What is Ansible Automation Platform?
Ansible Tower has been the GUI front end version of Ansible for many years and if you wanted to provide logging, security and much more when operating Ansible, Tower was the product you needed.
However to scale Ansible Tower you had to build out many full installations.
Ansible Automation Platform allows you to scale out much easier by providing a central automation controller with multiple execution environments.
The control plane and execution plane are decoupled and the execution environments are containerised.
More info here: https://www.redhat.com/en/technologies/management/ansible
Ansible Automation Platform vs Tower
In short the automation controller is the new version of Ansible Tower.
It still provides the same benefits of Tower
- Role-based access control
- Push-button deployment
There is no comparison between the two, Ansible Automation Platform is just a better version of Tower that provides the platform to delivery automation at scale.
Ansible Automation Platform 2
The latest version of the automation platform is 2.0 (as of November 2021)
Ansible Automation Platform Install
For installation instructions please refer to the official RedHat Documentation
Note: You will still see references to Tower in the documentation, but I am sure as time goes by these will disappear.
The Ansible Builder allows you to build out an execution environment from a basic image which allows you to customise extra parts, Collections and Python libraries etc that you need.
It is defined with a YAML file.
To date most people have been creating playbooks on their laptops within their own dev environment. If those playbooks were moved to another environment, there may be inconsistencies with Python libraries.
Using Ansible Builder you can package up everything you need to run those playbooks into a container that contains everything you define to run correctly. This now eliminates the need for working with Python virtual environments to ensure consistency between engineers.
Several pre-built environments are available but most people will choose to build their own.
Frequenty asked questions
What are automation execution environments?
An automation execution environment is a container that contains collections, libraries and a version of Ansible core. These are provided as a base image and gives you a way to provide an automation lifecycle.
What is automation mesh?
This provides you a flexible architecture which consists of an overlay network to allow work across a large and dispersed collection of workers. Mesh nodes are connected with peer-to-peer connections.
Is Ansible Tower the same as Ansible automation platform?
With the release of the Ansible Automation Platform, Red Hat officially announced that Automation Controller as the new name for Ansible Tower.