AAP 2.3 Introducing Remote Execution Mesh Nodes for Openshift

January 17, 2023 by Phil Griffiths

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Last year Ansible Automation Platform (AAP) 2 introduced major changes around the mechanics on how automation is run. The main focus was to enhance the foundational pieces of the platform while providing flexibility and simplicity for automators to automate at enterprise scale. One of those foundational pieces introduced was automation mesh

Automation mesh provides a simple, flexible and reliable way to scale automation of large inventories across diverse network topologies, platforms and teams. It was important to evolve how the platform was developed, managed, operated to meet business demands and needs, for the large majority of customers.


Pre 2.3 Automation Mesh in OCP

Prior to AAP 2.3, the automation mesh was mostly a VM deployment base option and feature. I’ve tried to highlight the main differences between platform choices in this diagram:

We are now starting to level up the feature parity, and this brings remote mesh execution nodes to non-VM supported deployments. Before we look more at the new feature, let’s look at the options that were available before:

For VM based deployments, the automation mesh introduced horizontal scaling, the ability to scale your automation needs out, whether locally or globally. We did this by installing execution and hop nodes where we needed them, to allow us to wrap new style automation around the existing instance group functionality.

For non-VM based deployments, such as those running on Red Hat OpenShift, you could only target automation using container groups, which made use of the Kubernetes API to create dynamic containers for runtime automation.

This was fine if that was all you needed, were all in on the kubernetes cloud native approach, but left a gap if you needed a more traditional, hybrid configuration, so allow you to run workloads in different locations or environments.


2.3 Automation Mesh in Red Hat OpenShift

In order to remove this limitation, in AAP 2.3 we have now released in Tech Preview, the ability to add remote mesh execution nodes. This is in addition to the use of the existing container groups.

NOTE: While we have added remote mesh execution nodes, hop nodes are not currently supported. We are working to add this further enhancement during a future release.

During AnsibleFest 2022, our very own controller lead engineer Hao Liu presented a virtual session around adding remote execution nodes when running AAP within a Red Hat OpenShift cluster. The virtual session is free and available on demand and  includes more detailed content on how to successfully add remote execution nodes.


In summary

Red Hat Openshift now has the ability to use both container groups and remote execution nodes for automation, which:

  • eases resources on the control plane (uwsgi, task manager).
  • enables scaling beyond the cluster(s).

Integrate your Red Hat OpenShift AAP deployment with external execution nodes hosted anywhere/any environment:

  • on premise data centers.
  • cloud providers.
  • edge deployments.


What can I do next?

Whether you are beginning your automation journey or a seasoned veteran, there are a variety of resources available to help you get the most out of your automation with Red Hat Ansible.


OpenShift, Automation mesh


Phil Griffiths

Phil Griffiths is a Product Manager for Ansible Automation Platform with nearly seven years of experience at Red Hat. Phil has held roles as a solution architect and technical consultant both at Red Hat and for other organizations.

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