Monthly Archives: March 2015

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Learning Ansible by Packt Publishing: the review

Category : Tools

Learning Ansiible cover

I got the offer to review this book on Ansible user group in LinkedIn. My previous experience with Ansible dated back about 1.5 years ago and the documentation on Ansible site was quite sufficient to get me up and running. So I was curious to see if the book would offer any substantial added value.
I feel like the book’s title is misleading. If you’re looking just to learn Ansible – you’ll probably be better off using the official Ansible docs and walk-throughs.
But – this book covers much, much more – e.g: using ServerSpec to test your configuration, building Docker containers, monitoring playbook execution with Nagios, etc. Thus – it provides you with a much bigger picture regarding where Ansible fits into your DevOps ecosystem. And – it can be a reference for all kind of things you might want to do with Ansible in the future – after you’ve learnt it.
The authors bring their extensive field experience to showcase a plethora of use cases and possible scenarios – and it’s a real added value.
All that said- the book could use more editing – too many code snippets are only displayed as screenshots (meaning you can’t copy-paste them) while the not-so-useful command output is presented as text.
To summarize – it’s nice to have this as an additional reference for things one can do with a CM tool ( and Ansible in particular) and to learn from experience of the authors. Certainly worth the 18$ for the ebook edition.
But –  don’t buy if you’re just looking to learn the tool.