15 Must-Have Ansible Modules for DevOps Engineers

15 Must-Have Ansible Modules for DevOps Engineers

In the ever-evolving landscape of DevOps, automation is the linchpin that streamlines processes and enhances efficiency. Ansible, an open-source automation tool, has become a cornerstone for DevOps engineers seeking to simplify configuration management, application deployment, and task automation. In this article, we'll delve into 15 must-have Ansible modules that can significantly empower DevOps professionals in their daily workflows.

1. Setup: Installing Ansible

Before diving into the modules, let's ensure Ansible is properly installed. Use the following commands:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install ansible

2. Basic Ansible Concepts

Understanding basic Ansible concepts is crucial. Ansible uses YAML syntax for its playbooks, and the core building block is a task defined in the playbook.

- name: This is a sample Ansible task
hosts: localhost
- name: This task does something
command: echo "Hello, Ansible!"

3. File Management with 'copy' Module

DevOps often involves copying files across servers. The 'copy' module helps achieve this seamlessly:

- name: Copy a file to remote server
hosts: web_servers
- name: Transfer file
src: /path/to/local/file
dest: /path/to/remote/location

4. Package Management with 'apt' Module

Managing packages is a common DevOps task. Ansible's 'apt' module simplifies package management on Debian-based systems:

- name: Ensure Nginx is installed
hosts: web_servers
- name: Install Nginx
name: nginx
state: present

5. Service Management with 'systemd' Module

Controlling services is vital. The 'systemd' module allows you to manage services with ease:

- name: Ensure Nginx is running
hosts: web_servers
- name: Start Nginx
name: nginx
state: started

6. User Management with 'user' Module

Creating and managing users can be automated using the 'user' module:

- name: Ensure a user exists
hosts: all_servers
- name: Create a user
name: john_doe
state: present

7. Template Files with 'template' Module

The 'template' module allows you to use Jinja2 templates for file creation:

- name: Create a configuration file
hosts: app_servers
- name: Use Jinja2 template
src: /path/to/template.j2
dest: /etc/config.conf

8. Database Management with 'mysql_db' Module

Managing databases is a breeze with the 'mysql_db' module:

- name: Ensure a database exists
hosts: db_servers
- name: Create a database
name: my_database
state: present

9. Cloud Automation with 'ec2' Module

For cloud-based environments, the 'ec2' module facilitates AWS EC2 instance management:

- name: Create an EC2 instance
hosts: aws_environment
- name: Launch EC2 instance
key_name: my-key
instance_type: t2.micro
image: ami-12345678
state: present

10. Network Configuration with 'ios_command' Module

For network automation, Ansible provides modules like 'ios_command' for Cisco devices:

- name: Configure Cisco router
hosts: cisco_routers
- name: Set hostname
- conf t
- hostname MyRouter

11. Docker Containers with 'docker_container' Module

Managing Docker containers is simplified with Ansible's 'docker_container' module:

- name: Ensure a Docker container is running
hosts: docker_hosts
- name: Run a container
name: my_container
image: my_image
state: started

12. Git Operations with 'git' Module

Automate Git operations with the 'git' module:

- name: Clone a Git repository
hosts: git_servers
- name: Clone repo
repo: https://github.com/example/repo.git
dest: /path/to/local/repo

13. VMware Infrastructure with 'community.vmware.vmware_vm_vm_drs_rule' Module

For VMware environments, Ansible offers modules like 'community.vmware.vmware_vm_vm_drs_rule' for managing VM DRS rules:

- name: Ensure VM DRS rule is configured
hosts: vmware_environment
- name: Configure VM DRS rule
cluster_name: my_cluster
affinity_rule: true

14. Monitoring with 'nagios' Module

Integrate Ansible with Nagios for efficient monitoring:

- name: Add host to Nagios
hosts: nagios_server
- name: Add host
command: add_host
host: new_host
state: present

15. Security Compliance with 'os_hardening' Module

Ensure security compliance using Ansible's 'os_hardening' module:

- name: Harden server security
hosts: security_servers
- name: Apply security hardening
state: enforce

These 15 Ansible modules cover a broad spectrum of tasks, enabling DevOps engineers to automate various aspects of infrastructure management. As you explore and integrate these modules into your playbooks, you'll find your workflows becoming more efficient and your DevOps processes streamlined.

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