CoTech Gathering: Ansible and Shared Infrastructure Session

Hi folks, this is a public thread and temperature test for a session that myself and @chris would like to run during the coming Space4 event. It would be great to know if people are interested and will join, so do please leave a comment if you’re interested.

Briefly: Topics

  • Based on some key questions, we’ll have a go around and share experiences about our usage of Ansible in our own coops. We’ll try to document our practices on the Wiki and then follow with questions.
  • We’ll discuss the developments of ansible-galaxy and ansible-molecule along with a short demo on how these tools can have a big impact on how we develop, maintain, extend and share roles. We’ll have time to discuss these tools and ask questions.
  • We’ll discuss motivations and potential strategy for infrastructure sharing. What are the benefits? How might we start? It is actually just “a nice idea but it will never work”?
  • Briefly outline the actual Ansible community project organisation and how CoTech can benefit from participating.

If you have some recommendations, please drop a comment! Very open to ideas.

Motivation and Background on Topics

A few coops are using Ansible right now (Aptivate, Autonomic, Outlandish, WebArchs, others?), to deliver infrastructure for their client work so there is concrete experience out there and a real need to learn about each others practices and perspectives on using Ansible for IT automation.

Following the thread on Server configuration using Ansible and Ansible Galaxy and some brief discussion on the #webarch IRC channel, it occurred to us that this session might be useful.

There are recent tooling improvements (ansible-molecule, ansible-lint, ansible-galaxy integration) in the Ansible ecosystem which are making it more feasible to develop, maintain and share reusable Ansible roles between organisations for common goals. To be clear, this is already happening and possible but typically requires enormous efforts to do well. This is not entirely the case now. This prompts a discussion for the CoTech network as to whether we think it would be useful to pursue a strategy of sharing infrastructure.

Finally, the Ansible project itself, practices a promising and open community based governance. As a module maintainer, workgroup co-creator and IRC lurker, I will try to share perspectives on how CoTech can benefit from participating in the Ansible community.

How Long Will It Take?

It should only take a couple of hours on a single day. We’ll tighten this up closer to the event and have an agenda and timing ready on the day.

What Do I Need To Bring?

A fresh brain. Laptop for note taking if you like.


A useful concrete outcome could be some best practises documentation and some simple example projects to demonstrate particular techniques (to support self-directed learning through guides and examples).

Some existing best practise guides:

… could also lead to or inspire some ansible training services :slight_smile: I think some CoTech co-ops are doing some quite cool stuff with ansible…


OK, getting a pad warmed up for this.


Take a look and shuffle things around as needed!

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There is a wiki page also: CoTech Hack 2018/CoTech and Ansible - CoTech