This content is part of the Essential Guide: Explore Ansible for DevOps configuration management
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Learn Ansible basics in this video tutorial

Ansible was designed to make IT configuration coding simple, and it's a far cry from manual IT management. In this video, IT expert Stuart Burns shares his expertise on Ansible basics for those just getting into automation and for in-depth tool evaluators.

Organizations embarking on infrastructure as code should evaluate whether Ansible meets their project needs. Ansible, an IT configuration and automation tool from Red Hat, works via desired state configuration (DSC), meaning that the user tells the system how she wants the configuration and the tool is responsible to maintain it. For example, if a user changes a file configuration away from its desired state, Ansible reruns the associated playbook and brings the file back into spec. Configuration creep is a problem on only a few servers, but it quickly becomes unmanageable in enterprise IT farms without DSC.

Watch the first sections of this video on Ansible basics to grasp the technology's role and the tool's capabilities. In this hands-on demonstration, Burns sets up a project in Ansible's command line, talking readers through the commands and files, and explains what they mean. Watch the project setup to learn about host and config files, along with helpful tips.

If you're savvy about Ansible basics, jump ahead to the sections of the video where Burns demonstrates how to work with Ansible commands and playbooks. Burns continues the hands-on tutorial with ad hoc commands. Follow along as he uses the ping command to test that the Ansible user can communicate with all the servers and runs an ifconfig configuration command.

To automate IT ops with Ansible, create playbooks. Burns explains Ansible playbooks and how they work, and provides tips -- no tabs! -- that will reduce frustration for new users. Walk through installation of mlocate, how to write contents to a file and how to manage services in this section of the video.

There's much more to know about Ansible beyond the basics, such as how to use variables in playbooks, but this video was designed to provide a solid foundation in automated IT infrastructure.

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