Fun with private Automation Hub - Part 2

July 20, 2021 by Daniel Leroux

In the previous blog post, I provided a brief history on Ansible Content Collections and demonstrated how to upload a Collection to a private Automation Hub. We ended the blog by synchronizing content from Ansible Galaxy and Automation Hub. Today, we will configure Ansible Tower to communicate with private Automation Hub.

"Great things are done by a series of small things brought together." - Vincent Van Gogh on Ansible Collections

A particular type of credential: "Ansible Galaxy/Automation Hub API Token" is what allows Red Hat Ansible Tower to authenticate and connect to private Automation Hub. Logging into Ansible Tower's GUI, in the left frame under ‘Resources’, let's click on 'Credentials,' then 'Create a new credential' . In the spirit of simplicity, we'll use the same names, URLs and so on as they appear in private Automation Hub under 'Repo Management / Local.' The credentials below would be used to connect to the 'published' (our proprietary) Collections. Remember that loading a new token in private Automation Hub will delete your old token.

Creating credentials to connect Ansible Tower directly to 'Automation Hub' or 'Ansible Galaxy' will not be described here, as the scope of this blog is limited to private Automation Hub. However, for those interested, this is described in the Ansible Tower User Guide

For the purpose of our demo today, I have created two credentials: 'red-hat-certified' and 'published' to connect to their corresponding repositories in private Automation Hub. The 'Ansible Galaxy' credential comes pre-configured in Ansible Tower and ready to connect directly with Ansible Galaxy. 

The next step will be to specify the search order of the repositories/hubs in our organization. In the left frame under ‘Access’, let's click on 'Organizations.' This action will bring a new frame on the right-hand side where we can click and select the organization we want to work with. We will work with the default organization for today's demo, so here we click 'Default.' 

In the next window, we will click and remove 'Ansible Galaxy' from 'Galaxy Credentials' and add the following credentials/repositories in this order: published, red-had-certified, and Ansible Galaxy. The order in which we make the selection is essential, as it provides Ansible Tower the sequence in which hubs should be looked in to find Collections. Here, we're telling Ansible Tower to first look in private Automation Hub, our 'published' repository where we uploaded our Collections. Then, Ansible Tower will search among the Collections we synchronized from Automation Hub with private Automation Hub, and finally, search in Ansible Galaxy. 

"Give me a museum, and I'll fill it." - Pablo Picasso on Ansible Galaxy

Now it's time to test things out and see if there's any failure from which we can learn. The following repository in my GitHub account contains an Ansible Playbook with a dependency on the previously uploaded Collection from Part 1. First, let's create a project in Ansible Tower, whose source will be this GitHub repository. Next, in the left frame under ‘Resources’, click 'Projects.' Since the GitHub repository is public, it doesn't require any credentials; we can simply fill in the different fields as below, then click 'Save.'

In the present case, it's important to note the Collection 'daleroux.hello_tam_blog' on which the playbook depends, exists in two places: in the private Automation Hub where I uploaded it previously, and in Ansible Galaxy. Therefore to validate that Ansible Tower will search for Collections in private Automation Hub, we will remove Ansible Galaxy from the 'Galaxy Credentials' in our default organization, leaving only : and . This will allow the Collection to be found in private Automation Hub and will validate our setup.

If you didn't install a valid SSL certificate on your private Automation Hub, make sure to navigate the Ansible Tower GUI and click ‘Settings’ in the left frame under ‘Administration’. Then, click ‘Jobs’ and enable 'Ignore Ansible Galaxy SSL certificate verification,' then click 'Save.' Once you install a valid SSL certificate or accept the default certificate that came with private Automation Hub, turn this flag back to its original state for security reasons.

The final step will be to create a job template from the project and to run it. To do so, click on 'Templates' in the left frame under ‘Resources’. Then, click on the plus sign and select 'Job Template.' In the present case, we will fill the information as can be seen here:

Click 'Save' and then 'Launch.'

If everything went according to plan, the Collection can be found in private Automation Hub, and the output should look as follows:

Once we have confirmed that our private Automation Hub is correctly configured with Ansible Tower, we can add Ansible Galaxy back in from the Ansible Galaxy credentials in our default organization as the final place to search for Collections.

This concludes our blog post; we covered the main features of private Automation Hub, and how it integrates with Ansible Tower. Additional details can be found in the product documentation.

Do you want a free trial of Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform? red.ht/try_ansible

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Daniel Leroux

Dan Leroux joined Red Hat in 2019. He is a Platform and Ansible Technical Account Manager based in Montreal, Canada.


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