Here we are again at the end of another year with a great set of articles about Ansible from Opensource.com. I thought it would be nice to review them in a series of progressively advancing topics. I hope to help stimulate the interest of people just getting started with Ansible. There were also a series of summary articles, which I've included for your casual follow-up.
Ansible for beginners
The first five articles on this year's list are a really good place for Ansible neophytes to start. The first three articles were written by Opensource.com editor Seth Kenlon.
- If you don't know much about Ansible, 7 things you can do with Ansible right now is a great place to start. This is a nice primer that gathers links for managing hardware, cloud, containers, and more.
- In What's the difference between orchestration and automation? you will learn some of the terms and baseline technologies that will help kick off your interest in Ansible.
- How to install software with Ansible covers a few rudimentary concepts and some good Ansible habits, followed by simple examples on managing software packages on local and remote hosts.
- In 3 lessons I've learned writing Ansible playbooks, set yourself right with good habits handed down by Jeff Geerling, a real Ansible veteran. Source control, documentation, testing, simplification, and optimization are the keys to automation success.
- My first day using Ansible outlines Correspondent David Both's thought process for solving a repetitive development task. The article starts with a baseline of what Ansible needs and illustrates some simple plays and tasks.
Ansible projects to try
Once you have the basics and some good habits, it's time to turn to more specific topics with concrete examples.
- Manage your Raspberry Pi fleet with Ansible by Ken Fallon walks through an example of deploying and managing fleets of RPi units. It presents concepts of security and maintenance in constrained environments.
- In Integrate your calendar with Ansible to avoid schedule conflicts, Nicolas Leiva quickly introduces how to use pre-tasks and conditionals to enforce execution blackout windows in your automation schedule.
- Nicolas completes his calendar blackout concept in Create an Ansible module for integrating your Google Calendar. His article dives into writing a custom Ansible module in Go to achieve the desired calendar connection. Nicolas introduces different ways to structure and invoke Go programs and pass the required data to Ansible and receive the desired output.
Elevate your Ansible skills
Kubernetes is a hot topic these days, and the following articles offer some great examples to learn new skills.
- In Automate your container orchestration with Ansible modules for Kubernetes, Seth Kenlon introduces the Ansible Kubernetes module, walks through a basic Minikube installation for testing, and presents some basic examples of the "k8s" module for pod control.
- Jeff Geerling explains the concept of Helm Chart applications, Ansible collections, and executing a fun project to set up your own Minecraft server in a k8s cluster in Build a Kubernetes Minecraft server with Ansible's Helm modules.
Other Ansible news
This year, Mark Phillips delivered a series of "Ansible around the web" news articles covering a wide variety of Ansible topics. They are packed with links to interesting Ansible developments, ranging from basic tutorials, module writing, plugins, Kubernetes, video demonstrations, and Ansible community news. Check them all out—there are valuable nuggets to follow for all interests and skill levels!
- Containers, networks, security, and more Ansible news
- Tips for CI/CD pipelines and Windows users, and more Ansible news
- Collections signal major shift in Ansible ecosystem, and more Ansible news
- Ansible 101 videos with Jeff Geerling, and more Ansible news
- Beginner guides, Windows, networking, and more Ansible news
Have a happy 2021!
I hope your personal journey with Ansible is already underway and regularly enriched by content from Opensource.com. Tell us in the comments what you might like to learn about Ansible in the coming year, and if you have information to share, please consider writing an article for Opensource.com.