Ansible Architecture (Modules, Playbooks, Inventory, API, Plugins, Orchestrations). Ansible is an IT configuration, orchestration and deployment tool that provides large productivity gains to various automation challenges. But without understanding the architecture and workflow of the software, you can’t use the tool to its maximum potential
Let’s dive into the nitty gritty elements of the topic and understand each aspect of Ansible architecture.
How Does Ansible Work?
It can be used by IT professionals, who use it for updates on workstations and servers, application deployment, configuration management, cloud provisioning, intra service orchestration and other operations handled by systems administrators.
Ansible allows you to configure a single computer and the entire computer network at once. You don’t need a technical background to control the wide web of computers. The instructions that are used in Ansible are human readable.
Ansible Automation engine
The modules act on system files, install packages or make API calls to the service network to control the system resources.
Ansible inventories are the lists of nodes or hosts and their servers, databases, IP addresses, etc., that need to be managed. Ansible takes action via a transport, WinRM for Windows system, Linux or Networking devices, and SSH for UNIX. With Ansible inventories, you can define each hosts, a group of hosts, username, password and protocol in a single file.
Ansible APIs are used as transport for public, private, or cloud services. Ansible has capability to leverage APIs as part of any playbook. It is very useful because the number of REST APIs being built and deployed both internally and across the global internet is increasing exponentially.
Ansible ships many handy plugins you can easily write your own like the action plugins are considered the front ends to modules and can execute tasks on the controller before calling the modules.
The cache plugin can be used to keep a cache of ‘facts’ to avoid different fact gathering operations. If we talk about the callback plugins, they enable you to hook into Ansible events for displaying or logging purposes.
You need to understand multiple other components in the Ansible architecture before using the software.
Next in this blog post about Ansible Architecture (Modules, Playbooks, Inventory, API, Plugins, Orchestrations) is to understand Ansible components.
What Are Different Ansible Components In The Architecture?
Playbooks are simple files written in YAML format that describe the tasks to be performed by Ansible. The playbooks can declare configuration as they also orchestrate the steps of different manual ordered processes irrespective of the jump statements.
The playbooks can launch tasks asynchronously or synchronously depending upon the requirements or the commands entered.
The software uses a data model (role or playbook) separate from the automation engine and can span different hardware networks easily.
The CMDB is a repository that acts as a warehouse for IT installations. IT can hold data relating to a collection of different IT assets and describe the relationship between these assets.
Advantages Of Using Ansible
Safe and secure
You need to configure the security once you control your machine, and it can be embedded in different nodes automatically. All the credentials, including the passwords and admin user IDs, are not retrievable in the plain text stored within Ansible.
No dependency on agents
Ansible is an agentless software as there are no software/agents or additional firewall ports that you need to install on systems or hosts that need to automate. You don’t have to install a management infrastructure that separately manages your network, systems, and storage.
You need to write down simple script forms that can simplify the version control. The software is at the forefront of automation, DevOps, system administration, and multiple operations. Ansible further reduces your team’s efforts to start the automation process quickly and effectively.
With Ansible, you don’t need extra software on your servers, resulting in more application resources. Since Ansible modules operate on JSON, it is extensible with modules written in a coding language you know.
Ansible introduces different modules as basic building blocks for the software to enable you to customize it according to your needs.
For example, if you have a message sending module that sends messages in plain and simple text, you want to send images, and you can add the image sending feature on top of it.
Ansible establishes and maintains great consistency of the product performance by updating and recording detailed information that sets the organization’s hardware and software.
The information includes the updates and versions applied to install different software packages and the network address and locations of the hardware devices.
You need to list out the IP addresses of different nodes in the inventory and write a playbook to install Tomcat easily. You need to define how multiple configurations communicate and interact. You also need to ensure the disparate pieces are managed as a whole.
Powerful & Simple
Ansible has powerful features that can be used to model the most complex IT workflows. Ansible’s batteries included approach can manage the network, services, OS, and infrastructure because it provides hundreds of modules.
It is self sufficient and has everything you need to use to manage the automation process. Ansible capabilities enable you to orchestrate the application environment regardless of where it is deployed.
Ansible uses an easy syntax written in YAML called playbooks. The YAML is an easy to read human readable data serialization language.
There are no special coding skills required for the users to learn and apply. It becomes easier for non technical users to perform the desired actions and simple readable commands.
You can explore different features and extract multiple benefits of the software using the simple and easy writable codes in Ansible.
Ansible Galaxy is the central repository for reusing, locating, and sharing different Ansible related content. The best use of Ansible Galaxy is for downloading reusable roles for installing server configurations or applications.
The downloads can be used in a particular user’s playbooks and can substantially contribute to increasing the deployment speed. It can minimize the time and help you achieve your goals fast.
Great effort! We have learned today about Ansible Architecture (Modules, Playbooks, Inventory, API, Plugins, Orchestrations). Let’s summarize.
Ansible Architecture (Modules, Playbooks, Inventory, API, Plugins, Orchestrations) Conclusion
Ansible is a great software that can help you to provision, configure and deploy applications that can enable laC. It is an easy to use yet powerful tool with multiple features to automate complicated multi tier IT application environments.
Irrespective of your experience in the IT industry, Ansible files are simple to understand and run.
It can configure both Microsoft Windows and Unix like systems. But you need a Linux control machine for the management of Windows hosts because of its limited support for Windows.
Now that you understand the complete architecture of the software, it’s your time to get your hands on the tool for your enterprise.
You can explore the multiple benefits offered by the software that can help you achieve your business target with finesse.