NashTech Insights

How to Manage Windows Infrastructure with Ansible: An Overview

Rahul Miglani
Rahul Miglani
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Introduction: Managing Windows infrastructure traditionally involved manual configurations, repetitive tasks, and time-consuming processes. However, with Ansible’s powerful automation capabilities, you can streamline and centralize the management of your Windows infrastructure. In this blog, we will provide an overview of how Ansible can be used to manage Windows infrastructure efficiently, allowing you to automate tasks, enforce consistency, and reduce operational overhead.

Setting Up Ansible for Windows Management

To begin managing your Windows infrastructure with Ansible, you need to set up a Windows control node—a machine running Ansible from which you can manage Windows hosts. While Ansible primarily runs on Linux, you can manage Windows hosts from a Linux control node using the “winrm” connection plugin.

To set up Ansible for Windows management, ensure you have the following components:

A Linux machine as the Ansible control node.

Windows hosts with WinRM (Windows Remote Management) enabled and configured to allow Ansible connections.

Python and the “pywinrm” library installed on the Ansible control node to support WinRM connections.

Windows Modules in Ansible

Ansible provides a rich set of modules specifically designed for Windows management. These modules allow you to perform various tasks on Windows hosts, such as managing users, installing software, configuring services, and more.

Example Ansible playbook to create a user on Windows:

Managing Windows Services: Ansible allows you to manage Windows services easily. You can use the “win_service” module to start, stop, or restart services on Windows hosts.

Example Ansible playbook to restart a service on Windows:

Installing Software on Windows Hosts

With Ansible, you can automate the installation of software on Windows hosts using the “win_chocolatey” module, which supports Chocolatey, a package manager for Windows.

Example Ansible playbook to install a package using Chocolatey:

Managing Windows Updates: Ansible can also automate Windows updates using the “win_updates” module, which allows you to install, remove, or search for updates on Windows hosts.

Example Ansible playbook to install Windows updates:

Conclusion: Managing Windows infrastructure with Ansible provides a centralized, consistent, and automated approach to streamline administrative tasks. By setting up Ansible for Windows management, leveraging Windows-specific modules, and automating tasks like user management, software installations, service control, and Windows updates, you can significantly reduce manual effort and improve the efficiency of your Windows infrastructure management.

Remember to tailor these examples to match your specific Windows environment and requirements. With Ansible’s comprehensive support for Windows management, you can achieve a seamless and reliable automation process for your Windows infrastructure.

Happy managing with Ansible!

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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