NashTech Insights

How to Integrate Ansible with CI/CD Pipelines: Continuous Automation

Rahul Miglani
Rahul Miglani
Table of Contents
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Introduction: In today’s fast-paced software development landscape, Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) pipelines have become essential for delivering high-quality software efficiently. Ansible, a powerful automation tool, can be seamlessly integrated into CI/CD pipelines to automate infrastructure provisioning, configuration management, and application deployments. In this blog, we will explore how to integrate Ansible with CI/CD pipelines, enabling continuous automation throughout the software development lifecycle.

Step 1: Setting Up Ansible

Firstly, Ensure that Ansible is installed on the machine or server where your CI/CD pipeline will run. You can install Ansible via package managers or by following the official Ansible documentation. Once installed, configure Ansible with necessary inventory files, credentials, and playbooks that will be used for automation.

Step 2: Defining Ansible Playbooks

Secondly, Ansible playbooks define the desired state of your infrastructure and the tasks required to achieve that state. Create playbooks for different stages of your CI/CD pipeline, such as provisioning environments, configuring dependencies, deploying applications, and running tests. Use YAML syntax to define your playbooks, making them modular and reusable.

Step 3: Integrating Ansible with CI/CD Tools

Integrating Ansible with popular CI/CD tools like Jenkins, GitLab CI/CD, or CircleCI can be done using their respective plugins or integrations. Configure your CI/CD tool to execute Ansible playbooks at the appropriate stages of your pipeline. For example, you can trigger Ansible tasks to provision a test environment, configure the required software, deploy the application, and perform post-deployment validation.

Step 4: Configuring CI/CD Pipelines

Define your CI/CD pipelines as code within your chosen tool. Leverage the available features and syntax to define stages, jobs, and steps. Incorporate Ansible tasks as steps within your pipeline, ensuring they execute in the desired sequence and using the appropriate variables and parameters. The pipeline can trigger Ansible playbooks based on events like code commits, scheduled intervals, or manual triggers.

Step 5: Handling Secrets and Credentials

When integrating Ansible with CI/CD pipelines, it is crucial to handle sensitive information such as credentials, API keys, and SSH keys securely. Avoid hardcoding secrets directly in your playbooks or pipeline scripts. Instead, utilize secrets management solutions like Ansible Vault, HashiCorp Vault, or CI/CD tool-specific secret management features. Store encrypted secrets securely and inject them into your Ansible tasks or pipeline steps at runtime.

Step 6: Monitoring and Logging

Monitoring the execution of Ansible tasks within your CI/CD pipeline is essential for troubleshooting and gaining insights into your automation workflows. Utilize logging mechanisms provided by your CI/CD tool and Ansible itself to capture detailed execution logs. Leverage monitoring and alerting systems to proactively detect and respond to issues during the automation process.

Sample Ansible Code Snippet:


Lastly, Integrating Ansible with CI/CD pipelines brings the power of automation to every stage of the software development lifecycle. In this guide, we have covered the essential steps to set up Ansible, define playbooks, integrate Ansible with CI/CD tools, configure pipelines, handle secrets securely, and monitor the execution of Ansible tasks.

Finally, By embracing continuous automation, you can streamline your software delivery process, reduce manual effort, and ensure consistent and reliable deployments. Happy automating!

Rahul Miglani

Rahul Miglani

Rahul Miglani is Vice President at NashTech and Heads the DevOps Competency and also Heads the Cloud Engineering Practice. He is a DevOps evangelist with a keen focus to build deep relationships with senior technical individuals as well as pre-sales from customers all over the globe to enable them to be DevOps and cloud advocates and help them achieve their automation journey. He also acts as a technical liaison between customers, service engineering teams, and the DevOps community as a whole. Rahul works with customers with the goal of making them solid references on the Cloud container services platforms and also participates as a thought leader in the docker, Kubernetes, container, cloud, and DevOps community. His proficiency includes rich experience in highly optimized, highly available architectural decision-making with an inclination towards logging, monitoring, security, governance, and visualization.

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