2. Tower Licensing, Updates, and Support

Ansible Tower (“Ansible Tower”) is a software product provided as part of an annual Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform subscription entered into between you and Red Hat, Inc. (“Red Hat”).

Ansible is an open source software project and is licensed under the GNU General Public License version 3, as detailed in the Ansible source code: https://github.com/ansible/ansible/blob/devel/COPYING

Starting with Ansible Tower 3.8, you must have valid subscriptions attached before installing the Ansible Automation Platform. See Attaching Subscriptions for detail.

2.1. Support

Red Hat offers support to paid Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform customers.

If you or your company has purchased a subscription for Ansible Automation Platform, you can contact the support team at https://access.redhat.com. To better understand the levels of support which match your Ansible Automation Platform subscription, refer to Subscription Types. For details of what is covered under an Ansible Automation Platform subscription, please see the Scopes of Support at: https://access.redhat.com/support/policy/updates/ansible-tower#scope-of-coverage-4 and https://access.redhat.com/support/policy/updates/ansible-engine.

2.2. Trial / Evaluation

While a license is required for Ansible Tower to run, there is no fee for a trial license.

  • Trial licenses for Red Hat Ansible Automation are available at: http://ansible.com/license

  • Support is not included in a trial license or during an evaluation of the Tower Software.

2.3. Subscription Types

Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform is provided at various levels of support and number of machines as an annual Subscription.

All Subscription levels include regular updates and releases of Ansible Tower, Ansible, and any other components of the Platform.

For more information, contact Ansible via the Red Hat Customer portal at https://access.redhat.com/ or at http://www.ansible.com/contact-us/.

2.4. Node Counting in Licenses

The Tower license defines the number of Managed Nodes that can be managed as part of a Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform subscription. A typical license will say ‘License Count: 500’, which sets the maximum number of Managed Nodes at 500.

For more information on managed node requirements for licensing, please see https://access.redhat.com/articles/3331481.

2.5. Attaching Subscriptions

Starting with Tower 3.8, you must have valid subscriptions attached before installing the Ansible Automation Platform. Attaching an Ansible Automation Platform subscription enables Automation Hub repositories. A valid subscription needs to be attached to the Automation Hub node only. Other nodes do not need to have a valid subscription/pool attached, even if the [automationhub] group is blank, given this is done at the repos_el role level and that this role is run on both [tower] and [automationhub] hosts.

To find out the pool_id of your Ansible Automation Platform subscription:

#subscription-manager list --available --all | grep "Ansible Automation Platform" -B 3 -A 6

The command returns the following:

Subscription Name: Red Hat Ansible Automation, Premium (5000 Managed Nodes)
Provides: Red Hat Ansible Engine
Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform
SKU: MCT3695
Contract: ********
Pool ID: ********************
Provides Management: No
Available: 4999
Suggested: 1

To attach this subscription:

#subscription-manager attach --pool=<pool_id>

If this is properly done, and all nodes have Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform attached, then it will find the Automation Hub repositories correctly.

To check whether the subscription was successfully attached:

#subscription-manager list --consumed

To remove this subscription:

#subscription-manager remove --pool=<pool_id>

2.6. Tower Component Licenses

To view the license information for the components included within Ansible Tower, refer to /usr/share/doc/ansible-tower-<version>/README where <version> refers to the version of Ansible Tower you have installed.

To view a specific license, refer to /usr/share/doc/ansible-tower-<version>/*.txt, where * is replaced by the license file name to which you are referring.

3. Logging In

To log in to Tower, browse to the Tower interface at: http://<Tower server name>/

Login form

Log in using a valid Tower username and password.

The default username and password set during installation are admin and password, but the Tower administrator may have changed these settings during installation. If the default settings have not been changed, you can do so by accessing the Users (users-icon) icon from the

4. Import a Subscription

Starting with 3.8, Ansible Tower uses available subscriptions or a subscription manifest to authorize the use of Tower. Previously, Tower used a license key and a JSON dictionary of license metadata. Even if you already have valid licenses from previous versions, you must still provide your credentials or a subscriptions manifest again upon upgrading to Ansible Tower 3.8. To obtain your Tower subscription, you can either:

  1. Provide your Red Hat or Satellite username and password on the license page.

  2. Obtain a subscriptions manifest from your Subscription Allocations page on the customer portal. See Obtaining a subscriptions manifest for more detail.

