Ansible Configuration Management Book - Short Review

I’m still new to Ansible and while it’s been interesting seeing how people are starting to use the tool, picking up bits and pieces from different blog posts is a little too hit and miss for my learning needs. When I spotted Ansible Configuration Management (PacktPub) I decided to take the plunge and see if it could provide me with a more consistent introduction. And it did.

This book makes an ideal first stop for anyone wanting to learn Ansible. While it’s a short book (92 pages and even less than that of actual content) it provides a very good introduction and overview of at least your first months experience of Ansible. While none of its coverage is going to be the only coverage of a subject you’ll ever need it introduces enough of the concepts and features to be the best starting guide for Ansible I’ve seen so far. I found that each chapter filled in a number of gaps in my understanding of how Ansible should be used.

If you’re looking at introducing Ansible to your team this book is far from the worst way to do it. Its coverage is broad enough that you’ll probably get a few re-reads out of it as you bring more of your infrastructure under Ansible control and start to evolve your needs from basic playbooks to more advanced role composition. It’s worth noting that this isn’t a cookbook, it’s not going to hand hold you through using each of the built in modules. For the more experienced sysadmins looking for a quick way to learn Ansible this is a boon as it keeps the page count down.

I’d liked to have seen more coverage of extending Ansible, the last chapter provides a basic introduction but it’s not enough for what I need but this’d be a good subject for a second book once the testing tool chain and such as progressed to a more mature place. Score - 7/10