What’s new in Ansible 1.1 for AWS and Eucalyptus users?

Ansible providing more AWS/Eucalyptus support!

Take that to the bank and cash it!

I thought the Ansible 1.0 development cycle was busy but 1.1 is crammed full of orchestration goodness.  On Tuesday, 1.1 was released and you can read more about it here: http://blog.ansibleworks.com/2013/04/02/ansible-1-1-released/

For those working on AWS and Eucalyptus, 1.1 brings some nice module improvements as well as a new cloudformation and s3 module.  It’s great to see the AWS-related modules becoming so popular so quickly.  Here are some more details about the changes but you can find info in the changelog here: https://github.com/ansible/ansible/blob/devel/CHANGELOG.md

Security group ID support

It’s now possible to specify the security group by its ID.  This is quite typically behaviour in EC2 and Eucalyptus will support this with the pending 3.3 release.  The parameter is optional.

VPC subnet ID

VPC users can now specify a subnet ID associated with their instance.

Instance state wait timeout

In 1.0 there was no way to specify how long to wait…

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What’s new in Ansible 1.1 for AWS and Eucalyptus users?

Using Ansible to Deploy Neo4j HA Cluster on AWS/Eucalyptus

As a follow-up to my last Neo4j, AWS/Eucalyptus blog, this entry demonstrates another great example of AWS/Eucalyptus fidelity by using Ansible to deploy a Neo4j High Available cluster.

Neo4j - Graph Database
Neo4j – Graph Database
Amazon AWS EC2
Amazon AWS EC2
Eucalyptus Systems Inc.
Eucalyptus Systems Inc.


In order to use this Ansible playbook on AWS/Eucalyptus, the following is needed:

Before deploying the cluster, a security group needs to be created that the cluster will use.  The security group must allow the following:

  • port 22 (SSH)
  • all instances part of the security group allowed to community with each other (ports 0 – 65535)

To create the security group and authorize the ports, make sure the user’s access key, secret access key, and EC2 URL are noted, and do the following:

  1. Create the security group

    ec2-create-group --aws-access-key <EC2_ACCESS_KEY> 
    --aws-secret-key <EC2_SECRET_KEY> 
    --url <EC2_URL> -g neo4j-cluster -d "Neo4j HA Cluster"

  2. Authorize port for SSH in neo4j-cluster security group

    --aws-access-key <EC2_ACCESS_KEY> 
    --aws-secret-key <EC2_SECRET_KEY> 
    --url <EC2_URL> -P tcp -p 22 -s neo4j-cluster

  3. Authorize all port communication between cluster members 

    --aws-access-key <EC2_ACCESS_KEY> --aws-secret-key <EC2_SECRET_KEY> 
    --url <EC2_URL> -P tcp -o neo4j-cluster -p -1 neo4j-cluster

After completing these steps, use


to view the security group:

ec2-describe-group --aws-access-key <EC2_ACCESS_KEY> 
--aws-secret-key <EC2_SECRET_KEY> --url <EC2_URL> neo4j-cluster

GROUP sg-1cbc5777 986451091583 neo4j-cluster Neo4j HA Cluster
PERMISSION 986451091583 neo4j-cluster ALLOWS tcp 0 65535 FROM 
USER 986451091583 NAME neo4j-cluster ID sg-1cbc5777 ingress
PERMISSION 986451091583 neo4j-cluster 
ALLOWS tcp 22 22 FROM CIDR ingress

Neo4j HA Cluster Deployment

Once the security group is created with the correct ports authorized, the cluster can be deployed.  To deploy the cluster, do the following:

  1. Obtain Ansible from git and setup the environment by following the instructions mentioned here – http://ansible.cc/docs/gettingstarted.html#getting-ansible
  2. Obtain the Ansible Playbook for Neo4j HA Cluster using git

    git clone https://github.com/hspencer77/ansible-neo4j-cluster.git

  3. Change directory into ansible-neo4j-cluster  

    cd ansible-neo4j-cluster

  4. Set up /etc/ansible/hosts with the following information:
  5. Populate vars/ec2-config with either Eucalyptus/AWS information. vars/ec2-config contains the following variables:
    keypair: <EC2/Eucalyptus Keypair>
    ec2_access_key: <EC2_ACCESS_KEY>
    ec2_secret_key: <EC2_SECRET_KEY>
    ec2_url: <EC2_URL>
    instance_type: m1.small
    security_group: <AWS/Eucalyptus Security Group>
    image: <AMI/EMI>

    Execute the following command:

    ansible-playbook neo4j-cluster.yml \
     --private-key=<AWS/Eucalyptus Private Key file> --extra-vars "node_count=3"
  7. After the playbook finishes, there will be an URL provided to access the cluster – similar to the example below:
    TASK: [Display HAProxy URL] *********************
    changed: [] => {"changed": true, "cmd": 
    "echo \"HAProxy URL for Neo4j -
     http://ec2-23-22-248-75.compute-1.amazonaws.com/webadmin/#/info/org.neo4j/High%20Availability/\" ",
     "delta": "0:00:00.006835", "end": "2013-03-30 19:54:31.104320", 
    "rc": 0, "start": "2013-03-30 19:54:31.097485", "stderr": "", 
    "HAProxy URL for Neo4j - 

    To view the status of cluster in the browser, open up http://ec2-23-22-248-75.compute-1.amazonaws.com/webadmin/#/info/org.neo4j/High%20Availability/.

