DevOps on Power

 View Only

Announcing Tech Preview of Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform on IBM Power

By Joe Cropper posted Tue June 27, 2023 11:00 AM


Today’s market expectations are forcing businesses to accelerate transformation and deliver new capabilities faster now than ever before. To that end, we’ve invested heavily in IBM Power’s automation technology stack and Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform is front and center. Back in 2020, we released a rich set of Red Hat Ansible Certified Content for IBM Power, including collections for AIX, IBM i, Linux, VIOS and HMC. The market response has been nothing short of amazing—that is, we’ve seen widespread adoption of Ansible Automation Platform as a vehicle for clients to streamline their operations and drive new innovations. Key use cases include configuration management, software installation, software patching and much more!

Continuing our journey to enable our clients’ automation needs, IBM is excited to announce the Technical Preview of Ansible Automation Platform running on IBM Power! Now, in addition to automating against IBM Power endpoints (e.g., AIX, IBM i, etc.), clients will be able to run Ansible Automation Platform components on IBM Power. In addition to IBM Power support for Ansible Automation Platform, Red Hat is also providing support for Ansible running on IBM Z Systems. Now, let’s dive into the specifics of what this entails.

Automation Controller

The control plane for Ansible Automation Platform is the automation controller (formerly known as Ansible Tower). It includes a user interface (UI), role-based access control (RBAC), workflows, and continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) for helping your team scale with more efficiency and flexibility. The Tech Preview will provide automation controller running on Linux on IBM Power and on Red Hat OpenShift on IBM Power.

Automation Execution Environments

Automation execution environments are container images on which all automation in Ansible Automation Platform is run. They provide a defined, consistent, and portable environment for executing automation, and allow for easier administration of Ansible Automation Platform by the platform administrator. With execution environments, Ansible Automation Platform has been able to move to a distributed architecture. Having the automation execution decoupled from the control plane results in faster development cycles and improves scalability, reliability, agility, and portability across environments. The Tech Preview includes execution environment containers built for IBM Power.

Event-Driven Ansible

As a part of Ansible Automation Platform, Event-Driven Ansible provides the event-handling capability needed to automate time-consuming tasks and respond to changing conditions in any IT domain. Event-Driven Ansible can process events containing discrete intelligence about conditions in the IT environment, determine the appropriate response to the event, then execute automated actions to address or remediate the event. IT service management tasks—such as ticket enhancement, remediation, and user management—are ideal starting points, but Event-Driven Ansible is flexible enough to automate a variety of tasks across your IT environment. Event-Driven Ansible is available as a Dev Preview and will run on IBM Power.

Get Started

Ansible Automation Platform is an extremely powerful enterprise platform—and we've deeply connected it to the IBM Power platform. Based largely on client feedback, we continue to drive an exciting Ansible roadmap with our Red Hat colleagues.

To learn more, check out these great additional resources and get started today!




Thu July 06, 2023 08:12 AM

@Hugo B 

I've managed to get AAP running on Rocky Linux 9.2 by making the following changes.


    if [ -z "${RETVAL}" ]; then

## "Force" RETVAL to be RedHat even though actually Rocky Linux 9.2

    echo ${RETVAL}


Within the "Group nodes by OS distribution" I added a set_facts

- name: "Group nodes by OS distribution"
  hosts: aap_valid_hosts
  gather_facts: false
    - name: "*** SET FACTS ***"
        ansible_distribution: "RedHat"
        ansible_distribution_major_version: "9" 
        ansible_distribution_version: "9.2"
    - name: group hosts by distribution
        key: "{{ ansible_distribution }}_{{ ansible_distribution_major_version }}"
      changed_when: false

- name: "Group supported distributions"
  hosts: RedHat_8:RedHat_9
  gather_facts: false
    - name: group hosts for supported distributions
      group_by: key="supported"
      changed_when: false
      when: ansible_distribution_version is version_compare('8.6', '>=')

I then ran the script

PLAY RECAP *********************************************************************
xxxxxxxxx                 : ok=370  changed=164  unreachable=0    failed=0    skipped=233  rescued=0    ignored=7
localhost                  : ok=0    changed=0    unreachable=0    failed=0    skipped=1    rescued=0    ignored=0

The setup process completed successfully.
Setup log saved to /var/log/tower/setup-2023-07-06-07:39:14.log.

I pointed my browser to AAP, logged on and then followed the Wizard to select the 60-day trial subscription.

So far so good!


Wed July 05, 2023 01:40 PM

@Hugo B 

I'm presuming it's not "just" a case of commenting out this piece before running?

- name: "Ensure all node OS distributions are supported"
  hosts: aap_valid_hosts:!supported
  gather_facts: false
    - name: fail for unsupported distribution
      fail: msg="{{ ansible_distribution }} {{ ansible_distribution_version }}
                 is not a supported OS for an Ansible Automation Platform installation.
                 Supported OSes include Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.6+."

As I presume the script needs to think it's (really) working with RHEL v9.  Would updating "just" the script to "hard wire" things work I wonder?

I'll await your thoughts/blog :-)

Many thanks, Steve

Wed July 05, 2023 01:25 PM

In general by removing in the scritps the lines where RHEL says that a RHEL "clone" is not supported :) ... which is true, but it should also work which is our purpose. If I have time I will write a blog about my adventures with Rocky, Alma and OpenSUSE on ppc64le. I think they are great allies for Linux projects on Power. In this case I used RHEL where ALMA/Rocky where the clients. I will try the other way and let u know how it works!

Wed July 05, 2023 10:37 AM

@Hugo B 

How did you get AAP working on Rocky Linux as I'm getting the following when running the script.

"msg": "Rocky 9.2 is not a supported OS for an Ansible Automation Platform installation. Supported OSes include Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.6+."

Many thanks, Steve

Fri June 30, 2023 11:25 AM

Up and running, deploying both Rocky and Alma Linux on pp64le smoothly. Great work team!

Thu June 29, 2023 12:12 PM

Great news. Installed it last night on our IBM Power environment, simple process and it works well.

Wed June 28, 2023 04:20 AM

Long asked for, now it's there: Ansible Automation Platform on IBM Power. 
No need for x86 , polluting pure-bred IBM Power landscapes.  This shows: IBM is walking the talk.....

Elevating IBM Power from simple  "Endpoint" to "Controller" establishes "first-row seating" in IT Landscapes !

Big Thank You to all the involved developers.