2. Upgrading to Ansible Automation Platform

Starting with Ansible Tower 3.8, Automation Hub will act as a content provider for Ansible Tower, which requires both an Ansible Tower deployment and an Automation Hub deployment running alongside each other. The Ansible Automation Platform installer contains both of these. This section covers each component of the upgrading process:

Note:
All upgrades should be no more than two major versions behind what you are currently upgrading to. For example, in order to upgrade to Ansible Tower 3.7.x, you must first be on version 3.5.x; i.e., there is no direct upgrade path from version 3.4.x or earlier. Refer to the recommended upgrade path article on the Red Hat customer portal. In order to run Ansible Tower 3.8, you must also have Ansible 2.8 or later installed.

2.1. Upgrade Planning

This section covers changes that you should keep in mind as you attempt to upgrade your Ansible Tower instance.

  • Even if you already have a valid license from a previous version, you must still provide your credentials or a subscriptions manifest again upon upgrading to Ansible Tower 3.8. See Import a Subscription in the Ansible Tower User Guide.

  • If you need to upgrade Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Ansible Tower, you will need to do a backup and restore of your Tower data. Refer to Upgrading an Existing Tower Installation in the Ansible Automation Platform Installation and Reference Guide for further detail.

  • Clustered upgrades require special attention to instance and instance groups prior to starting the upgrade. Refer to the setup_inventory_file and see Clustering for details.

  • Prior versions of Ansible Tower used the variable name rabbitmq_host during installation. If you are upgrading from a previous version of Tower, and you previously specified rabbitmq_host in your inventory, simply rename rabbitmq_host to routable_hostname before upgrading. See Clustering for details.

2.2. Obtaining the Installer

Refer to Obtain the Ansible Automation Platform Installation Program in the Ansible Automation Platform Installation and Reference Guide for detail.

2.3. Setting up the Inventory File

As you edit your inventory file, there are a few things you must keep in mind:

  • The contents of the inventory file should be defined in ./inventory, next to the ./setup.sh installer playbook.

  • For installations and upgrades: If you need to make use of external databases, you must ensure the database sections of your inventory file are properly setup. Edit this file and add your external database information before running the setup script.

  • For Ansible Automation Platform or Automation Hub: Be sure to add an automation hub host in the [automationhub] group (Tower and Automation Hub cannot be installed on the same node)

  • For upgrading an existing cluster: When upgrading a cluster, you may decide that you want to also reconfigure your cluster to omit existing instances or instance groups. Omitting the instance or the instance group from the inventory file will not be enough to remove them from the cluster. In addition to omitting instances or instance groups from the inventory file, you must also deprovision instances or instance groups before starting the upgrade. Otherwise, omitted instances or instance groups will continue to communicate with the cluster, which can cause issues with tower services during the upgrade.

  • For clustered installations: If you are creating a clustered setup, you must replace localhost with the hostname or IP address of all instances. All nodes/instances must be able to reach any others using this hostname or address. In other words, you cannot use the localhost ansible_connection=local on one of the nodes AND all of the nodes should use the same format for the host names.

    Therefore, this will not work:

    [tower]
    localhost ansible_connection=local
    hostA
    hostB.example.com
    172.27.0.4
    

    Instead, use these formats:

    [tower]
    hostA
    hostB
    hostC
    

    OR

    hostA.example.com
    hostB.example.com
    hostC.example.com
    

    OR

    [tower]
    172.27.0.2
    172.27.0.3
    172.27.0.4
    
  • For all standard installations: When performing an installation, you must supply any necessary passwords in the inventory file.

Note:
Note Changes made to the installation process now require that you fill out all of the password fields in the inventory file. If you need to know where to find the values for these they should be: admin_password='' <— Tower local admin password pg_password='' <—- Found in /etc/tower/conf.d/postgres.py

Warning:
Do not use special characters in pg_password as it may cause the setup to fail.

2.3.1. Example Inventory files

  • For provisioning new nodes: When provisioning new nodes add the nodes to the inventory file with all current nodes, make sure all passwords are included in the inventory file.

  • For upgrading a single node: When upgrading, be sure to compare your inventory file to the current release version. It is recommended that you keep the passwords in here even when performing an upgrade.

2.3.1.1. Example Standalone Automation Hub Inventory File

[automationhub]
automationhub.acme.org
[all:vars]
automationhub_admin_password='<password>'
automationhub_pg_host=''
automationhub_pg_port=''
automationhub_pg_database='automationhub'
automationhub_pg_username='automationhub'
automationhub_pg_password='<password>'
automationhub_pg_sslmode='prefer'
# The default install will deploy a TLS enabled Automation Hub.
# If for some reason this is not the behavior wanted one can
# disable TLS enabled deployment.
#
# automationhub_disable_https = False
# The default install will generate self-signed certificates for the Automation
# Hub service. If you are providing valid certificate via automationhub_ssl_cert
# and automationhub_ssl_key, one should toggle that value to True.
#
# automationhub_ssl_validate_certs = False
# SSL-related variables
# If set, this will install a custom CA certificate to the system trust store.
# custom_ca_cert=/path/to/ca.crt
# Certificate and key to install in Automation Hub node
# automationhub_ssl_cert=/path/to/automationhub.cert
# automationhub_ssl_key=/path/to/automationhub.key

