Ansible is a very flexible and powerful configuration management tool that automates configuration processes and simplifies the administration of multiple systems with different activities that are part of a sysadmin’s day-to-day job.

It works on the concept of control node and managed nodes and works over normal SSH connection without the need for allowing additional ports from the firewall. Remote hosts accessible from the master node can be managed using Ansible by using playbooks in the form of YAML files or directly with ad-hoc commands.

Reasons for Ansible’s Popularity

Simple

Ansible is YAML-based, a human-readable coding language with simple syntax in which playbooks are written. Anyone can learn and master it quickly to script desired playbooks without the need for special coding skills.

Powerful

Ansible comes with self-sufficient, ready-to-use built-in roles and modules that enable even the most complex IT workflows. One can just import required modules from the vast community library, making it an extremely useful and powerful feature.

Agentless

Ansible is completely agentless, so no additional software or agent is required. We do not need to open additional ports in the firewall on any of the hosts that need automation. That helps reduce the initial setup efforts and makes the switch to Ansible easy.

Open Source

Open source and ease of access are other key features of Ansible. The open-source communities have become the driving source for innovation. Everyone can join, learn, and contribute collaboratively to adapt various products for their needs. For example, we have Ansible Galaxy, where pre-packaged work units called Roles are provided and can be imported and used by any Ansible user.

Easy to Start and Configure

Ansible is a straightforward yet immensely powerful tool. Even a non-programmer who is not good at coding can automate using Ansible. Whether it’s a few or multiple servers, the end-to-end process and time required from starting to writing playbooks to automating day-to-day tasks with Ansible is simple, quick, and easy.

Why Ansible Certification?

Today’s modern business needs are continuously accelerating, and companies want to deliver the best products with increasingly faster delivery rates in the market. So, automation is a must everywhere.

To fulfill this need for error-free releases and better delivery performance, automation has become an essential part of the software development lifecycle like DevOps, which enforces these best practices. Below are a few important points that attract a jobseeker towards Ansible as per today’s need:

High Paying Jobs

Holding Ansible knowledge can provide some of the highest-paying jobs in the tech industry with DevOps, where basic skill requirements include configuration management, provisioning, and IT automation. Ansible helps to provide a robust platform to perform all the automation tasks effortlessly as per the organization’s needs.

Increased Productivity

Ansible can be used for any task or project at work that requires a consistent environment for maintenance with repeatable processes, provisioning, and final deployments. Ansible speeds up the processes and lowers the cost of infrastructure to enhance the speed for scalability.

Open Source

Ansible, being open source with an active community, users can learn quickly in a collaborative environment to advance in their respective careers. This ultimately helps in faster automation processes at the workplace and the overall growth of Ansible as a product.

Quicker Deployment Cycle

Since Ansible is quick for initial setup and agentless, it helps professionals accelerate the automation process to bring the best results. This is one of the primary reasons Ansible is more popular than the other automation mechanisms available in the market.

Ansible Certifications

Ansible offers several certifications for students or professionals to demonstrate their skills and have them certified by Red Hat. We’ll discuss a couple of Ansible exams in the following paragraphs and cover their details.

These hands-on, practical exams require you to use Red Hat Ansible Engine to perform real-world tasks. You will be provided with multiple systems and required to install and configure Ansible Engine and then use it to perform standard system administration tasks similar to what you would do on the job.

Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE): EX294

Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) or EX294 exam tests our knowledge and skill using Red Hat’s Ansible Engine in managing multiple systems and system administration tasks execution across a number of systems.

By passing this hands-on exam, one becomes a Red Hat Certified Engineer or RHCE, the foundation for system administration across many Red Hat products. This exam is based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux® 8.4 and Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform 1.2.

Technical concepts covered:

  • All tasks expected of a Red Hat Certified System Administrator
  • Core components of Ansible
  • Install and configure an Ansible control node
  • Configure Ansible managed nodes
  • Script administration tasks
  • Create Ansible plays and playbooks
  • Use Ansible modules for system administration tasks
  • Work with roles
  • Use advanced Ansible features

Audience for this exam:

  • System Administrators/DevOps Engineers who want to demonstrate competency in automation using Ansible or who currently have RHCSA certification and are interested in earning an RHCE certification.
  • Students/Experienced Linux IT professionals who want to become Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) or Red Hat Certified Architect (RHCA).
  • Red Hat Certified Engineers who are non-current or who are about to become non-current and wish to recertify as RHCEs

Prerequisites for this exam:

  • Have passed Red Hat System Administration I (RH124) and Red Hat System Administration II (RH134) or RHCSA Rapid Track Course (RH199), or have comparable work experience as a system administrator on Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
  • Have passed Red Hat System Administration III: Linux Automation with Ansible (RH294) or have comparable work experience.

