Introduction to Ansible Tower Alternative
You might know that Ansible Tower is RedHat’s commercial product that provides a Graphical User Interface to do configuration management of your environment smoothly. But we also know that this is a licensed product and we need to pay Red Hat for subscription and updates for RedHat Ansible Tower. This is not really required if you do not have much to manage via Ansible and where bearing license cost is a constraint. We can explore alternatives of Ansible Tower, which includes open-source community-supported products, products from other companies with less cost, or products that are free to use but registered under a license by some organization.
Alternatives. of Ansible Tower
First, you must decide what features you or your team is looking for. If your team has skills to use and write Playbooks on the command line of Ansible. Then you might not need any graphical user interface tool at all. As having it, will only add to your task list to manage its availability to your team members who otherwise can do the same tasks with the same efficiency on the command line.
If your organization is in such a need where there are multiple repeated tasks and only a few developers or administrators are available to create such management automation. Then you shall look for an easy to use graphical user interface to do configuration management automation. This tool will provide a front end to take inputs from you or a schedule and then push those changes via core Ansible running in the back end.
Ansible Tower is one such product but it is free up to managing 10 client nodes. This is good for testing environments, but you need more capacity when you in the production environment or in an environment where you have multiple varieties of nodes to manage.
Also, pricing is a high concern as Red Hat Ansible Tower is a bit pricy product. It charges you the per-node basis and can cost you more than ten thousand dollars for around a hundred nodes. It has two types of licensing which are STANDARD and PREMIUM.
So, we can explore some of the alternatives here which are free to use or an alternative to Ansible Tower. Out of all available alternatives, I believe AWX is more useful is the Upstream Project for RedHat Ansible Tower, which is most powerful and suitable in a production environment if you can’t have Red Hat Ansible Tower. Along with AWX, we will discuss some other solutions which can be used to get the UI of Ansible and manage Ansible via a browser based GUI.
- This is an open-source project which is run by Red Hat and Ansible community. This is the project which is behind RedHat’s Ansible Tower. So, you can call it the Upstream Project of Ansible Tower. Few points to note for Ansible
- AWX provides a Web-based user interface, Job scheduler, Credential Manager, and delegation. There is a very powerful RESTFUL API, which works through API
- With API control, you can integrate AWX with many other applications like your ticketing tool, Continuous Integration system, Source code management
- This works on a Templates basis, so when you create a playbook, you need to create a TEMPLATE as well to run it as a
- To install AWX on your system, you must have followed in your system: –
- A Linux Machine with OS like RHEL, Fedora, etc. check the latest documentation for minimum supported
- Ansible version greater than 8
- Docker Python Module
- GNU Make
- Git version greater than 8.4.
- Node 10.x LTS version
- NPM 6.x LTS
- Minimum 4 GB RAM
- Minimum 2 CPU cores
- Minimum 20 GB Disk
- PostgreSQL Database, minimum version 9.6, if only you need external
Otherwise, AWX, by default, creates a PostgreSQL Database on your system.
- As its community version of RedHat Tower, you should expect that there is no support for mission critical
- Multiple releases in a single can be possible, so ready to upgrade it multiple times in a year.
- Ansible Semaphore is an open source alternative to Ansible Tower, to provide Graphical UI and APIs for creating and launching Ansible
- This is licensed by
- It supports LDAP authentication, Telegram, and Email
- Its backend is written in GO and the frontend is written in
- Along with basic requirements like Python, Ansible packages etc. it has below as specific requirements: –
- MySQL version greater than equal to 5.6.4 OR MariaDB version greater than equal to 3
- Git version greater than 0
- Support for HTTP, as semaphore uses
- Port 3000 which is
- If you are using Puppet and Chef, instead of Ansible, then you are aware that these tools don’t have their own GUIs previously so Foreman comes in.
- Great integration capabilities to integrate Chef, puppet, and Written in Ruby (Rails).
- It has the ability to pull different tools under the same.
- It has SMART Proxy architecture, due to which on the very basic level, the REST API enables the integration with multiple.
- This is not only Configuration Management automation, but also the complete server life cycle management
- It works on a plugin basis, as it has various plugins spanning across Puppet, Ansible, and many other server management features related
Ansible is a very powerful and broad tool with support from a very strong community. Using Ansible in your production environment efficiently is as much important as its whole use. For this a GUI like Ansible AWX, Semaphore has, is very useful and helps to increase productivity, if you can’t afford Ansible Tower.
This is a guide to Ansible Tower Alternative. Here we discuss the Alternatives of Ansible Tower like AWX and Semaphore they are very useful and increase productivity. You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more –