Exercise 5: Explore Automation controller

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Table of Contents


Explore and understand the lab environment. This exercise will cover


Step 1: Login to Automation controller

  1. Return to the workshop launch page provided by your instructor.

  2. Click on the link to the Automation controller webUI. You should see a login screen similar to the follow:

Screenshot of Automation controller login window. automation controller login window

  1. After logging in the Job Dashboard will be the default view as shown below.

    automation controller dashboard

  2. Click on the ? button on the top right of the user interface and click About

    about button link

  3. A window will pop up similar to the following:

    version info window

Step 2: Examine the Automation controller Inventory

An inventory is required for Automation controller to be able to run jobs. An inventory is a collection of hosts against which jobs may be launched, the same as an Ansible inventory file. In addition, Automation controller can make use of an existing configuration management data base (cmdb) such as ServiceNow or Infoblox DDI.


More info on Inventories in respect to Automation controller can be found in the documentation here

  1. Click on the Inventories button under RESOURCES on the left menu bar.

    Inventories Button

  2. Under Inventories click on the Workshop Inventory.

    Workshop Inventory Link

  3. Under the Workshop Inventory click the Hosts button at the top. There will be four hosts here, rtr1 through rtr4 as well as the ansible control node.

    automation controller workshop inventory hosts

  4. Click on one of the devices.

    workshop inventory hosts rtr1

    Take note of the VARIABLES field. The host_vars are set here including the ansible_host variable.

  5. Click on GROUPS. There will be multiple groups here including routers and cisco. Click on one of the groups.

    workshop inventory groups

  6. Click on one of the groups.

    workshop inventory group vars

    Take note of the VARIABLES field. The group_vars are set here including the ansible_connection and ansible_network_os variable.

Step 3: Examine the Automation controller Workshop Project

A project is how Ansible Playbooks are imported into Automation controller. You can manage playbooks and playbook directories by either placing them manually under the Project Base Path on your Automation controller server, or by placing your playbooks into a source code management (SCM) system supported by Automation controller, including Git and Subversion.


For more information on Projects in Automation controller, please refer to the documentation

  1. Click on the Projects button under RESOURCES on the left menu bar.

    Workshop Project Link

  2. Under PROJECTS there will be a Workshop Project.

    Workshop Project Link

    Note that GIT is listed for this project. This means this project is using Git for SCM.

  3. Click on the Workshop Project.

Workshop Project Detail

Note that Source Control URL is set to [https://github.com/network-automation/toolkit](https://github.com/network-automation/toolkit )

Step 4: Examine the Automation controller Workshop Credential

Credentials are utilized by Automation controller for authentication when launching Jobs against machines, synchronizing with inventory sources, and importing project content from a version control system. For the workshop we need a credential to authenticate to the network devices.


For more information on Credentials in Automation controller please refer to the documentation.

  1. Click on the Credentials button under Resources on the left menu bar.

    credentials link

  2. Under Credentials there will be multiple pre-configured credentials, including Workshop Credential, Controller Credential and the registry.redhat.io credential. Click on the Workshop Credential.

    Workshop Credential Link

  3. Under the Workshop Credential examine the following:

Automation mesh

Automation mesh

Automation mesh is an overlay network intended to ease the distribution of work across a large and dispersed collection of workers. Mesh nodes establish peer-to-peer connections with each other across your existing networks bringing automation closer to the endpoints that need it.

Automation mesh is already configured and ready to use in your workshop environment.


Learning about automation mesh falls outside the scope of this workshop. However, please try our hands-on, interactive labs to learn more about automation mesh and other Ansible Automation Platform features.



You have completed lab exercise 5

You have now examined all three components required to get started with Automation controller. A credential, an inventory and a project. In the next exercise we will create a job template.

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