Red Hat Certified Specialist in Advanced Automation – Ansible Best Practices exam: EX447

The Red Hat Certified Engineer Specialist in Advanced Automation: Ansible Best Practices exam (EX447) is a performance-based test of your knowledge and skill in managing multiple systems using Red Hat Ansible Engine and Red Hat Ansible Tower.

By passing this exam, you become a Red Hat Certified Specialist in Advanced Automation: Ansible Best Practices, which also counts toward becoming a Red Hat Certified Architect (RHCA). This exam is based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0, Red Hat Ansible 2.8, and Red Hat Ansible Tower 3.5.

Technical concepts covered:

  • Understand and use Git
  • Manage inventory variables
  • Manage task execution
  • Transform data with filters and plugins
  • Delegate tasks
  • Install Ansible Tower
  • Manage access for Ansible Tower
  • Manage inventories and credentials
  • Manage projects
  • Manage job workflows
  • Work with the Ansible Tower API
  • Back up Ansible Tower

Audience for this exam:

  • System Administrators/DevOps Engineers/Experienced Linux IT professionals who want to demonstrate broader knowledge and understanding of Ansible best practices, applying Ansible in larger and more complex projects, and using Ansible Tower.

Prerequisites for this exam:

  • Pass Advanced Automation: Ansible Best Practices (DO447), or possess comparable work experience with Red Hat Enterprise Linux®, Ansible, and Ansible Tower.
  • Pass Red Hat System Administration III: Linux Automation (RH294), or possess comparable work experience with Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Ansible.

Comparison

For easy reference in choosing the right certification, a summary of exam details and requirements is highlighted in the table below, which will help you select the right exam based on your skills and future goals.

 

Certification Exam Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) exam: EX294 Red Hat Certified Specialist in Advanced Automation – Ansible Best Practices exam: EX447
Exam Code EX294 EX447
Products Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0, Red Hat Ansible 2.8, and Red Hat Ansible Tower 3.5 Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.4 and Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform 1.2
Audience System Administrators/DevOps Engineers/Experienced Linux IT professionals/Students System Administrators/DevOps Engineers/Experienced Linux IT professionals
Prerequisites Passed Red Hat System Administration I (RH124) and Red Hat System Administration II (RH134) or RHCSA Rapid Track Course (RH199) or Red Hat System Administration III: Linux Automation with Ansible (RH294) or comparable work experience Passed Advanced Automation: Ansible Best Practices (DO447) or Red Hat System Administration III: Linux Automation (RH294) or comparable work experience
Topics
  • All tasks expected of a Red Hat Certified System Administrator
  • Core components of Ansible
  • Install and configure an Ansible control node
  • Configure Ansible managed nodes
  • Script administration tasks
  • Create Ansible plays and playbooks
  • Use Ansible modules for system administration tasks
  • Work with roles
  • Use advanced Ansible features
  • Understand and use Git
  • Manage inventory variables
  • Manage task execution
  • Transform data with filters and plugins
  • Delegate tasks
  • Install Ansible Tower
  • Manage access for Ansible Tower
  • Manage inventories and credentials
  • Manage projects
  • Manage job workflows
  • Work with the Ansible Tower API
  • Back up Ansible Tower
Duration 4.00 Hours 4.00 Hours
Type Hands-on, practical exam requires you to undertake real-world tasks Hands-on, practical exam requires you to undertake real-world tasks
Other details Visit the Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) exam website Visit the Red Hat Certified Specialist in Advanced Automation website.

Final Words 👩‍💻

Ansible, being one of the popular technologies available to System Administrators and Cloud / IT professionals for configuration and deployment automation, the demand for its certification is also growing.

We have covered why you should go for Ansible certification and why having its knowledge is good for your career. In the end, we covered the two certification exams offered by Red Hat for Ansible certification and provided an easy comparison table.

You may also be interested in Sysadmin tasks you can automate with Ansible.