For the last couple of days, Red Hat just had AnsibleFest 2021. (https://www.ansible.com/ansiblefest)
The biggest announcement would be on the Ansible Automation Platform 2.
Last July, there was a sneak preview + early access program for Ansible Automation Platform 2.0. (Link)
N.B. This is an “early access” program, which means?
Early access means that any Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform subscriber has the ability to download, install, and file support cases against this newly released 2.0 version of the product. Because there are additional core features and functionality that are slated for the 2.1 release later this year, the formal marketing launch for both 2.0 and 2.1 versions will happen later this year at AnsibleFest. Therefore, many of the typical resources (such as documentation, blogs, etc.) will only be made available on the Red Hat Customer Portal until formal launch at AnsibleFest.
So with the release of Ansible Automation Platform 2.1 in later 2021, Ansible Automation Platform 2 will be properly GA’ed.
However, in this article, I am going to focus on three main announcements:
1. Ansible Tower and Ansible Engine are no more.
=> Its replaced with Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform.
More details to be followed below.
2. Ansible Core – “Batteries are not included”
Ansible engine is now replaced with a component from Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform called “ansible-core”
Different to the Ansible Engine, the “ansible-core” will only include a limited number of core ansible modules.
(Number of ansible modules comparison between ansible 2.9 vs 2.11 can be found here.)
It seems like the changes were brought in for two reasons:
- To provide agility in ansible module development.
- To provide a lean ansible execution environment to end-users/developers.
More information will be covered in a separate blog HERE.
3. Ansible Tower is split into smaller bits and utilises containers.
With the announcement of NO MORE ANSIBLE TOWER, the detail is that the Ansible tower is split into two separate components.
As the above shows, the Ansible Tower was in a single monolithic architecture. This works great. However, when there are multiple organizations/teams with multiple python virtual environments requirements, it started to get complicated really quickly.
To address the above, Red Hat has replaced the execution/virtual environments with “Execution Environment”.
The execution environment is a container with various required components.
More information can be found HERE.
The rest of WebUI/API/RBAC/Workflows and Audit components are grouped into “Control Plane”/“Automation Controller”.
4. Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform has a lot more features/components
Colour boxed ones are new components and features brought into the Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform.
* Ansible Platform Operator
– Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform is available on the OpenShift Container Platform as an Operator.
This makes installation, operation tasks such as upgrade, easy. Also, provide the high availability capability automatically.
* Automation Controller & Automation execution Environments
As explained above, these two components replaced the old “Ansible Tower”.
This is a new component that enables an ansible content creator to build a custom/purpose-fit ansible automation execution environment (a.k.a. ansible EE).
This is another new command-line component added to enhance ansible content creator experiences. With new the ansible EE, ansible-navigator should be used as a replacement for all too familiar “ansible” and “ansible-playbook”.
This is one tool that you can run, debug even introspect ansible EEs.
This will be covered in another article, HERE.
* REST of components
So until now, Red Hat Ansible had main 2 components as #1 suggests. On top of that there were few additions to that;
* Automation Services Catalog – Service Catalog as a SaaS service on https://console.redhat.com/ansible/catalog/products
* Ansible Content Collection – Red Hat and partners co-developed and co-supported ansible contents available https://console.redhat.com/ansible/automation-hub.
There are currently 102 partners and Red Hat have contributed content.
* Automation hub – a single location where public and private ansible content collections will be hosted.
* Red Hat Insights for Ansible Automation Platform – where it provided overall information of an organization’s Ansible automation platform usage as a dashboard.
Definitely, with the new version, the above features got richer.