Ansible: Up and Running: Automating Configuration Management and Deployment the Easy Way - PDF
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When I was writing my first web application, using Django, the popular Pythonbased framework, I remember the sense of accomplishment when the app was finally working on my desktop. I would run django manage.py runserver, point my browser to http://localhost:8000, and there was my web application in all its glory.
Then I discovered there were all of these…things I had to do, just to get the darned app to run on the Linux server. In addition to installing Django and my app onto the server, I had to install Apache and the mod_python module so that Apache could run Django apps. Then I had to figure out the right Apache configuration file incantation so that it would run my application and serve up the static assets properly.
None of it was hard, it was just a pain to get all of those details right. I didn’t want to muck about with configuration files, I just wanted my app to run. Once I got it working, everything was fine…until, several months later, I had to do it again, on a different server, at which point I had to start the process all over again.
Eventually, I discovered that this process was Doing It Wrong. The right way to do this sort of thing has a name, and that name is configuration management. The great thing about using configuration management is that it’s a way to capture knowledge that always stays up-to-date. No more hunting for the right doc page or searching through your old notes.
Recently, a colleague at work was interested in trying out Ansible for deploying a new project, and he asked me for a reference on how to apply the Ansible concepts in practice, beyond what was available in the official docs. I didn’t know what else to recommend, so I decided to write something to fill the gap—and here it is. Alas, this book comes too late for him, but I hope you’ll find it useful.