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Cloud Cadet Episode 1: Ansible and AWS

Posted on January 22, 2016 by podcast motorpodcast motor

Welcome to the first episode of the Cloud Cadet podcast, brought to you by the Linux Academy. Our goal is to provide you with good how-tos, talk about the current technologies in the cloud, and help you run your cloud to perfection. Meet your hosts, Anthony James, and Christophe.
Anthony is the founder of Linux Academy while Christophe just joined us a few weeks ago and is super excited to keep going. He is the founder and owner of the Scale Your Code podcast, where he interviews all kinds of people from Twitpic, Google, Netflix, and more about the scalability of web performance, web performance, and web security. It is a lot of fun – click here to check it out.
Every episode, we’ll have a guest instructor who’s been working on content for Linux Academy. They talk about what they’ve been doing, the goals behind their courses, and they’ll show us comprehensive step-by-step demos so you can follow in their steps.
All three of them are AWS instructors, so maybe you have an idea of where this is heading: You’ll get a lot of useful knowledge from this show, and you will be particularly interested today if you like Amazon Web Services and Ansible.
We sit down with Terry, who’s been with Linux Academy for about three years. Today he is covering Ansible and the details of using it with AWS. He walks through a quick demo about how to instantiate an EC2 image and explains some of the environmental setup that you have to go through if you are going to use it with AWS.
Once the image is instantiated, and you have a running instance, you are going to use another playbook that’s more indicative of something you might see in an enterprise. You’ll connect, make some changes and deploy a simple website.
Finally, you are going to turn all this into a template and create an AMI, all within the playbook. You can then use the first playbook to launch further instances from it. This is one of the most powerful things about Ansible: The layer of abstraction that you can have allows you to reuse playbooks just by changing the value of a variable in the file.
The role of security credentials are essential to consider when working with AWS, but there’s a Python bug that doesn’t import the access and secret keys correctly. So instead, Terry shows the steps to get around it. This is a good example for someone who’s pulling EC2 resources from their local machine, not from an EC2 instance within their AWS account.
Working with EC2, there’s probably 25 different modules available to you. If you have several instances, but you want to launch an EC2 instance that you can use later on, it is pretty easy to do, and we will show you in today’s demo. We will prepare a note for us to make a copy of, and then we will be using the API to take that instance ID and create a template that you can then get preconfigured instances from.
Ansible is what we call an outline-based type of configuration file; it has amazing readability. YAML is super portable and very easy to read for people lacking a programming background; that is why it is so popular and powerful.
Today’s course is for intermediates; we’re not going to be teaching it from scratch. Certainly you need some background to get the most out of it, and we give you resources and access to courses about AWS and Ansible within the episode.
To learn Ansible heads on, we have a comprehensive course, where we cover everything from how to install it and configure it to what everything means. We cover all the core primary modules (which is over 70) all with playbook examples and walkthroughs.
This is a golden opportunity to learn from our instructors. Our goal is to take some of our how-to’s and make them available for external students. We are excited about our upcoming episodes, and we hope you are too. In them, we’ll be focusing more on Ansible at its core, on elastic sales, AWS and much more.
Interested in learning more about Terry’s Ansible and AWS course? Check out the syllabus and course description on the Linux Academy website!


Image of Satish
4 years ago

Was a great podcast, the best part was meeting the instructors face to face. Keep up the good work!!

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