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Is Ansible the Best Way to Manage Docker?

published in ansible, configuration management, docker

I sense that Ansible is growing in popularity. ThoughtWorks now recommends the adoption of Ansible ‘for automated control of your infrastructure’ in their industry recognised Technologoy Radar.

we continue to be impressed with its capabilities and ease of use compared to other offerings in this space

ThoughtWorks Technology Radar - July 2014

I have been researching and experimenting with Docker for a while, but have yet to really decide on a best way to manage it. Whilst looking into Ansible I was intrigued by their claim that:

Ansible is the best way to manage Docker

Ansible Website - Ansible & Docker

There is a video from AnsibleFest NYC (May 2014) on the Ansible & Docker page outlining a number of Ansible Modules that support Docker management. Among them are the docker_image, docker, docker_facts and a docker dynamic inventory plugin.

Module Name Docker Use Project Link
docker_image Add, Build or Remove Docker Images Ansible Docker Image Module
docker Start, Stop or Delete Containers Ansible Docker Module
docker_facts Provide Ansible dictonary entries: docker_containers and docker_images Docker Facts Module
docker dynamic inventory plugin Manage elastic resources inventory & provides a JSON output serving as an inventory list to use Dynamic Inventory Plugin on Github

Ansible Docker Modules

If these modules make Ansible ‘the best way to manage Docker’ or not has yet to be determined by myself. My plan is to try out Ansible in the next couple of months - for Docker managent. I will update this post with my verdict after some experimentation.

Ansible & Docker, Patrick Galbraith, HP Advanced Technologies Video