Last year, we announced the availability of Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform on Google Cloud. We have recently updated this offering to streamline the customer experience and make Ansible Automation Platform on Google Cloud much easier to purchase and consume. The new offering allows customers the flexibility to deploy Ansible Automation Platform on Google Cloud, and customers can now choose the self-managed application in Google Cloud Marketplace.

With this new Google Cloud Marketplace listing, customers have more control over their infrastructure, the design, architecture, deployment, and scalability of their Ansible Automation Platform environment. Customers can take advantage of the complete Ansible Automation Platform, including integrations with native Google Cloud services.

It’s simple: You purchase it from Google Cloud Marketplace and self-deploy into your Google Cloud tenant. You also get access to Red Hat’s premium support, it counts towards your committed spend agreements (committed use discounts (CUDs) with Google Cloud and it’s integrated into Google billing.

Currently available globally! The graphic below is what it looks like in the Google Cloud Marketplace. Private offers are also available for this offering, so please reach out to your Red Hat and/or Google Cloud account executives for more information.

Let’s get into more details about the self-managed Ansible Automation Platform on Google Cloud application.

Virtual Machine deployment

Self-managed Ansible Automation Platform on Google Cloud is a virtual machine based deployment. When you go to the marketplace to deploy this, it will walk you through spinning up the virtual machine(s). Again, you get to choose the number and configuration of the virtual machines depending on the architecture and size that you have determined best suits your organizational needs. The selected machine type for this deployment configuration must have at least 4 vCPUs and 8 GB of memory.

Adjust the sizing, the storage, and the networking details as needed, then deploy.

This virtual machine image has Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9.x (RHEL), and includes the Ansible Automation Platform installation bundle.

The Google Cloud virtual machine vCPUs map to the active managed nodes that you want to automate against. For example, let’s say you want to perform automation against 400 active managed nodes (resources). Each 4 vCPUs account for 100 active managed nodes. 400 active managed nodes map to 16 vCPUs. In this design, I’d like to consider two options. The first is 1 automation controller and 1 private automation hub. So I would deploy 2 virtual machines, each with 8 vCPUS. The second option is 2 automation controllers. I would deploy 2 virtual machines, each with 8 vCPUS to represent this design. This would look like the following.

In a larger example of 1600 active managed nodes. That would map to 64 vCPUs. I’d like to deploy 2 larger automation controller instances, 1 private automation hub, 1 Event-Driven Ansible, and 2 execution nodes. I would deploy 6 virtual machines to represent this design. Here’s what this would look like.

Note:  Not every Ansible Automation Platform infrastructure node in your architecture needs to be built with the image from the marketplace. For example, if you wanted to manage 100 nodes and have a private automation hub and two execution nodes, you would deploy 1 virtual machine with 4 vCPU (100 managed node entitlement) and you would self-deploy the private automation hub and execution nodes not using the marketplace offer. In other words, using your own Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) image.

Ansible Automation Platform installation

With the infrastructure all in place, the next step is to install Ansible Automation Platform and each of its applications on the respective virtual machines. At this point you would install Ansible Automaton Platform using the standard documentation recommendations and guidelines. Here are links again to the planning guide, and the installation guide

The RHEL virtual machines you deployed have the latest installation bundle for Ansible Automation Platform 2.x. You will find this available in the following folder:

/opt/ansible-automation-platform/installer/

Following the instructions in the installation guide, you will update the inventory_gcp file and then run the installation setup.sh

Alternatively, if you do want to automate all the infrastructure creations and setup, you can leverage this Git repository to do so. The Ansible Content Lab is making this available. (disclaimer: this is community supported and not officially supported by Red Hat or Google).

Make your own copy so you can modify it, and then trigger the infrastructure installation by following the detailed instructions. This will create the VPC, virtual network, subnets, and update the firewall rules to allow Ansible Automation Platform ports within the VPC, and externally allows https, and automation mesh ports. It will create a Google Cloud PostgreSQL database, and the necessary DB instances for automation controller, private automation hub, and Event-Driven Ansible (depending on your configuration of the inventory file). It will also create the VPC peering between the VPC network and the Google VPC network where the PostgreSQL database resides.

You’re not quite done yet! At that point, you need to ssh to one the VMs you designated to be an automation controller. There are a couple of additional documented steps in the repository.  Now you can run the Ansible Automation Platform installer by modifying the inventory_gcp file and kickoff the installation. Enjoy!

Advantages of the self-managed Ansible Automation Platform on Google Cloud

  • Architecture and scale. You get to determine what is the most ideal architecture based on your environment size and requirements. Choose the number of controllers, the number of execution nodes, and if you want to deploy Event-Driven Ansible. The choice is completely yours to make! For more on architecture, design, configuration and scale, please visit the Ansible Automation Platform planning guide, and the Ansible Automation Platform installation guide
  • Google Cloud configuration. Because this is fully self-managed, it fits well within your organization’s cloud design and configuration. 
  • Automation mesh support. Automation mesh is an Ansible Automation Platform feature that allows organizations to distribute automation workloads across hybrid cloud peer-to-peer connections with each other using existing networks.
  • Event-Driven Ansible is included. Event driven automation helps you reduce manual tasks and deliver a more efficient IT environment focused on innovation. Event-Driven Ansible processes events, and determines the appropriate responses, and then executes automated actions to remediate the event. Event-Driven Ansible is included with this self-managed offering on Google Cloud. Check it out, and give it a try.
  • Offers. Subscriptions are available in 100 active managed node increments, and this is available in both public offers, or private offers.

What can I do next?

To learn more about Ansible Automation Platform on Google Cloud, please visit the page here.

To learn more about Ansible Automation Platform on other hyperscaler clouds, please visit the page here.

To learn more about automation mesh, please visit this guide.

To learn more about Event-Driven Ansible, please visit this page

For hands-on self-paced lab(s) on Ansible Automation Platform please visit this page.

  • lab on getting started with automation mesh.
  • Labs on getting started with Event-Driven Ansible.

About the authors

Hicham is responsible for technical marketing of the Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform on Clouds. Hicham has been in the software industry for over 20 years and for many of them focused on cloud management. Hicham has been a frequent presenter at events and conferences like VMworld, vForum, VMUG, VMLive, Gartner, Dell Technology World, AWS re:Invent, HPE Discover, Cloud Field Day, Red Hat Summit, AnsibleFest, in addition to Customer events.

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Jamie Beck is a Senior Principal Product Marketing Manager with the Ansible Automation Business Unit at Red Hat. Jamie has an extensive background in networking and security having spent a number of years at Cisco and Tenable, and has been at Red Hat since 2017. 

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