1. What is ARA?
  2. Why ARA and How it differs from others?
  3. Installation
  4. Demo

1. What is ARA?

  • ARA is know as Ansible Run Analysis.
  • ARA uses its built in callback plugin to record playbook runs in its hosts or even other machines too.
  • ARA has built with sqlite database, but still it can be user with anyother database too.
  • ARA contains dynamic, database-driven web interface, which uses Flask Application.
  • The minimum required version of Ansible to run ARA is 2.1.0.0+.
  • ARA provides the following information
    • List all Playbook
    • Playbook results
    • Gives detailed task results
    • Record host facts

Note: For a complete document about ARA just visit ARA FAQ’s

2. Why ARA and How it differs from others?

2.1 Why ARA?

  • ARA is a Open Source project and it’s relatively simple application that is very easy to install and configure.
  • ARA works by configuring the callback in ansible.cfg, run a playbook and it’ll be recorded, wherever it is.
  • No need of inventory management.
  • It just record data and provide an intuitive interface for it.
  • ARA stores data locally and browsed locally, no need of central server or upload your data elsewhere.

2.2 How it differs from others?

  • Ansible Tower is currently a product from Ansible and has not been open sourced.
  • Other tools such as Ansible Tower, Semaphore and Rundeck wants to control the whole workflow from end-to-end.
  • The above application need to be hosted and maintained “centralized”.
  • ARA does not require any changes to your setup or workflow, it adds itself in transparently and seamlessly.

Note: For a complete document about ARA just visit ara.readthedocs.io

3. Installation

  • Before installing ARA we need to have ansible
  • Check ansible version using the command ansible --version

    ansible 2.2.1.0
    config file = /etc/ansible/ansible.cfg
    configured module search path = Default w/o overrides

3.1 Installing ARA
3.1.1 Required dependencies

sudo apt-get -y install gcc python-dev libffi-dev libssl-dev

3.1.2 Development or integration testing dependencies

sudo apt-get -y install python-pip libxml2-dev libxslt1-dev
sudo pip install tox

3.1.3 Installing ARA from latest release on PyPi

sudo pip install ara

Note: For other installation methods of ARA just visit ARA Instalation page.

3.2 Configuring ansible.cfg

  • To use ARA we need to configure ansible to know about ARA Installation
  • We can use Environmental variables or ansible .cfg file in current directory
  • Let’s use ansible.cfg file in current directory
  • Add content to ansible.cfg file by running the following command

` cat > ansible.cfg <<EOF [defaults] # callback_plugins configuration is required for the ARA callback callback_plugins = $ara_location/plugins/callbacks

action_plugins and library configuration is required for the ara_record and ara_read modules action_plugins = $ara_location/plugins/actions library = $ara_location/plugins/modules EOF `

Note: Before adding the above lines to ansible.cfg just export the variable export ara_location=$(python -c "import os,ara; print(os.path.dirname(ara.__file__))")

3.3 Configuring Web Server

  • ARA comes with embedded web server, set-up environmental variable for ARA_DATABASE and run ara-manage runserver

$ export ARA_DATABASE="sqlite:////tmp/ara.sqlite"
$ ara-manage runserver -h 0.0.0.0 -p 8080

  • Visit the web-interface page at host-ip:8080 and you could see its not started recording, so we need to run ansible-playbook at-least once to make ARA to start recording.
  • Create a ansible role to install cowsay and configure inventory file for hosts.
  • Now run ansible-playbook with configure.yml and inventory file.
  • After running ansible-playbook we need to run ara-manage runserver to start web-interface again.
  • We could see the lovely interface of ARA with data collected of playbook-reports

4. Demo

  • A complete installation of ARA and for a small demo, just watch the
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