Ansible revs to deliver next Engine release candidate in March

Ansible Tower

Ansible fans can expect the next release of Ansible Engine to hit in May, with a first release candidate likely to appear in March.

Tim Appnel, senior principal product manager for Ansible, told a roadshow audience in London yesterday that a release candidate for version 2.8 of Ansible Engine would “probably” appear in March 2019, with the final release sometime in May.

One focus of the upcoming version would be plug-ins for privilege escalation, with the ability to write alternatives to sudo.

“We’ve had some of those built in but they’ve never been pluggable,” he said. “We’ve heard from our customers they were looking to be able to control and extend those things. We’ll have those in 2.8.”

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“We’ve also been doing a lot of work to make external content easier with Ansible Engine,” he said. “While we ship all those modules and plugins today, we want to enable the ability for that type of content to come from the outside and add it to Engine more easily.”

He said it also aimed to have more parity in how Roles and Modules work, making the former ”more flexible, more easy to reuse, more easy to share, and be more portable.”

Appnel also dropped some hints about the next release of Ansible Tower, the console for managing Ansible Engine, saying the roadmap is “being nailed down right now”.

Tower 3.4 hit general availability earlier this month. For 3.5, he said, “Number one on the list is going to RHEL 8 compatibility. We are going to be able to run Ansible Tower on RHEL 8 when it is released, day one.”

That also means switching to Python 3, he continued: “We’re going to have full Python 3 compatibility.”

Metrics would be a major focus, with improvements in the “ability to collect and view and analyse how your automation is running and what’s being done inside of it.”

Tower 3.5 was also slated to get built in integrations for credential vaults such as Hashicorp Vault and CyberArk. This would mean credentials don’t have to live inside Tower, so “if you have a centralised system you’re able to have Tower pull the credentials necessary.”

Of course, all this happens within the context of Red Hat’s upcoming borging into IBM. Appnel said that the audience probably knew as much as he knew about the deal. Given this was a City audience, it’s just possible some of them knew more.

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