  8. To get the status of the cluster, use curl:
    curl -H "Content-Type:application/json" -d '["org.neo4j:*"]' 

Thats it!  A Neo4j HA cluster with an HA Proxy server serving as an endpoint is available to be used.   If a bigger cluster is desired, just change the


value.   For additional information regarding this playbook, and how it handles the cluster membership, please refer to the following URL – https://github.com/hspencer77/ansible-neo4j-cluster/blob/master/README.md.

Hope you enjoy!  As always, questions/comments/suggestions are always welcome.

Using Ansible to Deploy Neo4j HA Cluster on AWS/Eucalyptus

Ansible Playbook for Eucalyptus Deployment == Next Level Configuration Management for the Cloud

Ansible playbook for Eucalyptus…NICE! Great work Lester!

Take that to the bank and cash it!

The first cut of the Ansible deployment playbook for deploying Eucalyptus private clouds is ready.  I’ve merged the first “release” into the master branch here: https://github.com/lwade/eucalyptus-playbook. Feedback and contributions are very welcome, please file issues against the project.

This playbook allows a user to deploy a single front-end cloud (i.e. all component on a single system) and as many NC’s as they want.  Although admittedly I’ve only tested with one so far.  I’ve followed, to a certain degree, the best practices described here:  http://ansible.cc/docs/bestpractices.html

Overall I’m pretty happy with it, there are some areas which I’d like to re-write and improve but the groundwork is there.  It was all very fluid to start with and doing something multi-tier has been enjoyable. I’ve also learnt what its like to automate a deployment of Eucalyptus and there are probably a number of things we should improve to make it easier in this…

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Ansible Playbook for Eucalyptus Deployment == Next Level Configuration Management for the Cloud

Second part of Ansible work with AWS and Eucalyptus

More Ansible Love with AWS and Eucalyptus!

Take that to the bank and cash it!

My previous post talked a little bit about new functionality from (new and updated) ec2-related modules in the Ansible 1.0 release.  In this post I’ll go through the practical example of launching multiple instances with the ec2 module and then configuring them with a workload.  In this case the workload will be the Eucalyptus User Console :)

For those who are unfamiliar with ansible, check out the online documentation here. The documentation itself is in a pretty good order for newcomers, so make sure to take it step by step to get the most out of it.  Once you’ve finished you’ll then come to realise how flexible it is but hopefully also how *easy* it is.

To launch my instances and then configure them, I’m going to use a playbook.  For want of a better explanation a playbook is a yaml formatted file containing a series of tasks which…

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Second part of Ansible work with AWS and Eucalyptus

Ansible + AWS + Eucalyptus == Solid Configuration Management for Hybrid Cloud

Good AWS + Eucalyptus Love with Ansible!

Take that to the bank and cash it!

You may be forgiven for thinking that a version 1.0 software release indicates some sort of significant milestone for the lifecycle of a project.  Perhaps in many cases it does but with Ansible, not so much.  Michael DeHaan articulates it much better than I could in this post to the project mailing list.  My personal experience from using Ansible since v0.8 is that each release delivers consistency, quality and increased flexibility.  It’s great to see fast releases delivering something which is incrementally more useful and enjoyable to use.  There’s always new handy stuff in each release.

For those using AWS and Eucalyptus, Ansible 1.0 is a perfect example of incremental AWSomeness (geddit?!).  Along with a host of other improvements it delivers the following for AWS/Eucalyptus users:

  • An updated ec2 module; ported to boto by our very own tgerla and now with the capability to launch multiple instances.  It works…

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Ansible + AWS + Eucalyptus == Solid Configuration Management for Hybrid Cloud

Good layout of configuration management recipes that can be used with Eucalyptus/AWS. Looking forward to contributing to this project. Good work Andrew!

Semi-Empirical Shenanigans

Automation and configuration management is a big part of any successful cloud deployment. Whether on AWS, Eucalyptus or another cloud provider, having services that can be easily spun up and down with a consistent configuration is a must at cloud scale. The recipes project is looking to assist new cloud users with a first step.

The recipes project is attempting to be as vendor agnostic as possible by using both Puppet and Chef with the possible expansion to more options (Fabric, Ansible, etc) in the future. The project will be showing users basic techniques to get started with configuration management once their cloud is up and running. The project will also attempt to tie in the plentiful resources already available from these vibrant communities to extend the flexibility of deployments.

To help users with this a repository on GitHub has been created. The simple structure will…

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