Getting Started with Ansible on Windows

By JP Toto
This course will show you how to use Ansible, an open source orchestration framework, to deploy configuration and features to Windows servers using automated scripts called playbooks.
Course info
Rating
(75)
Level
Intermediate
Updated
Jun 21, 2016
Duration
1h 23m
Table of contents
Description
Course info
Rating
(75)
Level
Intermediate
Updated
Jun 21, 2016
Duration
1h 23m
Description

In this course, Getting Started with Ansible on Windows, you will learn how to automate the deployment and configuration of Windows servers using Ansible, an open source orchestration framework. First, you'll learn how to write modular and reusable configuration scripts, called "playbooks." Next, you'll dig into configuring Windows features, installing applications, and provisioning local virtual machines. Finally, you'll tie it all together with Ansible Tower, a graphical web front-end to marshall all your server resources in one interface. By the end of this course, you'll be ready to use Ansible to configure your servers faster, easier, and more consisatently.

About the author
About the author

JP is a recovering enterprise consultant now living in the SaaS software products world.

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Section Introduction Transcripts
Section Introduction Transcripts

Course Overview
Hi everyone, my name is JP Toto, and welcome to my course, Getting Started with Ansible on Windows. I am a DevOps engineer at eMoney Advisor where I head up our infrastructure automation capabilities. Ansible is a rapidly growing orchestration framework that is making huge inroads into the IT operations departments of major companies all over the world. If you're tired of configuring all your servers manually, this course is for you. In this course, we're going to learn how Ansible works in Windows-based environments. We'll write playbooks and roles, and use them to configure specific server functions without ever logging in to the target servers. Some of the major topics that we'll cover include creating a local Windows test environment using HashiCorp Vagrant, installing Ansible and configuring inventories, creating playbooks to install software and configuration settings, writing roles to segment server functions, and installing and configuring Ansible Tower, a graphical web-based front end. By the end of this course, you'll know how to stand up your own Ansible environment from scratch and deploy automated configuration and orchestration across your entire Windows network. Before beginning this course, you should be familiar with the basics of Ansible and Windows and Linux server administration. I hope you'll join me on this journey to learn Ansible with the Getting Started with Ansible on Windows course here at Pluralsight.

Introduction
Hello, I'm JP Toto, and this course is Getting Started with Ansible on Windows. If you are a network administrator or a DevOps practitioner in your organization looking to speed up and automate your Windows server deployments, you're definitely in the right place. I'm going to teach you how to use Ansible to take the pain out of rapid and consistent Windows Server deployments. If you've ever tried to administer dozens or even hundreds of Windows servers, you can understand how monotonous it can feel. Logging in to each machine and clicking around to change settings or install software can be downright tedious. As well, manually administering servers is error prone. If there is anything humans do badly, it's doing the same thing over and over with any kind of consistency. Enter Ansible. Ansible is an automation framework, which attempts to solve the problem of administering a great deal of servers by storing all configuration and settings in a central location, and then dispersing those commands out to servers over the network. In fact, Ansible gets its name from science-fiction literature. The Wikipedia description of an Ansible is a fictional machine capable of instantaneous or superluminal communication. It can send and receive messages to and from a corresponding device over any distance whatsoever with no delay. So you can understand why the Ansible creators chose the name. Let's learn a bit more about how Ansible can help make your life as a Windows Server administrator so much easier.

Installing Ansible
Welcome to Module 3, Installing Ansible. In this module we'll install Ansible on our Linux control server, and perform a quick test to make sure Ansible is communicating with our Windows web server okay over WinRM. As I mentioned earlier, Ansible runs on Python 2. 6 or 2. 7; it does not yet run on Python 3. x as of this recording and does not run under Windows, which is why we're using a Linux control virtual machine. Most UNIX and/or Linux distributions, including Mac OS X, come with Python preinstalled, but I'll leave it to you to make sure you're using a supported version of Python in your environment. There are actually a variety of ways to install Ansible. In this demonstration, I'm going to use the pip Python package installer, which has a repository for Ansible. Aaron Paxson describes a few alternative ways in his course, Hands-on Ansible. If you'd like to use an alternative installation to what I'm showing here, please see his course for some other options. In this demonstration, we're going to install Ansible and verify that it's working correctly. To perform the installation, I'll SSH into my Linux Ansible control server directly from my OS X command line on my host. Then we'll begin the installation process and run a test.