If you have a Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform subscription, use your Red Hat customer credentials when you launch Tower to access your subscription information (see instructions below).

If you do not have a Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform subscription, you can request a trial subscription here or click Request Subscription and follow the instructions to request one.

Disconnected environments with Satellite will be able to use the login flow on vm-based installations if they have configured subscription manager on the Tower instance to connect to their Satellite instance. Recommended workarounds for disconnected environments without Satellite include [1] downloading a manifest from access.redhat.com in a connected environment, then uploading it to the disconnected Tower instance, or [2] connecting to the Internet through a proxy server.

If you have issues with the subscription you have received, please contact your Sales Account Manager or Red Hat Customer Service at https://access.redhat.com/support/contact/customerService/.

no license

When Tower launches for the first time, the Tower Subscription screen automatically displays. Use your Red Hat credentials (username and password) to retrieve and import your subscription, or upload a subscription manifest you received from Red Hat.

  1. Enter your Red Hat customer credentials (username and password) and click Get Subscriptions.

Alternatively, if you have a subscriptions manifest, click the Browse button and navigate to the location where the file is saved to upload it. The subscription manifest is in a zipfile format. See Obtaining a subscriptions manifest for more detail.

  1. The authentication method you use determines how your certificate(s) are stored:

  • If it is a subscriptions manifest, Tower will pull out the appropriate entitlement certificate(s), asks you to choose your subscription, and stores that certificate in the database.

  • If you entered your credential information (username/password), Tower retrieves your configured subscription service. Then it prompts you to choose the subscription you want to run (the example below shows multiple subscriptions) and generates a certificate, which will be stored in the database. You can log in over time and retrieve new subscriptions if you have renewed.

_images/license-password-entered.png

  1. Proceed by checking the End User License Agreement.

  2. The bottom half of the license screen involves analytics data collection. This helps Red Hat improve the product by delivering you a much better user experience. For more information about data collection, refer to Usability Analytics and Data Collection. This option is checked by default, but you may opt out of any of the following:

  • User analytics collects data from the Tower User Interface.

  • Automation analytics provides a high level analysis of your automation with Ansible Tower, which is used to help you identify trends and anomalous use of Tower. For opt-in of Automation Analytics to have any effect, your instance of Ansible Tower must be running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. See instructions described in the Automation Analytics section.

Note:
At this time, Automation Insights is not supported when Ansible Tower is running in the OpenShift Container Platform. You may change your analytics data collection preferences at any time, as described in the Usability Analytics and Data Collection section.

  1. After you have specified your tracking and analytics preferences, click Submit.

Once your subscription has been accepted, Tower briefly displays the license screen and navigates you to the Dashboard of the Ansible Tower interface. For later reference, you can return to the license screen by clicking the Settings (settings) icon from the left navigation bar and select the License tab from the Settings screen.

 

license accepted

4.1. Obtaining a subscriptions manifest

In order to upload a subscriptions manifest into Tower, first set up your subscription allocations:

  1. Go to https://access.redhat.com/management/subscription_allocations.

If there are no subscription allocations, follow the on-screen prompts to create a new subscription allocation to export.

  1. Subscription allocations need an entitlement loaded in order to export its subscriptions manifest. The number displayed in the Entitlements column indicates the available subscriptions. If none, click 0 and follow the on-screen prompts to load new subscriptions.

_images/subscription-allocations.png

Note

Add only the Ansible Automation Platform subscriptions in your subscription allocation.

_images/aap-subscriptions.png
  1. Click Submit.

  2. Click to select the Details tab. At the bottom of the details window of the selected subscription allocation, click the Export Manifest button to export the manifest file for this subscription.

_images/subscription-allocations-detail.png

A folder pre-pended with manifest_ in the name is downloaded to your local drive.

  1. Now that you have a subscription manifest, proceed to the Tower Subscription screen. Upload the manifest file (.zip) by clicking Browse and navigate to the location where the file is saved.

4.2. Adding a Tower subscription manually

If you are unable to apply or update the subscription info using the Tower UI, you can upload the subscriptions manifest manually in an Ansible playbook using the tower_license module in the Tower collection:

- name: Set the license using a file
  license:
  manifest: "/tmp/my_manifest.zip"

For more information about the Ansible tower_license module, see https://cloud.redhat.com/ansible/automation-hub/ansible/tower/content/module/tower_license.