The wonderful folks at OpenX are hosting this meeting and providing pizza and drinks. Consequently, we require RSVPs 48 hours in advance. RSVPs are currently capped at 35. We may open it up if there is demand. Please keep RSVPs up-to-date.

We will socialize and eat around 6pm, and the talk will start at 7pm. Big thanks to Bobby at OpenX for making the arrangements.


Andrew Hamilton will go over the basics of Ansible and discuss why it's a great tool for running simple commands, complex tasks and workflows across a group of systems.

Ansible is a powerful but simple automation tool. Ansible is simple enough that most developers and administrators will be able to understand the scripts without much trouble. With this simplicity, Ansible is great for organizations looking for a tool that both dev and ops can use together. The YAML based syntax of Ansible is also much easier to understand than the DSL that some other tools use.


Andrew is currently a Systems Architect at Prevoty where he focuses on automation and infrastructure. Previously he was an SRE for Search @Twitter and a system administrator for Eucalyptus. Andrew is passionate about cloud computing and automation.


OpenX is located in the One West Bank building @ 888 E Walnut St. Pasadena CA, 91101. Entrances to the building are eastbound on Walnut, right hand side before the Lake St. intersection or southbound on Lake St. right hand side after the Walnut St. intersection. Once through the driveway, please park in the 888 Lot that has the OpenX logo displayed out front. Pull a ticket and bring it with you to the Meet-Up, we will validate your parking.


Ansible has many features common to configuration management systems such as Puppet and Chef. Ansible uses a simple execution model compared to Puppet and Chef that is much easier for new users to understand. The majority of the modules it provides are indepotent so a playbook can be run multiple times without causing problems by running a change multiple times if it isn't needed. The use of YAML to describe your playbooks also makes creating and editing Ansible playbooks much easier.

Interacting directly with services such as AWS, GCE, Azure or OpenStack is easy through a set of provided modules. Ansible allows you to create an entire deployment framework with one tool that can provision hosts, configure and install software, add and remove servers from a load balancer and finally terminate the old instances. Ansible can also use dynamically generated lists of hosts making it easy to work in highly dynamic environments.

One of the most powerful features of Ansible is that hosts are accessed over SSH. There is no need to install additional daemons or to open up additional ports. You can simply write a playbook, give it a set of hosts to run against, provide a set of credentials and watch Ansible do what you've told it to do.

You also don't need to give Ansible access to root unless it is required for the playbook. Ansible can use either sudo or su to escalate privileges for single tasks or entire playbooks.

Ansible core is written in Python so it's easy to run and extend. If Python is your language of choice, Ansible provides you with a set of modules that make writing your own modules easy. If you're not a Python developer, Ansible allows modules to be written in any language that can accept JSON through STDIN and then return JSON back to through STDOUT. Ansible can also be used as a library in Python that allows you to easily take advantage of some of its features in custom scripts. Ansible is a flexible tool that allows users to easily perform both adhoc remote command execution and configuration management across a group of hosts. Getting started with Ansible is easy and has relatively low overhead. Ansible playbooks are simple enough that they can be compared with shell scripts. We'll go over the basics of Ansible and discuss why it's a great tool for running simple commands, complex tasks and workflows across a group of systems.

Meetup Event Page