Ansible for DevOps
Ansible for DevOps
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Ansible for DevOps

This book is 100% complete

Completed on 2018-11-18

About the Book

Ansible is a simple, but powerful, server and configuration management tool (with a few other tricks up its sleeve). This book helps those familiar with the command line and basic shell scripting start using Ansible to provision and manage anywhere from one to thousands of servers.

The book begins with fundamentals, like installing Ansible, setting up a basic inventory file, and basic concepts, then guides you through Ansible's many uses, including ad-hoc commands, basic and advanced playbooks, application deployments, multiple-provider server provisioning, and even Docker orchestration! Everything is explained with pertinent real-world examples, often using Vagrant-managed virtual machines.

Examples in the book are tested with the latest version of Ansible (2.x as of this writing).

About the Author

Jeff Geerling
Jeff Geerling

Jeff Geerling is a developer who has worked in programming and devops for companies with anywhere between one to thousands of servers. He also manages many virtual servers for services offered by Midwestern Mac, LLC, and has been using Ansible to manage infrastructure since early 2013.

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Table of Contents

  • Foreword
  • Preface
    • Who is this book for?
    • Typographic conventions
    • Please help improve this book!
      • Current Published Book Version Information
    • About the Author
  • Introduction
    • In the beginning, there were sysadmins
    • Modern infrastructure management
    • Ansible and Red Hat
    • Ansible Examples
    • Other resources
  • Chapter 1 - Getting Started with Ansible
    • Ansible and Infrastructure Management
      • On snowflakes and shell scripts
      • Configuration management
    • Installing Ansible
    • Creating a basic inventory file
    • Running your first Ad-Hoc Ansible command
    • Summary
  • Chapter 2 - Local Infrastructure Development: Ansible and Vagrant
    • Prototyping and testing with local virtual machines
    • Your first local server: Setting up Vagrant
    • Using Ansible with Vagrant
    • Your first Ansible playbook
    • Cleaning Up
    • Summary
  • Chapter 3 - Ad-Hoc Commands
    • Conducting an orchestra
    • Build infrastructure with Vagrant for testing
    • Inventory file for multiple servers
    • Your first ad-hoc commands
      • Discover Ansible’s parallel nature
      • Learning about your environment
      • Make changes using Ansible modules
    • Configure groups of servers, or individual servers
      • Configure the Application servers
      • Configure the Database servers
      • Make changes to just one server
    • Manage users and groups
    • Manage packages
    • Manage files and directories
      • Get information about a file
      • Copy a file to the servers
      • Retrieve a file from the servers
      • Create directories and files
      • Delete directories and files
    • Run operations in the background
      • Update servers asynchronously, monitoring progress
      • Fire-and-forget tasks
    • Check log files
    • Manage cron jobs
    • Deploy a version-controlled application
    • Ansible’s SSH connection history
      • Paramiko
      • OpenSSH (default)
      • Accelerated Mode
      • Faster OpenSSH in Ansible 1.5+
    • Summary
  • Chapter 4 - Ansible Playbooks
    • Power plays
    • Running Playbooks with ansible-playbook
      • Limiting playbooks to particular hosts and groups
      • Setting user and sudo options with ansible-playbook
      • Other options for ansible-playbook
    • Real-world playbook: CentOS Node.js app server
      • Add extra repositories
      • Deploy a Node.js app
      • Launch a Node.js app
      • Node.js app server summary
    • Real-world playbook: Ubuntu LAMP server with Drupal
      • Include a variables file, and discover pre_tasks and handlers
      • Basic LAMP server setup
      • Configure Apache
      • Configure PHP with lineinfile
      • Configure MySQL
      • Install Composer and Drush
      • Install Drupal with Git and Drush
      • Drupal LAMP server summary
    • Real-world playbook: Ubuntu server with Solr
      • Include a variables file, and more pre_tasks and handlers