2.3.1.2. Example Platform Inventory File

[tower]
tower.acme.org
[automationhub]
automationhub.acme.org
[database]
database-01.acme.org
[all:vars]
admin_password='<password>'
pg_host='database-01.acme.org'
pg_port='5432'
pg_database='awx'
pg_username='awx'
pg_password='<password>'
pg_sslmode='prefer'  # set to 'verify-full' for client-side enforced SSL
# Automation Hub Configuration
automationhub_admin_password='<password>'
automationhub_pg_host='database-01.acme.org'
automationhub_pg_port='5432'
automationhub_pg_database='automationhub'
automationhub_pg_username='automationhub'
automationhub_pg_password='<password>'
automationhub_pg_sslmode='prefer'
# The default install will deploy a TLS enabled Automation Hub.
# If for some reason this is not the behavior wanted one can
# disable TLS enabled deployment.
# automationhub_disable_https = False
# The default install will generate self-signed certificates for the Automation
# Hub service. If you are providing valid certificate via automationhub_ssl_cert
# and automationhub_ssl_key, one should toggle that value to True.
# automationhub_ssl_validate_certs = False
# Isolated Tower nodes automatically generate an RSA key for authentication;
# To disable this behavior, set this value to false
# isolated_key_generation=true
# SSL-related variables
# If set, this will install a custom CA certificate to the system trust store.
# custom_ca_cert=/path/to/ca.crt
# Certificate and key to install in nginx for the web UI and API
# web_server_ssl_cert=/path/to/tower.cert
# web_server_ssl_key=/path/to/tower.key
# Certificate and key to install in Automation Hub node
# automationhub_ssl_cert=/path/to/automationhub.cert
# automationhub_ssl_key=/path/to/automationhub.key
# Server-side SSL settings for PostgreSQL (when we are installing it).
# postgres_use_ssl=False
# postgres_ssl_cert=/path/to/pgsql.crt
# postgres_ssl_key=/path/to/pgsql.key

2.3.1.3. Example Single Node Inventory File

[tower]
localhost ansible_connection=local

[database]

[all:vars]
admin_password='password'

pg_host=''
pg_port=''

pg_database='awx'
pg_username='awx'
pg_password='password'

Warning:
Do not use special characters in pg_password as it may cause the setup to fail.

2.3.1.4. Example Multi Node Cluster Inventory File

[tower]
clusternode1.example.com
clusternode2.example.com
clusternode3.example.com

[database]
dbnode.example.com

[all:vars]
ansible_become=true

admin_password='password'

pg_host='dbnode.example.com'
pg_port='5432'

pg_database='tower'
pg_username='tower'
pg_password='password'

Warning:
Do not use special characters in pg_password as it may cause the setup to fail.

2.3.1.5. Example Inventory file for an external existing database

[tower]
node.example.com ansible_connection=local

[database]

[all:vars]
admin_password='password'
pg_password='password'


pg_host='database.example.com'
pg_port='5432'

pg_database='awx'
pg_username='awx'

Warning:
Do not use special characters in pg_password as it may cause the setup to fail.

2.3.1.6. Example Inventory file for external database which needs installation

[tower]
node.example.com ansible_connection=local


[database]
database.example.com

[all:vars]
admin_password='password'
pg_password='password'

pg_host='database.example.com'
pg_port='5432'

pg_database='awx'
pg_username='awx'

Warning:
Do not use special characters in pg_password as it may cause the setup to fail.

Once any necessary changes have been made, you are ready to run ./setup.sh.

Note:
Root access to the remote machines is required. With Ansible, this can be achieved in different ways: ansible_user=root ansible_ssh_pass=”your_password_here” inventory host or group variables ansible_user=root ansible_ssh_private_key_file=”path_to_your_keyfile.pem” inventory host or group variables ANSIBLE_BECOME_METHOD=’sudo’ ANSIBLE_BECOME=True ./setup.sh ANSIBLE_SUDO=True ./setup.sh (Only applies to Ansible 2.7) The DEFAULT_SUDO Ansible configuration parameter was removed in Ansible 2.8, which causes the ANSIBLE_SUDO=True ./setup.sh method of privilege escalation to no longer work. For more information on become plugins, refer to Understanding Privilege Escalation and the list of become plugins.

2.4. Running the Setup Playbook

The Tower setup playbook script uses the inventory file and is invoked as ./setup.sh from the path where you unpacked the Tower installer tarball.

root@localhost:~$ ./setup.sh

The setup script takes the following arguments:

  • -h – Show this help message and exit

  • -i INVENTORY_FILE – Path to Ansible inventory file (default: inventory)

  • -e EXTRA_VARS – Set additional Ansible variables as key=value or YAML/JSON (i.e. -e bundle_install=false forces an online installation)

  • -b – Perform a database backup in lieu of installing

  • -r – Perform a database restore in lieu of installing (a default restore path is used unless EXTRA_VARS are provided with a non-default path, as shown in the code example below)

./setup.sh -e 'restore_backup_file=/path/to/nondefault/location' -r