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OPS635 Lab 3 : System Configuration Management using Ansible


In an enterprise environment, the existence of different hardware and Operating Systems running on production servers is very common. You may find the same software running on different OS and even different hardware platforms. To manage the software configuration on different platforms by using a script, your script would have to be aware of and account for their differences. Your scripts would need to be written in way that they know how to query the operating environment and execute the appropriate installation and configuration actions based on the operating environment it is running on. There are commercial and open source configuration management systems which aware and know how to handle such difference in operating platforms. "Ansible" is another CMS that we are going to study for this lab. In this lab, we will start by trying to convert the script that you have written for configuring Nagios on Centos7 to an Ansible playbook, test it on your testing environment and then deploy it to a new VM.

Investigation 1: Installing Ansible on Your Host Machine

  • Install the ansible package on your host machine.
  • If you have not already done so, create an ssh-key for the root user on your host and transfer the public portion of it to your VMs. Ensure that you can use it to ssh to root on your vms without entering a password.
  • Modify the inventory file on your host to include the fully qualified domain name of your VMs.
  • Use the setup module to ensure that your ansible host can run plays on your VMs.

Investigation 2: Creating an Ansible Playbook

  • Convert the installation script/puppet manifest from the previous labs into an ansible playbook that will configure a centos VM and another non-centos VM as nagios servers performing the same checks as in lab 1.

Investigation 3: Applying a Playbook

  • Use the ansible-playbook command to execute your play on both VMs in the same play. If anything goes wrong, fix it and re-run the play. Continue doing so until the play runs successfully.


Demonstrate your ansible playbook working in class, then upload it to blackboard.