Top 7 Ansible Playbooks for Windows Automation

Top 7 Ansible Playbooks for Windows Automation

Automation has become an integral part of modern IT operations, simplifying repetitive tasks and ensuring consistency across environments. Ansible, an open-source automation tool, is widely used for configuring and managing systems. While Ansible is often associated with Linux, it is also a powerful tool for Windows automation. In this article, we'll explore the top 7 Ansible Playbooks specifically tailored for Windows environments.

1. Installing Software Packages on Windows

Managing software installations on Windows machines can be a daunting task, but Ansible makes it seamless. Here's a playbook snippet to install software packages using Ansible:

- name: Install Notepad++
hosts: windows_servers
- name: Download Notepad++ installer
dest: C:\Temp otepadplusplus.exe

- name: Install Notepad++
win_shell: |
Start-Process -Wait -FilePath C:\Temp otepadplusplus.exe

This playbook downloads the Notepad++ installer from a specified URL and installs it on the target Windows servers.

2. Configuring Windows Firewall Rules

Securing Windows servers often involves managing firewall rules. Ansible simplifies this process with the following playbook:

- name: Configure Firewall Rules
hosts: windows_servers
- name: Allow incoming traffic on port 80
name: Allow HTTP Traffic
localport: 80
action: allow

This playbook allows incoming traffic on port 80, demonstrating how Ansible can efficiently handle Windows firewall configurations.

3. Managing Windows Services

Controlling services on Windows machines is crucial for system administrators. Ansible enables easy management with the following playbook:

- name: Manage Windows Services
hosts: windows_servers
- name: Ensure 'wuauserv' service is running
name: wuauserv
state: started

This playbook ensures that the Windows Update service ('wuauserv') is running on the specified servers.

4. Configuring Active Directory Users

For Windows environments integrated with Active Directory, Ansible can streamline user management. Here's a playbook example:

- name: Configure Active Directory Users
hosts: windows_servers
- name: Create user 'john.doe'
name: john.doe
password: securepassword
state: present

This playbook creates a new user ('john.doe') in the Active Directory domain.

5. Managing Windows Updates

Keeping Windows servers up to date is critical for security. Ansible simplifies the update process with the following playbook:

- name: Manage Windows Updates
hosts: windows_servers
- name: Install Windows updates
- SecurityUpdates
- CriticalUpdates
state: installed

This playbook installs security and critical updates on the specified Windows servers.

6. Retrieving System Information

Gathering system information is essential for monitoring and troubleshooting. Ansible makes it easy with the following playbook:

- name: Retrieve System Information
hosts: windows_servers
- name: Get system information
win_shell: Get-CimInstance Win32_OperatingSystem | Select-Object Caption,Version
register: system_info

- name: Display system information
var: system_info.stdout_lines

This playbook retrieves and displays basic system information, such as the Windows version.

7. Managing Windows File Systems

Ansible can also handle file system operations on Windows servers. Here's a playbook for managing files and directories:

- name: Manage Windows File Systems
hosts: windows_servers
- name: Create directory 'C:\Example'
path: C:\Example
state: directory

This playbook creates a new directory ('C:\Example') on the specified Windows servers.

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