alz Aschwanden and Michael Husar, University of Basel: Ansible upside down – Introducing the ANTS fr

Conference Session: Ansible upside down – Introducing the ANTS framework

We as systems administrators have several requirements when it comes to our environment: We want to stay flexible in regards to the tools we use. We want to keep overhead for daily business at a minimum and last but not least, we want to provide a workflow our coworkers and support staff feel comfortable using. How can we achieve all this?

The answer: Use what’s already available in your environment. Do not customize tools, but develop small scripts to glue them together and optimize your workflow.

As client services provider at a university, we face a heterogeneous but rather windows- heavy environment. It comes with the unique challenge to provide local support staff with tools to handle diverse client requirements.

In this talk, we present our approach to systems administration: How we use Ansible in pull mode for client configuration management and how we integrate it into our current Active Directory and Git infrastructure. The benefits: Infrastructure as code without additional backend components, Active Directory as a graphical frontend for our support staff and the freedom to modify and optimize our tool chain.

About Balz Aschwanden

Balz Aschwanden is part of the client services and support team at the University of Basel where he is responsible for the macOS management backend used by the different departments.

Balz uses a mix of commercial and open source tools and has introduced the team to Autopkg and Munki. While looking for more things to automate, he has gotten into Ansible and is one of the main authors of the ants-framework, an Ansible wrapper for client configuration management.

This will be his second time at MacAD.UK and the first time as a speaker.

Balz Aschwanden online

Slack: @thebinaryblob

About Michael Husar

Starting with a Sinclair Spectrum, Michael found his way to Apple through a Macintosh SE. He studied Computer Science at the Vienna University of Technology and has worked as IT Consultant across different business areas.

Michael took one of the last chances to get ACSA certified and focused on enterprise Mac management about 10 years ago. His team at the University of Basel is responsible for deploying operating systems as efficient as possible and therefore concentrates on automation wherever useful.

Michael Husar online


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