Red Hat Certified Specialist in Ansible Automation (EX407) Preparation Course
March 1st, 2019
Course Development Director in Content
This course provides students with the skills and knowledge necessary to pass Red Hat EX407: Red Hat Certified Specialist in Ansible Automation. Students will also gain practical insights and real world best practice for working with Ansible automation.
Download The Playbook Papers: https://interactive.linuxacademy.com/diagrams/ThePlaybookPapers.html
About the Author
This is some background on the author for this course, Stosh Oldham.
About the Ansible Automation Specialist Certification
A broad overview of what this course covers as well as a brief discussion of the certification exam. Students will understand the necessary prerequisite knowledge required to follow the course and have a frame of reference for approaching the topic of Ansible. Interactive diagram url: https://www.lucidchart.com/documents/view/4b454bc1-80ea-4753-9457-7496a5bf661e
Course Features and Tools
Description: There is much more to any Linux Academy course than just videos. Provided here is a brief description of the various study aids for the course content. Interactive diagram link: https://www.lucidchart.com/documents/view/4b454bc1-80ea-4753-9457-7496a5bf661e
A Brief Word on YAML
An understanding of basic YAML syntax is essential to success with Ansible. This lecture covers what YAML is and the practical working knowledge needed for interacting with Ansible. Students will review excerpts from various YAML files that are accompanied with Author discussion. The details on YAML syntax where it matters most in Ansible is reviewed more carefully throughout the course where it comes up. Please also be sure to check out the YAML section of The Playbook Papers in the downloads section of the course for more information!
Understanding Core Components of Ansible
Understanding Core Components of Ansible Part 1
This series of lessons lays the foundation for the remainder of the course content. Through a combination of lecture and command line demonstration, Students will gain a broad overview of Ansible. This particular lesson, focuses on Ansible inventories.
Understanding Core Components of Ansible Part 2
This series of lessons lays the foundation for the remainder of the course content. Through a combination of lecture and command line demonstration, Students will gain a broad overview of Ansible. This particular lesson covers the following topics at a very high level: modules, variables, facts, plays, playbooks, and configuration files.
A Brief Tour of the Ansible Configuration File
The Ansible master configuration file is reviewed on a live system in this demonstration. Key configuration values are discussed as well as how to modify those values.
QUIZ: Understanding core components of Ansible
Run Ad-Hoc Ansible Commands
Run Ad-Hoc Ansible Commands
Learn how to use ad-hoc ansible commands for simple system managment. This lecture covers one of the key objectives for Red Hat exam 407.
Demonstration: Ansible Ad-Hoc Commands Part 1
This video demonstrates how to use Ansible ad-hoc commands to change the system state of remote hosts. Students will carefully examine Ansible command syntax using the yum module as a vehicle. Note that documenation for specific modules can be collected using the ansible-doc command described in https://linuxacademy.com/cp/courses/lesson/course/2035/lesson/1/module/198
Demonstration: Ansible Ad-Hoc Commands Part 2
This video demonstrates how to use Ansible ad-hoc commands to change the system state of remote hosts. Students will be introduced to the file and user modules as they continue to review Ansible command syntax. Note that documenation for specific modules can be collected using the ansible-doc command described in https://linuxacademy.com/cp/courses/lesson/course/2035/lesson/1/module/198
QUIZ: Ansible ad-hoc commands
Inventory Essentials and Inventory Variables
In Ansible, inventories are crucially important as they serve as the foundation for ansible automation. This lecture extends on the basic inventory concpets already covered such as file format and location. Students will be introduced to the concept of static and dynamic inventories and learn about how inventories and variables work together.
Demo: Variables and Inventories
Being able to work with inventories and variables is an essential skill for any user of Ansible. This command line demonstration will show students the best practices for using variables within inventories.
Demo: Using YAML in Inventories
Inventories may be specified in INI or YAML format. This demonstration goes over how to use YAML to create an inventory. Students will benefit from a refresher on YAML syntax as well as review key details on Ansible inventories.
Being able to use dynamic inventories in essential skill for any Ansible specialist. This lecture goes over the details of how dynamic inventories in Ansible work. More information on the dynamic inventory output may be found in the download section of the course under "Dynamic Inventory Output Requirements."
Demo: Dynamic Inventories
This demonstration solidifies concepts covered in the dynamic inventories lecture. Student will observe how dynamic inventories are used in practice. More information on the dynamic inventory output may be found in the download section of the course under "Dynamic Inventory Output Requirements."
QUIZ: Ansible Inventory Management
Create Ansible Plays and Playbooks
Introduction to Playbooks and Common Modules
This less provides an overview of the section and reviews some of the common modules that will continue showing up as the playbook discussion occurs.
Create Playbooks to Configure Systems to a Specified State
We look at how to structure an Ansible playbook. Several keywords and introduced as well as playbook formatting.
Basic Playbook Syntax Demonstration
The discussion on playbook syntax continues as a demonstration on how to create a playbook is presented.
Use Variables to Retrieve the Results of Running Commands
Learn how to capture the results of a command within a variable for later use. This is a key topic for effective Ansible administration.
Use Conditionals to Control Play Execution Part 1
How to use handlers to control play execution in Ansible is a critical skill for efficient use of Ansible. This discussion gives way to a practical demonstration on how to use the notify and handlers keywords.
Use Conditionals to Control Play Execution Part 2
This discussion talks about how to use conditionals and looping structures within an Ansible playbook. These are skills that are not only for success on the Ansible Automation Exam, but also for general Ansible administration. Note that this lecture covers the Ansible 2.3 with_* loop instead of the newwer loop keyword as the current exam runs Ansible 2.3.
