and ever-growing user base. Its popularity and Python underpinnings make it essential learning for all in the DevOps space. This fourth edition of Mastering Ansible provides complete coverage of Ansible automation, from the design and architecture of the tool and basic automation with playbooks to writing and debugging your own Python-based extensions. You'll learn how to build automation workflows with Ansible’s extensive built-in library of collections, modules, and plugins. You'll then look at extending the modules and plugins with Python-based code and even build your own collections — ultimately learning how to give back to the Ansible community. By the end of this Ansible book, you'll be confident in all aspects of Ansible automation, from the fundamentals of playbook design to getting under the hood and extending and adapting Ansible to solve new automation challenges.
Table of Contents (18 chapters)
Section 1: Ansible Overview and Fundamentals
Section 2: Writing and Troubleshooting Ansible Playbooks
Section 3: Orchestration with Ansible

Best practices

All the usual best practices of using Ansible apply when automating network devices with it. For example, never store passwords in the clear, and make use of ansible-vault where appropriate. Despite this, network devices are their own special class of devices when it comes to Ansible, and support for them started to flourish from the 2.5 release of Ansible onward. As such, there are a few special best practices that deserve to be mentioned when it comes to network automation with Ansible.


Make good use of the inventory structure supported by Ansible when it comes to organizing your network infrastructure and pay particular attention to grouping. Doing so will make your playbook development much easier. For example, suppose you have two switches on your network – one is a Cumulus Linux Switch, as we examined previously, and the other is an Arista EOS-based device. Your inventory may look like this: