Ansible Pilot

Meeting Eric Lavarde and Moritz Schönwetter Automation Architects from Red Hat at Ansible Community Day Berlin 2023

Shaping Ansible Best Practices: Insights from Eric Lavarde and Moritz Schönwetter

September 24, 2023
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The Ansible Community Day Berlin 2023 brought together Ansible enthusiasts from around the world to discuss, collaborate, and share insights on the automation landscape. Among the attendees were Eric Lavarde and Moritz Schönwetter, who introduced us to a remarkable project focused on standardizing Ansible best practices.

Meet Eric Lavarde and Moritz Schönwetter

Eric Lavarde and Moritz Schönwetter are prominent figures in the Red Hat community, holding roles as Principal Architects and Managers of the Automation Community of Practice (COP). Their project, aimed at consolidating and promoting Ansible best practices, showcases their dedication to elevating Ansible’s capabilities.

Standardizing Ansible Best Practices

In their insightful presentation, Eric and Moritz delved into the importance of standardizing Ansible best practices. They recognized that while individual consultants, engineers, and support personnel had their own effective methods, there was a need to establish a unified approach. This approach ensures that everyone involved in Ansible-related activities follows a common set of guidelines and practices. The initiative began by adopting GitOps principles, treating best practices as code. Collaborative efforts led to the development of a repository that encompasses best practices for Ansible. These recommendations extend beyond the scope of Ansible Linter, addressing code organization, role structure, inventory management, and more.

Differentiating from Ansible Linter

Eric and Moritz clarified that their best practices initiative goes beyond Ansible Linter. While Ansible Linter primarily focuses on checking code for formatting and field usage, this project extends its scope to cover broader aspects of Ansible playbook development. It encompasses considerations related to code organization and playbook structuring, areas where Ansible Linter may not provide direct guidance. The Future of the Best Practices Project Regarding the project’s future, Eric and Moritz expressed their aspiration to compile a comprehensive Ansible community book. This book would serve as a valuable resource for Ansible practitioners worldwide. While the vision is ambitious, it aligns perfectly with the collaborative and community-driven spirit of Ansible. Eric emphasized that the project’s ultimate goal is to create a community book, a collective effort, and not an individual endeavor. They are open to contributions from the Ansible community and encourage users to get involved.

Getting Involved

As Eric and Moritz embark on this exciting journey to create a comprehensive Ansible best practices guide, they invite individuals to contribute in various ways: Add Content: Consider contributing content directly to the project. Raise Issues: If you come across missing information or disagree with a practice, open an issue to initiate discussions. Review and Comment: Participate in peer reviews and offer constructive feedback to improve the content.

The project’s GitHub repository serves as a hub for collaboration, allowing users to engage with the initiative and help shape the future of the Ansible best practices.


Meeting Eric Lavarde and Moritz Schönwetter.

Luca Berton: Hi, friends. This is Luca, your Ansible pilot. I met a new friend at the Ansible Community Day here in Berlin, and I’m super excited to share them and their project with you. So thank you, Eric and Moritz. Can you please introduce yourself and share

Eric Lavarde: more? Hi, my name is Eric. I’m a Principal Architect in Red Hat Consulting and also an Automation Community of Practice Manager within Red Hat.

Moritz Schönwetter: Cool. Yeah, I’m Moritz, I’m an Automation Architect, without the Principal in the German consulting team and I’m also an, Manager of the Automation CUP like Eric.

Luca Berton: So nice to meet you. I was very interested in your talk, in the talk that you did this morning, sharing about, more about the best practices of Ansible. Can you share more with us?

Eric Lavarde: Yes, so a few years ago, we started to want to align the practices of the consultants, engineering, and support engineers. It’s whoever is working at Red Hat and basically discussing with our customers so that we have a similar way of explaining Ansible, right? Everybody at the base, everybody has good practices, hopefully, but they are different from each other. So we wanted to have a common base. We use something created by colleagues from engineering, actually, and we brought it into the community of practice. I started to handle it like a community, like code with pull requests, review, peer review, and decision to merge or not, and it’s all available on the internet. Luca Berton: Wow, this is great. It sounds like you are using the approach of GitOps, applying to some kind of best practice. How is it different from the Ansible Linter?

Moritz Schönwetter: So, our practices go a little bit beyond the Linter. So the Linter is more checking your code for best practices in terms of, like, formatting. If you have some, if you use the right fields and things like that. Our recommendations are more, are also about that, but also go beyond that in the form that they also talk about how to organize your code, what you could put in a role, for example, what not, how to structure your inventory, all those things the linter cannot really, check.

Luca Berton: Oh, I see. I’m going to share this, a link to this wonderful resource in the link below. And I think that there will be a lot of interesting features in the future. How do you see the

Eric Lavarde: future? So, we have, during this event, we are here today. We had a connection with Greg, who offered us to… Merge our content and make it more professional, which is great. And the ultimate goal, the dream of me, at least, is, would be to have a community book we could put on a table, hand it, keep in our hands. But we are a long way away, and we need all the help we can to make it a great book. And it will be a community book. It will not be a one-person book, definitely.

Luca Berton: That is so great, and I know that a lot of people started whitepaper, but a book is quite challenging, I can tell you. So I wish you the best of luck and something that you want to share

Moritz Schönwetter: about the future? Not so much, but we are always looking for people to actually contribute. So like we said, we are open, an open source book basically. So we have a GitHub page, and we have an issue tracker. Anyone can basically go there and look at the issues, maybe write their own. If you don’t feel comfortable actually adding content. Add an issue if there’s something missing you think. If you disagree with something, also open an issue. And, of course, the preferred way to interact is to open a pull request so we can then review it, and you can contribute to our little guide.

Luca Berton: This is so great. I think that this goes beyond the code There are people, there are decisions, there are discussions, and it’s really what creates the Ansible community Thank you so much for starting this project, and let’s automate more.


Eric Lavarde and Moritz Schönwetter’s project exemplifies the power of collaborative efforts within the Ansible community. Their dedication to standardizing best practices showcases how the Ansible ecosystem continues to evolve. As they aim to create a community-driven book, they welcome contributors and advocates to join this journey of advancing Ansible automation. The Ansible community thrives on sharing knowledge and experience. Eric and Moritz’s project highlights the importance of having a unified approach to Ansible best practices, ensuring consistency and excellence across Ansible deployments. Let’s join them in shaping the future of Ansible automation. Thank you for your dedication, Eric and Moritz, and for being a part of the Ansible community’s vibrant journey.

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