Ultimate Ansible Bootcamp by School of Devops®

Unofficial Guide to EX407 Redhat Certified Specialist in Ansible Automation

Instructed by Gourav Shah, Devops Expert, Trainer and Author

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  • What is ansible, why its needed and how it works
  • How to configure ansible and setup static/dynamic inventories
  • Managing systems entities using ansible Modules
  • Ad hoc server management, running jobs in parallel
  • Writing Playbooks to define the state of infrastructure as a code
  • Creating modular, reusable code with Roles
  • Creating dynmic code with vars and templates
  • Using Ansible Galaxy
  • Service Discovery and managing Multiple Environments
  • Application Deployment Strategies, Rolling Updates
  • Encrypting sensitive data with Vault

Ansible is set to be the standard in the world of IT Infrastrcuture Management. It's a rare combination of simplicity meeting sophistication. Its core principle being simple is reflected in all its design choices such as agentless setup, small footprint, push model, YAML as a language to define infrastructure state etc. Its easy to setup, easy to write code with, easy to extend while writing custom modules. At the same time it offers everything a IT Systems, Networks or a Oprations/Devops person needs. It allows you to do all of following by replacing array of dedicated tools. 
 
Whether you want to manage systems at scale
run ad-hoc tasks on a group of servers
 automate systems and application configurations,
do change management, 
deploy applications in a orchestrated way
provision cloud servers or manage network or storage devices
 
 
This course is been created to help you master Ansible one step at a time. It starts with the fundamental concepts related to Infrastructure as Code, what ansible is, what is Idempotence, what makes Ansible stand apart. Then it helps you relate ansible to your project by taking up a use case. Once you setup the environment with the codespaces tool, you start diving in to the simple and sophisticated world of ansible one concept at a time. As part of this course you would, 
 
Setup an inventory of group of servers and configure ansible to manage those
Write playbook for base systems configuration
Create roles for automating web server provisioning and configurations 
Use galaxy roles to setup a load balancer 
Customise roles using group_vars to define your database and application configuraions
Secure database passwords with ansible vault
Deploy applications in rolling manner with zero downtime
By the end of this course you would have mastered ansible and should be able to use it to automate  servers, applications and understand all the primitives that ansible offers. 

  • Basic Linux Operations and CLI
  • A laptop or a desktop with a Web Browser
  • Docker Envrionment or a Cloud Account
  • Terminal software e.g. iterm, bash, conemu
  • A Systems Administrator who manages machines at scale
  • A Sysops/Operations Engineer who would like to automate application installation and configurations
  • A Devops Engineer who would like to automate configurations and application deployments
  • A Developer who would like to automate application deployments and the one who follows
  • A Network/Storage Administrator who would like to automate device configurations
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Section 1 : Course Introduction

  • Lecture 1 :
  • How to Navigate this course Preview
  • Lecture 2 :
  • Have Question, Find Help and Support
  • Lecture 3 :
  • Certification Blueprint

Section 2 : Introduction to Ansible

  • Lecture 1 :
  • What is Ansible Part I: Why Ansible ?
  • Lecture 2 :
  • What is Ansible Part II: Simplicity, YAML, Push Model, Custom Modules
  • Lecture 3 :
  • What is Ansible Part III: Batteries Included Approach
  • Lecture 4 :
  • What is Ansible Part VI: Scripts vs Ansible
  • Lecture 5 :
  • What is Ansible Part V: Infrastructure as a Code
  • Lecture 6 :
  • What is Ansible Part VI: Code vs Data
  • Lecture 7 :
  • What is Ansible Part VII: Idempotence and State Management
  • Lecture 8 :
  • What is Ansible Part VIII: The Ansible Story

Section 3 : Path to Automation with Ansible

  • Lecture 1 :
  • Section Introduction
  • Lecture 2 :
  • Tasks, Modules, Roles
  • Lecture 3 :
  • Book Recommendation: Ansible Playbook Essentials
  • Lecture 4 :
  • Code Organization Strategies
  • Lecture 5 :
  • Introducing Use Case - Devops Demo App
  • Lecture 6 :
  • Approach to automate Devops Demo App
  • Lecture 7 :
  • Inventories and Playbooks

Section 4 : Setting up the Environment

  • Lecture 1 :
  • Section Introduction
  • Lecture 2 :
  • Introduction to codespaces
  • Lecture 3 :
  • Setting up codespaces locally with docker
  • Lecture 4 :
  • Launching codespaces on digital ocean cloud
  • Lecture 5 :
  • Managing codespaces

Section 5 : Ad Hoc Server Management with Ansible

  • Lecture 1 :
  • Section Introduction
  • Lecture 2 :
  • Configuring Ansible
  • Lecture 3 :
  • Defining a static Inventory
  • Lecture 4 :
  • Host Patterns and Ad Hoc Commands
  • Lecture 5 :
  • Modules and Desired State Configuration
  • Lecture 6 :
  • Invoking Modules, Idempotence
  • Lecture 7 :
  • Using common modules
  • Lecture 8 :
  • Command Modules and Idempotence
  • Lecture 9 :
  • Using ansible-console REPL Shell

