Our Favorite Blogs from 2016: AWS Configuration Management

AWS Configuration Management

In our last year in review blog, we took a look at how to best use new features and tools to streamline DevOps processes like Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD). Today we are turning our attention to another topic that garnered a lot of interest this year, Configuration Management.

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you already know that one of the key benefits of cloud computing is the opportunity to replace up-front capital infrastructure expenses with low variable costs that scale with your business. And, while it is easy to quickly spin up hundreds or thousands of new servers in minutes using AWS automation tools, it’s much more difficult to ensure that those new machines are configured appropriately. Hence the great interest in configuration management tools for AWS provisioning.

The following blog posts discuss how to make the process of configuration management easier to manage and maintain through automation, and in the process increase agility and system security.

Making the Path to AWS Easier with Ansible Configuration Management
The first question our AWS experts often get asked about configuration management is which tool to use. This article explores Ansible as an often overlooked option. While most people are familiar with first and second generation configuration management tools, fewer people are aware of this next generation tool. A radically simple agentless configuration management and orchestration engine, Ansible makes apps and systems effortless to deploy. Why? Because Ansible focuses on simplicity and low learning curve, without sacrificing security and reliability. This article goes on to explore how Ansible configuration management streamlines DevOps processes, increases security, and grows IT Operations efficiency.

Ansible Playbooks for AWS Provisioning and Management
Speaking of IT Operations efficiency, this article takes the discussion to the next level, outlining for readers an Ansible Playbook example: how to practically create and deploy Ansible Playbooks --  Playbooks are Ansible’s configuration, deployment, and orchestration language -- for AWS configuration management. Keeping in line with Ansible’s focus on simplicity without sacrificing security and reliability, Playbooks purposefully have a minimum of syntax because they aren’t meant to be a programming language or script, but rather a model of a configuration or a process. We hope you enjoy this piece as much as many of our readers did. And, for an even more in-depth look at Ansible Playbooks, be sure to watch the Ansible Quickstart Tutorial given by Flux7’s Yan Kurniawan.

Ansible 2.0 & AWS: The Power of AWS Meets Ansible Simplicity
AWS offers a really powerful set of technologies. Yet, with great power comes the opportunity to make great mistakes and thankfully Ansible offers a sleek solution to help AWS shops move more nimbly while avoiding common development, operations and security pitfalls. As a result, this article walks readers through eight ways using Ansible for AWS automation greatly increases the chances that the cloud initiative will be a success.

Ansible 2.0 & AWS Part 2: What You Need to Know
Building off of how to use Ansible for DevOps to help ensure AWS success, our DevOps consultants examined the newest edition of the tool, Ansible 2.0 and walked through what the updates mean to new and existing users alike. In the process of developing Ansible 2.0, the team reports that it took a step back and looked at what it really wanted to achieve. In the process, they created a much cleaner architecture that has allowed Ansible to double-down on its simple, lightweight approach. This article walks through the new features and as Ansible likes to bill itself as “batteries included”, it also reviews the new "batteries" or modules that are available with the release of Ansible 2.0.

Ansible’s easy to use and lightweight engine helps IT automate its way to an ideal DevOps posture. Delivering services faster based on greater business agility is the promise of DevOps and automated configuration management is a necessary component to achieving this goal. We have further reading on AWS configuration management and the increased agility and enhanced security it provides for you on our blog. Or, to receive new updates and analysis, please subscribe to our blog by clicking below.

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January 04, 2017 / DevOps, Configuration Management, Ansible

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