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How to manage Configuration with Ansible: Best Practices

Rahul Miglani
Rahul Miglani
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Configuration management plays a crucial role in maintaining consistency, stability, and scalability in IT infrastructure. Ansible, a powerful automation tool, provides a simple and efficient way to manage configuration across multiple systems. In this blog, we will explore best practices for managing configuration with Ansible and showcase an example code snippet to demonstrate their implementation.

Organize Your Playbooks:

To effectively manage configuration with Ansible, it’s essential to organize your playbooks in a structured manner. Create separate playbooks for different sets of tasks or components, such as network configuration, application deployment, or system hardening. This allows for better readability, easier maintenance, and modularity.

Use Ansible Roles:

Ansible roles are reusable units of config that encapsulate related tasks, files, and variables. Utilizing roles promotes code reuse, simplifies playbook development, and enhances the overall organization of your Ansible project. Define roles for common config tasks, such as configuring Nginx or setting up a database, and then include them in your playbooks as needed.

Leverage Variables and Templates:

Ansible provides a flexible way to manage configuration values using variables and templates. Use variables to define dynamic values that can be reused across playbooks and roles. Templates allow you to generate configuration files with placeholders that are replaced with variable values during the playbook execution. This approach ensures consistency and reduces manual effort when managing configuration files.

Utilize Ansible Vault for Secrets:

When managing sensitive information, such as passwords or API keys, it is crucial to ensure their security. Ansible Vault allows you to encrypt sensitive data within your playbooks or variable files. Use Ansible Vault to encrypt sensitive variables, and only authorized users with the encryption key can access and decrypt the data during playbook execution.

Version Control Your Playbooks:

Just like any other codebase, version controlling your Ansible playbooks is essential. Utilize a version control system like Git to track changes, collaborate with team members, and roll back to previous versions if needed. This practice ensures traceability, transparency, and facilitates collaboration among the team.

Example Ansible Code Snippet:

In this example, we configure Nginx on the hosts defined under the “web_servers” group. The playbook installs Nginx, copies a templated configuration file, and starts the Nginx service. The use of variables and templates ensures flexibility and allows customization of the Nginx configuration as required.


Managing configuration with Ansible is a powerful approach to streamline and automate infrastructure management. By following best practices such as organizing playbooks, using roles, leveraging variables and templates, utilizing Ansible Vault, and version controlling your code, you can maintain consistent and scalable configurations.

The example code snippet showcases the implementation of these best practices, illustrating how Ansible can simplify configuration management tasks. Incorporate these practices into your Ansible workflows to enhance efficiency, maintainability, and reliability in your infrastructure configuration.

Remember, Ansible’s flexibility and extensive module library enable you to adapt and extend its capabilities according to your organization’s unique requirements. With proper configuration management practices in place, you can achieve greater stability,

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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