Ansible AWS training provisioner

The contains an Ansible Playbook provision_lab.yml, which is an automated lab setup for Ansible training on AWS (Amazon Web Services). Set the workshop_type variable below to provision the corresponding workshop.

Workshop Workshop Type Var
Ansible for Red Hat Enterprise Linux Workshop workshop_type: rhel
Ansible for Red Hat Enterprise Linux Workshop - 90 minutes workshop_type: rhel_90
Ansible Network Automation Workshop workshop_type: network
Ansible F5 Workshop workshop_type: f5
Ansible Security Automation workshop_type: security
Ansible Windows Automation workshop_type: windows
Ansible Demo Mode workshop_type: demo
Smart Management Workshop workshop_type: smart_mgmt

Table Of Contents


Lab Setup

One Time Setup

For One Time Setup - click here

Setup (per workshop)

# region where the nodes will live
ec2_region: us-east-1

# name prefix for all the VMs
ec2_name_prefix: TESTWORKSHOP

# creates student_total of workbenches for the workshop
student_total: 2

# Set the right workshop type, like network, rhel or f5 (see above)
workshop_type: rhel


# turn DNS on for control nodes, and set to type in valid_dns_type
dns_type: aws

# password for Ansible control node
admin_password: your_password123

# Sets the Route53 DNS zone to use for Amazon Web Services

# automatically installs Tower to control node
towerinstall: true

# IBM Community Grid - defaults to true if you don't tell the provisioner
ibm_community_grid: false

If you want to license it you must copy a license called tower_license.json into this directory. If you do not have a license already please request one using the Workshop License Link.

For more extra_vars examples, look at the following:

ansible-playbook provision_lab.yml -e @extra_vars.yml

IBM Community Grid

IBM’s World Community Grid is integrated into the workshops. World Community Grid enables anyone with a Linux, Windows or Mac computer (or an Android smartphone for some projects) to donate their unused computing power to advance scientific research on topics related to health and sustainability.

By default the key, value pair is set: ibm_community_grid: true. This installs the boinc-client to all Red Hat Enterprise Linux instances (except the Ansible control node). This can be disabled by setting ibm_community_grid: false. By default in the Ansible Automation workshops all research progress (points and CPU time) is added to a joint Ansible account for Red Hat. If you prefer to use your own account, or another project change the following variables:

boinc_auth: "1114316_4080087955dc198a6109a25a56817809"
boinc_url: ""

Please read this blog for more information:

Accessing student documentation and slides

Accessing instructor inventory


The provisioner currently supports creating DNS records per control node with valid SSL certs using Lets Encrypt. Right now DNS is only supported via AWS Route 53, however we are building it in a way that this can be more pluggable and take advantage of other public clouds.

This means that each student workbench will get an individual DNS entry. For example a DNS name will look like this:

Smart Management

The Smart Management Lab relies on a prebuilt AMI for Red Hat Satellite Server. An example for building this AMI can be found here.

The Smart Management Lab also requires AWS DNS to be enabled and IBM community Grid to be disabled. See sample vars for required configuration.

Lab Teardown

The teardown_lab.yml playbook deletes all the training instances as well as local inventory files.

To destroy all the EC2 instances after training is complete:

ansible-playbook teardown_lab.yml -e @extra_vars.yml
ansible-playbook teardown_lab.yml -e @extra_vars.yml -e debug_teardown=true


There is a variable you can pass in within your extra_vars named demo. When this keyword is defined it will install the specified demo from the Github repository

For example you can put:

demo: all

Which will install all demos onto the Ansible Tower instance. Not all demos will work on any workshop_type. Please refer to the Demo repository list.


For frequently asked questions see the FAQ

More info on what is happening

The provision_lab.yml playbook creates a work bench for each student, configures them for password authentication, and creates an inventory file for each user with their IPs and credentials. An instructor inventory file is also created in the current directory which will let the instructor access the nodes of any student. This file will be called instructor_inventory.txt

What does the AWS provisioner take care of automatically?

Getting Help

Please file issues on Github. Please fill out all required information. Your issue will be closed if you skip required information in the Github issues template.