Section 6 : Playbooks

  • Lecture 1 :
  • Section Introduction
  • Lecture 2 :
  • YAML Primer
  • Lecture 3 :
  • Anatomy of a Playbook
  • Lecture 4 :
  • Writing your first Play
  • Lecture 5 :
  • Validating and applying Ansible Playbook
  • Lecture 6 :
  • Troubleshooting playbook failures
  • Lecture 7 :
  • Adding another play for app servers
  • Lecture 8 :
  • Nano Project: Create a playbook to deploy a Static Site

Section 7 : Roles

  • Lecture 1 :
  • Section Introduction
  • Lecture 2 :
  • Why do you need roles?
  • Lecture 3 :
  • Anatomy of a Role
  • Lecture 4 :
  • Code Organization Strategies
  • Lecture 5 :
  • Generating Roles Scaffold and Ansible Galaxy
  • Lecture 6 :
  • Creating a role for Apache
  • Lecture 7 :
  • Writing and applying playbook for app servers
  • Lecture 8 :
  • Copying config file, notifications and handlers
  • Lecture 9 :
  • Creating a role for PHP
  • Lecture 10 :
  • Nested roles and site wide playbook
  • Lecture 11 :
  • Nano project: Deploy Devops Demo App

Section 8 : Vars and Templates

  • Lecture 1 :
  • Section Introduction
  • Lecture 2 :
  • Need to separate data from code
  • Lecture 3 :
  • Diving into Jinja2 templates
  • Lecture 4 :
  • Understanding ansible vars, Precedence Levels and Best Practices
  • Lecture 5 :
  • Advanced vars concepts
  • Lecture 6 :
  • Dynamically defining app version with vars and tasks
  • Lecture 7 :
  • Managing app configs with templates and vars
  • Lecture 8 :
  • Playing with vars precedence
  • Lecture 9 :
  • Registereed varibles and conditional execution
  • Lecture 10 :
  • Discovering facts with setup module

Section 9 : Ansible Galaxy

  • Lecture 1 :
  • Section Introduction
  • Lecture 2 :
  • Tour of Ansible Galaxy
  • Lecture 3 :
  • Selecting role for HAProxy
  • Lecture 4 :
  • Applying HAProxy role with custom properties
  • Lecture 5 :
  • Troubleshooting HAProxy Issues
  • Lecture 6 :
  • Nano Project: Setup MySQL database using a galaxy role
  • Lecture 7 :
  • Setting up MySQL
  • Lecture 8 :
  • Connecting app with the database
  • Lecture 9 :
  • Checking in the galaxy roles
  • Lecture 10 :
  • Tagging tasks, roles, plays and playbooks

Section 10 : Controlling Execution Flow

  • Lecture 1 :
  • Overview of Conditionals
  • Lecture 2 :
  • Overview of Iterators
  • Lecture 3 :
  • Iterating over a list to install packages
  • Lecture 4 :
  • Iterating over a dictionary to create users
  • Lecture 5 :
  • Using conditionals in tasks and templates
  • Lecture 6 :
  • Adding Ubuntu support by conditionally including vars
  • Lecture 7 :
  • Making application compatible with ubuntu

Section 11 : Auto Discovery and Manging Multiple Environments

  • Lecture 1 :
  • Enabling Facts Caching
  • Lecture 2 :
  • Using Magic Variables for Service Discovery
  • Lecture 3 :
  • Creating staging environment
  • Lecture 4 :
  • Rolling back changes with contra playbooks

Section 12 : Vault

  • Lecture 1 :
  • Section Introduction
  • Lecture 2 :
  • Encrypting a file and using it in a playbook
  • Lecture 3 :
  • Using a password file and Rekeying
  • Lecture 4 :
  • Vault 1.2 and multiple Vault IDs
  • Lecture 5 :
  • Changing Vault IDs and Encrypting Strings in File
  • Lecture 6 :
  • Encrypting mysql passwords with Vault

Section 13 : Application Deployments

  • Lecture 1 :
  • Section Introduction
  • Lecture 2 :
  • Writing tasks for importing database schema
  • Lecture 3 :
  • Applying schema updates and Troubleshooting
  • Lecture 4 :
  • Creating strategy for Rolling updates
  • Lecture 5 :
  • Adding pre and post tasks, Tasks gelegation, Testing with wait_for

Gourav Shah, Devops Expert, Trainer and Author,

Gourav comes with more than a decade of experience building, managing and automating systems at scale. He has helped organisations to design and implement devops practices. He left his corporate job in 2012 to start Initcron, a niche devops consulting firm. He eventually got into delivering devops workshops for the corporates in India and then internationally. He has conducted more than 300 instructor led trainings.
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