Ansible Basics - Automation Technical Overview
Ansible Basics - Introduction
2h 47m

This course looks at the Ansible Automation Platform. We'll look at how it works, looking at all the components like modules, tasks, and playbooks. We're going to show Ansible commands and how to use the command line tool, Ansible Navigator. You'll also learn about variables, templates and playbook basics. 

Then we'll move on to the automation controller, the web UI and API, and you'll learn where it fits in and who would be using it. We'll also take a look at some enterprise features like Role-based Access Control and workflows.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn the basics of Ansible including its components including modules, tasks, and playbooks
  • Understand Ansible commands and how to use Ansible navigator
  • Learn how to use variables and templates
  • Use Ansible's web UI and API, known as Automation Controller
  • Learn how to build a job template
  • Understand how to use Role-based Access Control and workflows

Intended Audience

This course is intended for anyone who wants to learn more about the Ansible Automation Platform in order to operationalize and put their Ansible workloads into production.


To get the most out of this course, you should have some knowledge of Linux or Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Existing knowledge of Ansible would be beneficial but not essential.


Welcome to the Ansible Basics course, an Automation Technical Overview of the Ansible Automation Platform. My name is Sean Cavanaugh. I'm a Technical Marketing Manager here at Red Hat. I specifically work on Ansible Automation Platform. I work a lot on network automation, so you'll see a lot of network automation. But this course specifically is a beginner course for someone with some knowledge of Linux or Red Hat Enterprise Linux and maybe some to no knowledge of Ansible.

So let's go ahead and get started. My name is Sean again, you can follow me on Twitter or GitHub @IPvSean. It's a little networking joke, v4, v6, then there was vSean. I live in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The Ansible company prior to Red Hat acquisition is actually in Durham, North Carolina, right next to me. So I've been involved in Ansible for a long time. Very excited to work on Ansible. It's a really fun technology to work on as it deals with almost any use case imaginable. I think it's important to talk about people outside of work. So I have some fun things they do outside of Ansible. Not much, but there's some. I like electric bicycles, have gotten into them during the pandemic. It's a lot of fun. I have a cargo bike that I take my kids around, I enjoy bourbon. I enjoy running. I need to run a lot to earn the Bourbon. Enjoy Star Wars like any good nerd does. I think the weird one on here, I put gardening in. I haven't done a ton recently, but I really enjoy my tiny yard where I get to do some gardening, but it's not a chore.

With that let's get started on your training. We're going to do an intro to the Ansible Automation Platform. We are going to contrast this with the upstream Ansible project. Both are important. Ansible Automation Platform is about operationalizing and putting into production Ansible. And there's a lot of new components that we'll talk about today. So how it works, we're going to understand all the components like modules, tasks, and playbooks. We're going to show Ansible commands and how to use the new command line tool, Ansible Navigator, going to talk about variables and templates and playbook basics. We're going to talk about automation controller. It's the web UI and API. We're going to talk about where it fits in and who would be using it? We're going to talk about the controller basics. We're going to build a job template. We're going to talk about enterprise features like Role-based Access Control and workflows.

Before we dive into more slides, I want to just talk about the environment we have set up today. We've actually built a bunch of workshops and the Ansible business unit. Specifically, I'm doing all of these off the Ansible for Red Hat Enterprise Linux Workshop. So if I click on Exercises here, I can actually see all of this spun up. And I know I'm going to get at, so I'll just show it is. If you go to GitHub interval workshops, this is where all the code is for the Ansible workshops and all the read means. It just generates a website here. If you're wondering where the source code is, the Lab Diagram is really simple.

We have Ansible Automation Platform. It's running on RHEL 8. We have 3 nodes, node1, node2 and node3. They're also running RHEL 8. They just use a little bit less memory because we're not doing much on them where the control node has a bit more. And we're basically running through very similar to these exercises that you'll see here. So if you want to follow along, you can actually just click on these exercises and see, and I'm kind of doing parts of them. In the, when we spin this up, we actually have kind of 2 different places we spin up.

There is VS Code, so when I log into VS Code, I'll get a Visual Studio Code, I close this down. So the playbook will be on the top, when I show it and there's a terminal window here. And if I cat this, you actually see I'm just running RHEL 8.4 and there's also Automation controller that all have access to. Oops! Lock me out because I was in earlier. And then we'll show this later as we dive in the Ansible Automation Platform and what automation controller is? But just want to explain what the environment is, where it's running, it's all running in public cloud, we provision it with Ansible. So we always say by Ansible, for Ansible, with Ansible, drink our own champagne, as we provision this onto AWS EC2 using an Ansible playbook right from my laptop, right before I started doing this class. And with that, let's get started with an introduction for the Ansible Automation Platform.

About the Author
Learning Paths

Jeremy is a Content Lead Architect and DevOps SME here at Cloud Academy where he specializes in developing DevOps technical training documentation.

He has a strong background in software engineering, and has been coding with various languages, frameworks, and systems for the past 25+ years. In recent times, Jeremy has been focused on DevOps, Cloud (AWS, Azure, GCP), Security, Kubernetes, and Machine Learning.

Jeremy holds professional certifications for AWS, Azure, GCP, Terraform, Kubernetes (CKA, CKAD, CKS).