You can integrate Ansible Tower with vRealize Automation Cloud Assembly to support configuration management of deployed resources. After configuring integration, you can add Ansible Tower virtual components to new or existing deployments from the cloud template editor.

Prerequisites

  • Grant non-administrator users the appropriate permissions to access Ansible Tower. There are two options that work for most configurations. Choose the one that is most appropriate for your configuration.
    • Grant users Inventory Administrator and Job Template Administrator roles at the organization level.
    • Grant users Administrator permission for a particular inventory and the Execute role for all job templates used for provisioning.
  • You must configure the appropriate credentials and templates in Ansible Tower for use with your deployments. Templates can be job templates or workflow templates. Job templates define the inventory and playbook for use with a deployment. There is a 1:1 mapping between a job template and a playbook. Playbooks use a YAML-like syntax to define tasks that are associated with the template. For most typical deployments, use machine credentials for authentication.

    Workflow templates enable users to create sequences consisting of any combination of job templates, project syncs, and inventory syncs that are linked together so that you can execute them as a single unit. The Ansible Tower Workflow Visualizer helps users to design workflow templates. For most typical deployments, you can use machine credentials for authentication.

    1. Log in to Ansible Tower and navigate to the Templates section.
    2. Select Adding a new job template.
      • Select the credential that you already created. These are the credentials of the machine to be managed by Ansible Tower. For each job template, there can be one credential object.
      • For the Limit selection, select Prompt on Launch. This ensures that the job template runs against the node being provisioned or de-provisioned from vRealize Automation Cloud Assembly. If this option is not selected, a Limit is not set error will appear when the blueprint that contains the job template is deployed.
    3. Select Adding a new workflow template.
      • Select the credentials that you already created and then define the inventory. Using Workflow Visualizer, design the workflow template.

      For the Limit box of workflow or job templates, generally you can select Prompt on Launch. This selection ensures that the job or workflow template runs against the node being provisioned or de-provisioned from vRealize Automation Cloud Assembly.

  • You can view the execution of the Job templates or workflow templates invoked from vRealize Automation Cloud Assembly on the Ansible Tower Jobs tab .

Procedure

  1. Select Infrastructure > Connections > Integrations and click Add Integration.
  2. Click Ansible Tower.
    The Ansible configuration page appears.
  3. Enter the Hostname, which can be an IP address, and other required information for the Ansible Tower instance.
  4. Enter the UI-based authentication Username and Password for the applicable Ansible Tower instance.
  5. Click Validate to verify the integration.
  6. Type an appropriate Name and Description for the integration.
  7. Click Add.

Results

Ansible Tower is available for use in cloud templates.

What to do next

Add Ansible Tower components to the desired cloud templates. You must specify the applicable job template with execute permission for the user specified in the integration account.

  1. On the cloud template canvas page, select Ansible under the Configuration Management heading on the blueprint options menu and drag the Ansible Tower component to the canvas.
  2. Use the panel on the right to configure the appropriate Ansible Tower properties such as job templates.

When you add an Ansible Tower tile to a cloud template, vRealize Automation creates the host entry for the attached virtual machine in the Ansible Tower. By default, vRealize Automation will use the virtual machine’s resource name to create the host entry, but you can specify any name using the hostName property in the blueprint YAML. In order to communicate with the machine, vRealize Automation will create the host variable ansible_host: IP Address for the host entry. You can override the default behaviour to configure communication using FQDN, by specifying the keyword ansible_host under hostVariables and providing FQDN as its value. The following YAML code snippet shows an example of how hostname and FQDN communication can be configured:

Cloud_Ansible_Tower_1:
	type: Cloud Ansible Tower
	properties:
		host: name of host
		account: name of account
		hostName: resource name
		hostVariables:
			ansible_host:Host FQDN
			

In this example you override the default ansible_host value by providing the FQDN. This may be useful for users who want Ansible Tower to connect to the host machine using the FQDN.

The default value of hostVariables in the YAML will be ansible_host:IP_address and the IP address is used to communicate with the server.

If the YAML count property is more than 1 for Ansible Tower, the hostname could be mapped to any of the respective virtual machine's properties.The following example shows mapping for a virtual machine resource named Ubuntu-VM if we want its address property to be mapped to the hostname.

 hostname: '${resource.Ubuntu-VM.address[count.index]}' 

When you add an Ansible Tower component to a cloud template, and you can specify the job template to call in the cloud template YAML. You can also specify workflow templates or a combination of job templates and workflow templates. If you don't specify the template type, by default vRealize Automation assumes that you are calling a job template.

The following YAML snippet shows an example of how a combination of job and workflow templates can be called in an Ansible Tower cloud template.

Cloud_Ansible_1:
type: Cloud.Ansible.Tower
  properties:
    host: ‘${resource.CentOS_Machine.*}’
    account:
    maxConnectionRetries: 2
    maxJobRetries: 2
    templates:
      provision:
        - name: My workflow
          type: workflow
        - name: My job template      

We added the maxConnectionsRetries and maxJobRetries to handle Ansible related failures. The cloud templates accepts the custom value and, in case no value is provided, it uses the default value. For maxConnectionRetries, the default value is 10, and for maxJobRetries the default value is 3.

Note: Earlier versions of vRealize Automation supported the execution of job templates only using the jobTemplate schema in the cloud template. jobTemplate is now deprecated and might be removed in future releases. For now, using the jobTemplate property will continue to work as expected. To run workflow templates and use additional features, it is recommended to use the templates schema.

Cloud Assembly cloud templates for Ansible Tower integrations include the useDefaultLimit property with a true or false value to define where Ansible templates are executed. Ansible templates can be job templates or workflow templates. If this value is set to true, the specified templates are run against the machine specified in the Limit box on the Ansible Templates page. If the value is set to false, the templates are run against the provisioned machine, but users should check the Prompt on Launch checkbox on the Ansible Tower Templates page. By default, the value of this property is false. The following YAML example shows how the useDefaultLimit property appears in cloud templates.

templates:
  provision:
    - name: ping aws_credentials
      type: job
      useDefaultLimit: false
      extraVars: '{"rubiconSurveyJob" : "checkSurvey"}'

In addition, as the preceding example shows, you can use the extraVars property to specify extra variables or survey variables. This capability can be useful for running templates that require input. If a user has maintained the survey variable, then you must pass the variable in the extraVars section of the cloud template to avoid errors.