      • Install Java 8
      • Install Apache Solr
      • Apache Solr server summary
    • Summary
  • Chapter 5 - Ansible Playbooks - Beyond the Basics
    • Handlers
    • Environment variables
      • Per-play environment variables
    • Variables
      • Playbook Variables
      • Inventory variables
      • Registered Variables
      • Accessing Variables
      • Host and Group variables
        • Automatically-loaded group_vars and host_vars
        • Magic variables with host and group variables and information
      • Facts (Variables derived from system information)
        • Local Facts (Facts.d)
      • Ansible Vault - Keeping secrets secret
      • Variable Precedence
    • If/then/when - Conditionals
      • Jinja2 Expressions, Python built-ins, and Logic
      • register
      • when
      • changed_when and failed_when
      • ignore_errors
    • Delegation, Local Actions, and Pauses
      • Pausing playbook execution with wait_for
      • Running an entire playbook locally
    • Prompts
    • Tags
    • Blocks
    • Summary
  • Chapter 6 - Playbook Organization - Roles, Includes, and Imports
    • Imports
      • Includes
      • Dynamic includes
      • Handler imports and includes
      • Playbook imports
      • Complete includes example
    • Roles
      • Role scaffolding
      • Building your first role
      • More flexibility with role vars and defaults
      • Other role parts: handlers, files, and templates
        • Handlers
        • Files and Templates
      • Organizing more complex and cross-platform roles
    • Ansible Galaxy
      • Getting roles from Galaxy
        • Using role requirements files to manage dependencies
      • A LAMP server in nine lines of YAML
      • A Solr server in seven lines of YAML
      • Helpful Galaxy commands
      • Contributing to Ansible Galaxy
    • Summary
  • Chapter 7 - Inventories
    • A real-world web application server inventory
      • Non-prod environments, separate inventory files
    • Inventory variables
      • host_vars
      • group_vars
    • Ephemeral infrastructure: Dynamic inventory
      • Dynamic inventory with DigitalOcean
        • DigitalOcean account prerequisites
        • Connecting to your DigitalOcean account
        • Creating a droplet with Ansible
        • DigitalOcean dynamic inventory with digital_ocean.py
      • Dynamic inventory with AWS
      • Inventory on-the-fly: add_host and group_by
      • Multiple inventory sources - mixing static and dynamic inventories
      • Creating custom dynamic inventories
        • Building a Custom Dynamic Inventory in Python
        • Building a Custom Dynamic Inventory in PHP
        • Managing a PaaS with a Custom Dynamic Inventory
    • Summary
  • Chapter 8 - Ansible Cookbooks
    • Highly-Available Infrastructure with Ansible
      • Directory Structure
      • Individual Server Playbooks
      • Main Playbook for Configuring All Servers
      • Getting the required roles
      • Vagrantfile for Local Infrastructure via VirtualBox
      • Provisioner Configuration: DigitalOcean
      • Provisioner Configuration: Amazon Web Services (EC2)
      • Summary
    • ELK Logging with Ansible
      • ELK Playbook
      • Forwarding Logs from Other Servers
      • Summary
    • GlusterFS Distributed File System Configuration with Ansible
      • Configuring Gluster - Basic Overview
      • Configuring Gluster with Ansible
      • Summary
    • Mac Provisioning with Ansible and Homebrew
      • Running Ansible playbooks locally
      • Automating Homebrew package and app management
      • Configuring Mac OS X through dotfiles
      • Summary
  • Chapter 9 - Deployments with Ansible
    • Deployment strategies
    • Simple single-server deployments
      • Provisioning a Ruby on Rails server
      • Deploying a Rails app to the server
      • Provisioning and Deploying the Rails App
      • Deploying application updates
    • Zero-downtime multi-server deployments
      • Ensuring zero downtime with serial and integration tests
      • Deploying to app servers behind a load balancer
    • Capistrano-style and blue-green deployments
    • Additional Deployment Features
    • Summary
  • Chapter 10 - Server Security and Ansible
    • A brief history of SSH and remote access
      • Telnet
      • rlogin, rsh and rcp
      • SSH
