AWS, Cloud Computing, DevOps, Kubernetes

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A Simple Guide to Setup Ansible Tower in GCP VM

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Overview

A more enterprise-level version of Ansible is Ansible Tower. It is a web-based management tool with an intuitive user interface that gives you a dashboard with all the host state summaries. It permits speedy deployments while keeping and maintaining all configurations.

The tower logs every job manages inventories graphically and syncs them with a wide range of cloud providers. It also enables us to share SSH passwords without disclosing them.

Prerequisites to Install Ansible Tower

Installing the Ansible Tower requires the following prerequisites, for example:

  • Supported Operating Systems
    * RedHat Enterprise Linux 8
    * Centos Linux 8 (Soon this will deprecate)
  • Install stable release of Ansible (ansible 2.9)
  • Minimum 4 GB free RAM required

  • Cloud Migration
  • Devops
  • AIML & IoT
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Challenges in Ansible

  • SPOF (Single point of failure), as an ansible controller installed in one of the systems.
  • Inventory format is text, it contains a lot of information like hostname, username, password|key|token. Keeping the password in a readable format is a big security challenge.

Why Ansible Tower?

Ansible tower is a platform that does a lot of management for us. Ex. Managing the inventory file. To store passwords, keys, and tokens provide separate credentials options where data remain in an encrypted format.

It also provides RBAC (role-based access control). It can also integrate with APM tools like AppDynamics, and Dynatrace (Red hat partner) to solve problems automatically. Remediation.

Steps to Deploy Ansible Tower on Centos 8

Step 1 – Launching Centos 8 VM on GCP.

Step1

Step1b

Step 2 – The instance is launched and now we connect with the terminal.

Step2

Step 3 – Download the Ansible Tower tar file & untar the file

Index of /ansible-tower/setup  – here, all the versions of ansible tower are available. I’ll be using the latest version.

Step3

Step3b

Step3c

Step3d

Step3e

Step 4 – Install Ansible into the system

sudo yum install ansible

Check the ansible version: ansible –version

Step4

Step 5 – Configure the inventory file

vim inventory

Step5

Step 6 – Run the setup to configure ansible-tower

sudo ./setup.sh

Step6

Step6b

Step 7 – Copy the public IP and paste it into the browser

Step7

< This has been configured in the inventory file in step no.5 >

Username: admin

Password: yourpassword

Step7b

Step 8 – Request a Subscription. Ansible-tower is not a free product hence we required a subscription.

Step8

Select ‘I agree’ and then continue.

Step 9 – Welcome to Ansible Tower Dashboard

Step9

Steps to Deploy Suse-Rancher Using Ansible Tower

Step 1: Create Project for managing the playbook.

sStep1

sStep1b

Step 2: Create Inventory to manage everything related to inventory

sStep2

Step 3: Create Source that is part of the inventory. This helps us to manage the host’s file.

sStep3

sStep3b

Step 4: Create Template that helps us to integrate all the above steps.

sStep4

sStep4b

Using GitHub for playbook code and inventory management

This code helps you to launch the rancher on the target node as the rancher required Kubernetes (K3s distribution) and Kubernetes requires a container engine. Hence first we install docker and then suse rancher.

For more information follow the documentation of the official website – Getting Started with Kubernetes | Rancher Quick Start

Url:- https://github.com/GitNegi/Ansibe_SuseRancher.git

sStep4c

Hosts

The host file contains information related to the target system like IP address, ansible_user, etc. Password, key, or token we can store on the credentials in ansible tower.

[suse_rancher]

Playbook Execution Screenshot

sStep4d

sStep4e

sStep4f

sStep4g

Let’s check rancher – open the browser copy paste the public IP

The target system OS is openSUSE

sStep4h

Successfully deployed suse rancher using ansible tower

sStep4i

Conclusion

Ansible tower is a web UI based configuration tool. Provides all the facilities the same as ansible but in UI based on some extra features like Create Organization, Project, etc. This helps us to customize or manage the project easily. Features like a trigger and the pipeline are also included in Ansible Tower.

Ansible tower is helping us to do a lot of management related to the projects. As well as overcomes the challenges we normally face in an ansible controller or engine like SPOF.

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About CloudThat

CloudThat is also the official AWS (Amazon Web Services) Advanced Consulting Partner and Training partner and Microsoft gold partner, helping people develop knowledge of the cloud and help their businesses aim for higher goals using best in industry cloud computing practices and expertise. We are on a mission to build a robust cloud computing ecosystem by disseminating knowledge on technological intricacies within the cloud space. Our blogs, webinars, case studies, and white papers enable all the stakeholders in the cloud computing sphere.

Drop a query if you have any questions regarding Ansible Tower and I will get back to you quickly.

To get started, go through our Consultancy page and Managed Services Package that is CloudThat’s offerings.

FAQs

1. Is Ansible Tower Free?

ANS: – Ansible Tower is free for usage for up to 10 nodes. More than this requires a paid license.

2. Is there any open source for Ansible Tower?

ANS: – AWX is an open-source web application with a user interface and its open-source version of the Ansible Tower.

3. What all Services are included in Ansible Tower?

ANS: –

  • Graphical inventory
  • Graphical Dashboard
  • RBAC
  • Remote command execution
  • Job Scheduling
  • Job history report
  • Notification

4. Is there any Global Certification in Ansible Tower to showcase my skills?

ANS: – Yes, there is an official Red Hat training and Certification i.e., Advanced Automation: Red Hat Ansible Best Practices (DO447 and EX447).

WRITTEN BY Vineet Negi

Vineet Negi is a Research Associate at CloudThat. He is part of the Kubernetes vertical and has worked on DevOps and many other Cloud Computing technologies. He is an enthusiastic individual who is passionate about exploring all the latest technologies from a learning perspective.

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