Ansible Includes Support For Windows

Ansible is bringing in Windows support on their systems, making use of PowerShell as the core technology. The newest release will contain Windows integration only in the testing stage.

This is oriented with their principal philosophy of employing the functionalities in the operating system to manage it. PowerShell Windows Remote Management (WinRM) includes the main technologies, which will be used to this end. They are both natively available on the latest versions of Windows OS, and can be installed on preceding ones too. WinRM somewhat resembles SSH, in that it allows Ansible to keep up the agent-less approach. Every module in Ansible is coded using PowerShell, which allows Windows users to do the same.

PowerShell is supported by the WS-Management protocol and the Windows Remote Management (WinRM) service. The latter is what implements the protocol in Windows. On computers running Windows 7 or higher, there is the WinRM 2.0 or later. With versions before that, you would need to install WinRM 2.0, if it is supported. The operating systems for which support is available include Windows Vista with Service Pack 1 or later, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2008 Release 2.

Many PowerShell modules already have Windows in sight, with many of their names starting with “Win”. With these, you get basic provisions, including the ability to execute changing PowerShell scripts, installing MSI files, and user management. You also get additional module switch support for Windows, including slurp, raw, and setup.

Ansible is in attempts to join the management of the Linux and Windows platforms. On a single Ansible playbook, it will be possible to configure separate steps for the management of machines running Windows and Linux. However, even with the newly introduced Windows support, the control machine should still run the Linux OS. This is clearly mentioned in the documentation.

The project itself does not target a goal of running the control machine on Windows; this would in fact, seriously limit the features and technologies which can be used in the main project. The Linux control machine is still very much the intended method, even for managing Windows hosts.

As far as the installation is concerned, there a few more things you will need besides a control machine running on Linux. You will require the remote execution policy and a firewall setup, in case you want added security. Yet again, these would be equally required in any other case where you were using PowerShell and WinRM.
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