Ansible Cheat Sheet with Real-Time Use Cases - Part 2๐Ÿš€

Ansible Cheat Sheet with Real-Time Use Cases - Part 2๐Ÿš€


7 min read

16. Error Handling

  • Command:failed_when and changed_when

  • Use Case: Fine-tune task outcomes based on specific conditions.

  •     tasks:
          - name: Handle errors gracefully
            command: /path/to/
            failed_when: "'FAILED' in result.stdout"

17. Dynamic Playbook Inclusion

  • Command:include_tasks and import_tasks

  • Use Case: Include or import tasks dynamically based on conditions.

  •     - name: Include tasks based on OS
          include_tasks: "{{ ansible_os_family }}_tasks.yaml"

18. Vaulted Files

  • Command:ansible-vault create vaulted_file.yaml

  • Use Case: Encrypt entire files containing sensitive data.

  •     ansible-vault create vaulted_file.yaml

19. Rollback Strategies

  • Command:--start-at-task and --step

  • Use Case: Implement rollback strategies by starting from specific tasks or enabling step-by-step execution.

  •     ansible-playbook deploy.yaml --start-at-task="rollback_task"

20. Remote Facts Gathering

  • Command:gather_facts

  • Use Case: Gather facts about remote hosts for dynamic playbook behavior.

  •     - name: Gather facts
          gather_facts: yes

21. Delegation and Local Actions

  • Command:delegate_to and local_action

  • Use Case: Delegate a task to a different host or execute a task locally.

  •     - name: Copy files to remote host
            src: /path/to/local/files
            dest: /remote/path/
          delegate_to: "{{ inventory_hostname }}"

Real-Time Use Cases (Continued)

  1. Blue-Green Deployments:

    • Implement a blue-green deployment strategy using Ansible to minimize downtime during application updates.
  2. Secrets Rotation:

    • Use Ansible to automate the rotation of secrets and credentials across your infrastructure securely.
  3. Continuous Compliance:

    • Integrate Ansible with compliance tools to ensure continuous adherence to security policies and regulatory requirements.
  4. Ephemeral Environments:

    • Automate the creation and teardown of ephemeral environments for testing and development purposes.
  5. Auto-Scaling Infrastructure:

    • Implement auto-scaling by dynamically adjusting the number of servers based on workload using Ansible.
  6. Multi-Tier Application Deployment:

    • Automate the deployment of multi-tier applications, including frontend, backend, and database components.

22. Asynchronous Actions with Polling

  • Command:async and poll

  • Use Case: Execute a task asynchronously with a defined poll interval.

  •     - name: Run a long-running task asynchronously
          command: /path/to/
          async: 300
          poll: 60
          register: async_result

23. Dynamic Variable Assignment

  • Command:set_fact

  • Use Case: Dynamically assign variables based on conditions.

  •     - name: Set variable based on OS
            my_variable: "{{ 'Linux' if ansible_distribution == 'Ubuntu' else 'Other' }}"

24. Callbacks


  • Use Case: Customize output callbacks for better visualization.

  •     export ANSIBLE_STDOUT_CALLBACK=actionable

25. Custom Facts

  • Command:ansible_facts

  • Use Case: Define custom facts for specific hosts.

  •     - name: Set custom facts
            my_custom_fact: "some_value"

26. Integration with Source Control (Git)

  • Command:git module

  • Use Case: Clone and update Git repositories as part of your automation.

  •     - name: Clone a Git repository
            repo: ""
            dest: "/path/to/local/repo"

27. Handling Timeouts

  • Command:ansible.builtin.async_status and

  • Use Case: Implement a timeout mechanism and handle accordingly.

  •     - name: Run a task with timeout
          command: /path/to/
          async: 300
          poll: 0
          register: result
        - name: Handle timeout
            jid: "{{ result.ansible_job_id }}"
          register: job_result
          until: job_result.finished
          retries: 3
          failed_when: "'Timeout' in job_result.failed"

Real-Time Use Cases (Continued)

  1. Container Orchestration Integration (Docker, Kubernetes):

    • Use Ansible to automate tasks related to container orchestration, such as deploying Docker containers or managing Kubernetes resources.
  2. Network Automation:

    • Extend Ansible capabilities to automate network device configurations and monitoring tasks.
  3. Continuous Monitoring Setup:

    • Automate the deployment and configuration of monitoring solutions for continuous infrastructure and application monitoring.
  4. Application Configuration Templating:

    • Utilize Jinja2 templating to dynamically generate application configurations based on environment variables or other parameters.
  5. Cross-Platform Management:

    • Manage and configure a diverse set of servers with different operating systems using Ansible's cross-platform capabilities.
  6. Environment-specific Parameterization:

    • Use Ansible to parameterize environment-specific configurations, ensuring consistency across various deployment environments.

28. Vaulted Variable Files

  • Command:ansible-vault create vars/vaulted_file.yaml

  • Use Case: Encrypt variable files containing sensitive data.

