Ansible Architecture

Welcome to the tutorial on Ansible architecture. Ansible is an open-source automation tool that allows you to manage and configure systems in a declarative and efficient way. Understanding the architecture of Ansible is crucial for effectively using and scaling Ansible in your infrastructure. In this tutorial, we will explore the components of Ansible architecture and how they work together.

Introduction to Ansible Architecture

Ansible follows a simple and agentless architecture, making it lightweight and easy to use. It consists of the following key components:

  • Inventory: The inventory is a list of hosts or groups of hosts that Ansible manages. It can be defined in INI-like or YAML format and specifies the target systems for configuration.
  • Playbooks: Playbooks are written in YAML and define the desired state of the managed systems. They consist of a series of tasks that are executed on the target hosts.
  • Modules: Modules are reusable and standalone scripts that Ansible uses to perform specific actions on the managed systems. They can be executed remotely over SSH or other protocols.
  • Control Node: The control node is the machine where Ansible is installed and from which Ansible commands are executed. It contains the Ansible command-line interface (CLI) and the necessary configuration files.

Example Commands and Code

Let's look at a couple of example commands to illustrate Ansible's architecture:

Example 1: Running a Simple Ad Hoc Command

$ ansible all -i inventory.ini -m ping

In the example above, the ansible command is executed on the control node, targeting all hosts specified in the inventory file (inventory.ini). The -m ping option tells Ansible to use the ping module to check connectivity to the hosts.

Example 2: Running a Playbook

$ ansible-playbook -i inventory.yml playbook.yml

In this example, the ansible-playbook command is used to execute a playbook. The inventory file (inventory.yml) specifies the hosts, and the playbook file (playbook.yml) contains the desired configuration tasks to be applied to the hosts.

Common Mistakes

  • Not organizing inventory properly, resulting in difficulties in managing and scaling infrastructure.
  • Using inefficient or redundant tasks in playbooks, leading to longer execution times and unnecessary resource consumption.
  • Not utilizing Ansible roles or reusable modules, resulting in duplicated code and decreased maintainability.
  • Not following security best practices, such as securely managing SSH keys and credentials used by Ansible.
  • Not considering network connectivity and latency when running Ansible commands across distributed environments.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Q: Can I use Ansible with Windows hosts?
    A: Yes, Ansible supports managing Windows hosts, but you need to configure the necessary dependencies and modules for Windows systems.
  2. Q: What is the difference between ad hoc commands and playbooks?
    A: Ad hoc commands are one-liners executed directly from the command line, while playbooks provide a more structured and reusable way to define configurations and orchestrate tasks.
  3. Q: Can I use Ansible for cloud orchestration?
    A: Yes, Ansible has built-in modules for various cloud providers, enabling you to manage and orchestrate cloud resources and services.


Ansible architecture consists of an inventory, playbooks, modules, and a control node. Understanding this architecture is essential for effectively using Ansible to automate infrastructure configurations. In this tutorial, we introduced the components of Ansible architecture, provided example commands and code, discussed common mistakes to avoid, and answered frequently asked questions. With Ansible, you can achieve efficient and scalable infrastructure automation and configuration management.