Configure Error Handling
This lesson provides an overview of common error handling techniques within Ansible playbooks. This is a specified exam topic for the Red Hat Certified Specialist in Ansible Automation.
Demo: Error Handling – Ignore Errors
A demonstration on how to use the ignore_errors keyword within an Ansible playbook.
Demo: Error Handling – Block Groups
This demonstration covers how to work with block groups and rescue groups using Ansible playbooks. Understanding this error handling technique is a useful skill for any Ansible user.
Selectively Run Specific Tasks In Playbooks Using Tags
Learn how to use Ansible tags for selective play execution. After a brief lecture, a demonstration is provided showing Ansible tags in action.
QUIZ: Ansible Plays and Playbooks
Create and Use Templates to Create Customized Configuration Files
Using Ansible Templates Lecture
This lecture covers how templates are used, why they are used, and how they are created. A successful Ansible Specialist must have an understanding of these concepts.
Demo: Using Ansible Templates
In this demonstration, a simple Ansible template is created and deployed using the template module.
QUIZ: Ansible Templates
Work with Ansible Variables and Facts
Ansible Variables Lecture
This lecture broadly covers how to work with Ansible variables. Variable conventions, dictionary variables, magic variables and jinja2 filters are all covered conceptually as well as syntactically.
Demo: Ansible Variables - Magic Variables and Jinja Filters
See how to define variables within playbooks and using magic variables in this demonstration. The demonstration also covers a simple use case for jinja filters.
Demo: Ansible Variables - Variable Files
This demonstration shows how to work with variable files and list variables using conditionals within a playbook. These are important concepts to understand prior to sitting for the Red Hat Certified Specialist in Ansible Automation Test.
Ansible Facts Lecture
A discussion on what ansible facts are, how facts are collected, how custom facts may be defined, and how to use facts in your Ansible operations. Use of Ansible facts is an outlined objective for the Red Hat Certified Specialist in Ansible Automation. certification
Demo: Working with Ansible Facts
Watch how to use the setup module in Ansible to retrieve and filter Ansible facts. This demonstration also shows how to create and retrieve custom facts using facts.d.
QUIZ: Ansible Variables and Facts
Create and Work with Roles
Working with Ansible Roles Lecture
An introduction to Ansible roles is provided in this lecture. The anatomy of an Ansible role is covered as well as what purpose is served by Ansible roles.
Demo: Creating and Applying a Role in Ansible
In this terminal-side demonstration, a new role is created and then applied to a target host.
Applying In-Line Roles and Role Dependencies
Working with roles is further covered in a discussion on static vs dynamic roles followed by a lecture on how to create and work with role dependencies in Ansible. This lesson concludes with a demonstration of creating a new role that is dependent on another role.
QUIZ: Ansible Roles
Download roles from an Ansible Galaxy
Download Roles from Ansible Galaxy
Using a mixture of lecture and demonstration, students will learn how to interact with the Ansible Galaxy role repository and how to use the ansible-galaxy command to maximize productivity with some community help!
QUIZ: Ansible Galaxy
Parallelism in Ansible
This lecture covers how to configure Ansible for higher performance using Ansible Forks. There is also a demonstration on how to use the serial keyword to batch host operations.
QUIZ: Managing parallelism in Ansible
Use Ansible Vault in Playbooks to Protect Sensitive Data
The Ansible-Vault Command
Students will be introduced to the ansible-vault command which is discussed in this lecture along with the overarching concepts of encryption in Ansible. There are also several examples provided in a demonstration of the ansible-vault command. This discussion prepares students for the ansible-vault section of the Red Hat Certified Ansible Specialist exam.
Using Vaults in Playbooks
Assuming a working knowledge of creating and working with encrypted files in Ansible, this demonstration shows students how to use vault encrypted files within Ansible playbooks. Students will also be shown how to obscure Ansible log output for maximum data protection. These are key concepts noted in the exam objectives for the Red Hat Certified Ansible Specialist exam.
QUIZ: Ansible Vault
Install Ansible Tower and Use it to Manage Systems
Introduction to Ansible Tower
This lecture provides a broad overview of what Ansible Tower is and the features that is brings to bare. Students are shown how Ansible Tower fits into the Ansible runtime architecture and provided insights on use cases for the product.
Installing Ansible Tower
The Red Hat Certified Ansible Specialist exam highlights Ansible Tower installation as an objective. This lecture walks through the steps involved with installing Ansible Tower on a Red Hat Enterprise Linux server. Key configuration files and settings are also covered.
Demo: Working with Ansible Tower
With Ansible Tower installed, this demonstration shows how users can configure inventories in Ansible Tower as well as execute Ansible jobs against those inventories. Projects and credentials are also discussed in the course of the demonstration. Students should finish this video with the necessary practical understanding of Ansible Tower as it pertains to the Red Hat Certified Ansible Specialist exam.
QUIZ: Ansible Tower
Use Documentation to Look Up Specific Information About Ansible Modules and Commands
There are a lot of modules and concepts in Ansible making it difficult to recall each and every detail. This can make the Red Hat Certified Ansible Specialist exam intimidating but documentation is available! This video provides a demonstration on how to access the various forms of Ansible documentation including command line utilities as well as the official online documentation for Ansible.
QUIZ: Ansible Help & Documentation
Conclusion and next steps
How to Prepare for the Exam
A discussion on how to sign up for the exam and what a candidate should do to be best prepared for it. A note regarding the individual exam, after you have paid you will receive an email confirmation however the exam voucher is still being processed. Therefore, the exam scheduler link in the email may take up to 48 hours to activate.
So you are done with this course. Where do you go next? Watch this video for some suggestions!