  •     ansible-vault create vars/vaulted_file.yaml

29. Inventory Plugins

  • Command: Various inventory plugins

  • Use Case: Use dynamic inventory plugins for fetching inventory information from external sources (e.g., AWS, Azure).

  •     ansible-inventory -i aws_ec2.yaml --list

30. Custom Callback Plugins


  • Use Case: Develop and use custom callback plugins for tailored output.

  •     export ANSIBLE_STDOUT_CALLBACK=my_custom_callback

31. Dynamic Subgroups

  • Command:groups

  • Use Case: Dynamically create subgroups in the inventory based on specific conditions.

  •     [web_servers]

32. Advanced Looping

  • Command:loop, loop_control

  • Use Case: Use advanced looping with control statements for more complex scenarios.

  •     - name: Loop with condition
            msg: "Item is {{ item }}"
          loop: "{{ range(10) }}"
            loop_var: item
            continue_loop: "{{ item % 2 == 0 }}"

33. Jenkins Integration

  • Command: Use Ansible playbooks in Jenkins pipelines.

  • Use Case: Integrate Ansible into Jenkins jobs for seamless automation in CI/CD pipelines.

Real-Time Use Cases (Continued)

  1. Multi-Cloud Deployment:

    • Use Ansible to deploy and manage resources across multiple cloud providers (e.g., AWS, Azure, GCP) for a hybrid or multi-cloud infrastructure.
  2. Automated Disaster Recovery:

    • Develop Ansible playbooks for automating disaster recovery procedures, ensuring quick and reliable recovery in case of system failures.
  3. Environment Drift Detection:

    • Implement Ansible to detect and remedy configuration drift across servers, ensuring consistency in large-scale environments.
  4. Integration with Service Discovery Tools:

    • Seamlessly integrate Ansible with service discovery tools (e.g., Consul, etcd) for dynamic inventory updates and configuration management.
  5. Custom Credential Management:

    • Use Ansible Vault for encrypting credentials and implement custom credential management practices for enhanced security.
  6. Custom Module Development for API Interaction:

    • Develop custom Ansible modules to interact with external APIs, expanding automation capabilities beyond built-in modules.

34. Parallel Execution Control

  • Command:serial

  • Use Case: Control the number of hosts Ansible manages in parallel to avoid overwhelming resources.

  •     - name: Execute tasks serially
          command: /path/to/
          serial: 2

35. Ansible Vault File Edit

  • Command:ansible-vault edit

  • Use Case: Edit an encrypted file directly without decrypting it first.

  •     ansible-vault edit encrypted_file.yaml

36. Selective Variable Loading

  • Command:--extra-vars

  • Use Case: Load specific variables dynamically during playbook execution.

  •     ansible-playbook deploy.yaml --extra-vars "env=production"

37. Inventory Filters

  • Command:--limit, --exclude, --inventory

  • Use Case: Limit or exclude hosts dynamically during playbook execution.

  •     ansible-playbook deploy.yaml --limit web_servers

38. Custom Dynamic Inventory Script

  • Command: Custom Python script

  • Use Case: Develop a custom dynamic inventory script for fetching host information from non-standard sources.

  •     ansible-inventory -i --list

39. Fork Control

  • Command:--forks

  • Use Case: Control the number of parallel processes Ansible uses for running tasks.

  •     ansible-playbook deploy.yaml --forks 5

40. Managing Role Dependencies

  • Command:ansible-galaxy

  • Use Case: Manage dependencies of Ansible roles, ensuring smooth integration.

  •     ansible-galaxy install -r requirements.yaml

Real-Time Use Cases (Continued)

  1. Multi-Stage Deployment Pipeline:

    • Implement Ansible in a multi-stage deployment pipeline, covering development, testing, and production environments.
  2. Self-Healing Systems:

    • Leverage Ansible to build self-healing systems by automating the detection and correction of common issues.
  3. Advanced Configuration Templating:

    • Use Jinja2 templating with advanced features to dynamically generate complex configuration files based on various parameters.
  4. Custom Logging and Auditing:

    • Develop custom logging and auditing mechanisms in Ansible to track changes and activities across your infrastructure.
  5. Continuous Infrastructure Monitoring and Remediation:

    • Combine Ansible with monitoring tools to continuously monitor infrastructure and automatically remediate issues.
  6. Distributed Systems Management:

    • Manage distributed systems by orchestrating tasks across multiple nodes, ensuring consistent configurations.


By exploring these advanced Ansible commands and real-time use cases, you can further refine your automation strategies. Ansible's extensive capabilities enable you to address intricate challenges in IT operations, making it a valuable tool for orchestrating complex environments. ๐Ÿ”„๐Ÿ› ๏ธ With these advanced Ansible commands and real-time use cases, you can address complex scenarios and build robust automation solutions. Ansible's flexibility and extensibility make it a valuable tool for managing and orchestrating infrastructure at scale. ๐ŸŒ This Ansible cheat sheet, along with real-time use cases, serves as a handy reference for both beginners and experienced DevOps engineers. With its simplicity and flexibility, Ansible empowers teams to automate a wide range of tasks, enhancing efficiency and reliability in IT operations.๐Ÿ’ป

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