Simplify administration tasks with configuration management using tools like Ansible

Use case

Challenges

As of today, companies with networked computing environments experience challenges with deploying and managing servers and services efficiently. System administrators need to manage servers manually and engage in activities such as installing software, modifying configurations, and administering services.

As business needs and data centers grow, systems become sophisticated, and admins face difficulties while scaling manual systems. At the same time, engineers face challenges with agile practices that involve continuous integration and deployment since IT operations require more time to configure systems.

Besides, it becomes riotous and labor-intensive in situations where an organization is administering a fleet of servers requiring constant updating, copying data, and pushing changes.

Approach

You can automate standard sysadmin tasks using Ansible, an open-source IT configuration management, deployment, and orchestration tool.
Some of the tasks that Ansible automates include:

Managing users – You can use loops to create a list of users and groups. Ansible also helps create an extensive list of users among different groups. Ansible loops feature the user module for creating multiple users. Another typical Ansible loop that users can apply include file module for changing ownership on several files and directories.
Package installation – Ansible facts helps users determine the module to use for package installation.
Starting services – Ansible offers a service module for starting and stopping applications. Systemd module is used when users need more options.

Benefits

  • Simplified configuration management - Ansible configuration management tool uses simple human-readable YAML syntax called playbooks. The tool is suitable for all system administrators since it does not require special coding skills. The configuration management tool defines and maintains the consistency of service performance.
  • Agentless - Simplifying configuration management using Ansible does not require users to install agents or additional software and firewall ports on hosts or client systems for automation.
  • Flexible - Configuration management tools offer robust features needed to model complex IT workflows. For instance, Ansible has hundreds of modules for managing infrastructure, networks, operating systems, and services. The tools allow orchestration of an entire application environment regardless of the deployment platform.
  • Resource efficient - Ansible does not require the installation of extra software on servers, which free resources for applications.
  • Improved service provisioning - Configuration management tools like Ansible help to streamline booting by ensuring that required packages are downloaded and installed.
  • Security - System admins can define security policies on Ansible and incorporate them into other automated processes. The tool allows users to configure their security details and credentials in a control machine and embed the features in other nodes automatically.
  • Improved collaboration - Configuration management tool like Ansible is written in YAML that expedites communication between technical and non-technical teams.

Getting started with Technofy

At Technofy, we help clients simplify administration tasks with configuration management using tools like Ansible. We deploy tested and proven service development and deployment and configuration management practices and tools to save time and reduce human errors. With Ansible, it becomes easy to abridge administration activities through IT infrastructure automation from service provisioning and configuration management to application deployment.
Contact us for more