      • The evolution of SSH and the future of remote access
    • Use secure and encrypted communication
    • Disable root login and use sudo
    • Remove unused software, open only required ports
    • Use the principle of least privilege
      • User account configuration
      • File permissions
    • Update the OS and installed software
      • Automating updates
      • Automating updates for RHEL systems
      • Automating updates for Debian-based systems
    • Use a properly-configured firewall
      • Configuring a firewall with ufw on Debian or Ubuntu
      • Configuring a firewall with firewalld on RHEL, Fedora, or CentOS
    • Make sure log files are populated and rotated
    • Monitor logins and block suspect IP addresses
    • Use SELinux (Security-Enhanced Linux) or AppArmor
    • Summary and further reading
  • Chapter 11 - Automating Your Automation - Ansible Tower and CI/CD
    • Ansible Tower
      • Getting and Installing Ansible Tower
      • Using Ansible Tower
      • Other Tower Features of Note
      • Tower Alternatives
    • Jenkins CI
      • Build a local Jenkins server with Ansible
      • Create an Ansible playbook on the Jenkins server
      • Create a Jenkins job to run an Ansible Playbook
    • Unit, Integration, and Functional Testing
      • Debugging and Asserting
        • The debug module
        • The fail and assert modules
      • Checking syntax and performing dry runs
    • Automated testing on GitHub using Travis CI
      • Testing on multiple OSes with Docker
      • Setting up the test
      • Building Docker containers in Travis
      • Testing the role’s syntax
      • Role success - first run
      • Role idempotence
      • Role success - final result
      • Some notes about Travis CI
      • Real-world examples
    • Functional testing using serverspec
      • Other server and role testing tools
    • Summary
  • Chapter 12 - Automating HTTPS and TLS Certificates
    • Generating Self-Signed Certificates with Ansible
      • Idempotent Nginx HTTPS playbook with a self-signed cert
    • Automating Let’s Encrypt with Ansible for free Certs
    • Configuring Nginx to proxy HTTP traffic
    • Summary
  • Chapter 13 - Docker and Ansible
    • A brief introduction to Docker containers
    • Using Ansible to build and manage containers
    • Building a Flask app with Ansible and Docker
      • Data storage container
      • Flask container
      • MySQL container
      • Ship it!
    • Building containers with Ansible from the outside
      • Build a Hubot Slack bot container with ansible_connection: docker
        • Hubot and Slack
        • Building a Docker container with Ansible
        • Building the hubot-slack role
        • Building and running the Hubot Slack bot container
      • Summary
    • Summary
  • Chapter 14 - Kubernetes and Ansible
    •  
      • A bit of Kubernetes history
      • Evaluating the need for Kubernetes
      • Building a Kubernetes cluster with Ansible
      • Managing Kubernetes with Ansible
        • Ansible’s k8s module
        • Managing Kubernetes Applications with Helm
        • Interacting with Pods using the kubectl connection plugin
    • Summary
  • Afterword
  • Appendix A - Using Ansible on Windows workstations
    • Method 1 - Use the Windows Subsystem for Linux / Bash on Ubuntu
      • Installing Ansible inside Bash on Ubuntu
    • Method 2 - When WSL is not an option
      • Prerequisites
      • Set up an Ubuntu Linux Virtual Machine
      • Log into the Virtual Machine
      • Install Ansible
    • Summary
  • Appendix B - Ansible Best Practices and Conventions
    • Playbook Organization
      • Write comments and use name liberally
      • Include related variables and tasks
      • Use Roles to bundle logical groupings of configuration
      • Use role defaults and vars correctly
    • YAML Conventions and Best Practices
      • YAML for Ansible tasks
      • Three ways to format Ansible tasks
        • Shorthand/one-line (key=value)
        • Structured map/multi-line (key:value)
        • Folded scalars/multi-line (>)
      • Using | to format multiline variables
    • Using ansible-playbook
    • Use Ansible Tower
    • Specify --forks for playbooks running on > 5 servers
    • Use Ansible’s Configuration file
    • Summary

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