Ansible is one of the four main players in the automation market, younger then the well known Chef and Puppet, has been launched in 2013 in Durham, N.C. and acquired last October by Red Hat.
Ansible itself is especially popular within the developers’ community, thanks to its simplicity and agentless nature while Ansible Tower is its control visual dashboard providing centralisation, role-based access control, job scheduling and graphical inventory management.
At the end of July Ansible launched release 3 of Ansible Tower under the name of Ansible Tower by Red Hat.
This is the first major release since the acquisition and, with an “entirely reworked” UI, it introduces a couple of interesting new features:
- Expanded and Simplified Permissions: As it was before, you can allow users to edit their own inventory, credentials, and projects/Playbooks. Plus, now you have jobs’ specific permissions/delegations and a new read-only ‘Auditor’ permission allows a full view of all automation in Tower without being able to run or edit automation.
- Built-In Notifications: Now notifications are built directly into Tower. You can configure notifications for a single job, a project, or an entire organization. “Tower includes notification support for Slack, HipChat, PagerDuty, Twilio, IRC and email, as well as the ability to post notifications to an arbitrary webhook for hooking Tower notifications to your custom processes.”
- Job Organization Via Custom Labels: Tower now allows to set any number of custom ‘labels’ for jobs and job templates.
- Runtime Job Configuration: This new release allows to prompt for and override at runtime things like job limits, job tags, credentials, inventory or any variables.
- Simplified Ansible-based Installer: The installation process is all inside an Ansible inventory file where, tweaking a few parameters, you can cover a number of different scenarios.
- Satellite and CloudForms Integration: A straight outcome of the acquisition “For organizations that are using Red Hat Satellite 6 or Red Hat CloudForms as your inventory source of truth, you can now import your inventory dynamically with just a few clicks.”
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