Infrastructure as Code (IaC) and Ansible

Welcome to the tutorial on Infrastructure as Code (IaC) and Ansible. Infrastructure as Code is a practice that involves managing and provisioning infrastructure resources using code and automation tools. Ansible, with its simplicity and powerful features, is an ideal tool for implementing IaC. In this tutorial, we will explore how to use Ansible for IaC and understand its benefits.

Introduction to Infrastructure as Code (IaC)

Infrastructure as Code (IaC) is an approach that treats infrastructure as software-defined components. It involves defining infrastructure resources, configurations, and dependencies using code and version control systems. IaC brings several benefits, including:

  • Automation: Infrastructure provisioning and management tasks can be automated, reducing manual effort and potential errors.
  • Repeatability: Infrastructure configurations can be version controlled and reproduced, ensuring consistency and eliminating configuration drift.
  • Scalability: IaC allows for easily scaling infrastructure resources up or down based on demand.
  • Collaboration: Code-based infrastructure configurations can be shared, reviewed, and improved collaboratively.

Using Ansible for Infrastructure as Code

Ansible provides a declarative and automated approach to implementing IaC. It allows you to define infrastructure resources, configurations, and dependencies in Ansible playbooks and roles. Here's an example of using Ansible to provision and configure a web server:

Example Playbook:

- name: Provision and configure web server
  hosts: webservers
    - name: Install Apache
        name: apache2
        state: present

    - name: Configure Apache
        src: templates/httpd.conf.j2
        dest: /etc/httpd.conf
      notify: restart apache

    - name: restart apache
        name: apache2
        state: restarted

In the example above, the Ansible playbook defines tasks to install and configure Apache on a group of hosts called "webservers." The playbook uses the package module to install Apache and the template module to configure Apache's main configuration file. Finally, a handler is defined to restart Apache if any changes are made to the configuration.

Common Mistakes

  • Not organizing infrastructure code into reusable roles and playbooks, resulting in duplication and maintenance overhead.
  • Not leveraging dynamic inventory to manage infrastructure resources, leading to manual updates and limited scalability.
  • Not properly testing infrastructure changes before applying them to production environments, increasing the risk of downtime or errors.
  • Not utilizing version control systems for infrastructure code, making it difficult to track changes, collaborate, and revert to previous states.
  • Overlooking security considerations and not implementing secure practices, such as properly managing credentials and securing communication channels.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Q: Can I use Ansible for cloud infrastructure provisioning?
    A: Yes, Ansible provides modules and plugins to interact with various cloud providers, enabling the provisioning and management of cloud resources.
  2. Q: What is the difference between Ansible playbooks and roles?
    A: Playbooks are YAML files that define automation tasks and workflows, while roles are reusable collections of playbooks and variables that can be applied to different hosts or groups.
  3. Q: How can I handle secrets and sensitive information in Ansible?
    A: Ansible provides mechanisms like Ansible Vault to encrypt and securely manage sensitive data, such as passwords and API keys, within your infrastructure code.


Infrastructure as Code (IaC) enables the automation and management of infrastructure resources using code. Ansible, with its declarative syntax and powerful automation capabilities, is an excellent tool for implementing IaC. In this tutorial, we introduced IaC, demonstrated how to use Ansible for infrastructure provisioning and configuration, discussed common mistakes to avoid, and answered frequently asked questions. Embrace IaC and Ansible to streamline your infrastructure management, improve scalability, and achieve greater consistency and efficiency in your IT operations.