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Chapter 4. Multi-machine cluster intallation

You can install Ansible Automation Platform as clustered automation controller with automation hub with an external managed database. In this mode, multiple automation controller nodes are installed and active. Any node can receive HTTP requests and all nodes can execute jobs. This installs the Ansible Automation Platform server in a cluster and configures it to talk to a remote instance of PostgreSQL as its database. This remote PostgreSQL can be a server you manage, or can be provided by a cloud service such as Amazon RDS.


The Ansible Automation Platform installer allows you to deploy only one automation hub per inventory. You can use the Ansible Automation Platform installer for a standalone instance of automation hub and run the installer any number of times with any number of different inventories to deploy multiple automation hub nodes.

4.1. Installing a multi-node Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform with an external managed database

You can use these instructions to install Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform as multiple automation controller nodes and automation hub with an external managed database.

4.1.1. Prerequisites

  • You chose and obtained a platform installer
  • You are installing on a machine that meets base system requirements.

4.1.2. Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform installation settings

You can use the following settings when installing automation hub:

  • automationhub_importer_settings: Dictionary of settings/configuration to pass to galaxy-importer. It will end up in /etc/galaxy-importer/galaxy-importer.cfg
  • automationhub_require_content_approval: Whether or not automation hub enforces the approval mechanism before collections are made available
  • automationhub_disable_https: Whether or not automation hub should be deployed with TLS enabled
  • automationhub_disable_hsts: Whether or not automation hub should be deployed with the HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) web-security policy mechanism enabled
  • automationhub_ssl_validate_certs: Whether or not automation hub should validate certificate when requesting itself (default = False) because by default, Platform deploys with self-signed certificates
  • automationhub_ssl_cert: Same as web_server_ssl_cert but for automation hub UI and API
  • automationhub_ssl_key: Same as web_server_ssl_key but for automation hub UI and API
  • automationhub_backup_collections: automation hub provides artifacts in /var/lib/pulp. By default, this is set to true so automation controller automatically backs up the artifacts by default. If a partition (e.g., LVM, NFS, CephFS, etc.) was mounted there, an enterprise organization would ensure it is always backed up. If this is the case, you can set automationhub_backup_collections = false and the backup/restore process will not have to backup/restore /var/lib/pulp.

4.1.3. Editing the Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform installer inventory file

You can use the Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform installer inventory file to specify your installation scenario.

  • Using external databases: ensure the database sections of your inventory file are properly setup.
  • Add automation hub information in the [automationhub] group
  • automation hub and automation controller cannot be installed on the same node.
  • automation controller will not configure replication or failover for the database that it uses. automation controller should work with any replication you have.
  • The database server should be on the same network or in the same data center as the automation controller server for performance reasons.
  • For upgrading an existing cluster: When upgrading a cluster, you may decide that you want to also reconfigure your cluster to omit existing instances or instance groups. Omitting the instance or the instance group from the inventory file will not be enough to remove them from the cluster. In addition to omitting instances or instance groups from the inventory file, you must also deprovision instances or instance groups before starting the upgrade. Otherwise, omitted instances or instance groups will continue to communicate with the cluster, which can cause issues with tower services during the upgrade.
  • For clustered installations: If you are creating a clustered setup, you must replace localhost with the hostname or IP address of all instances. All nodes/instances must be able to reach any others using this hostname or address. In other words, you cannot use the localhost ansible_connection=local on one of the nodes AND all of the nodes should use the same format for the host names.
  • Root access to remote machines is required. With Ansible, this can be achieved in different ways:
  • ansible_user=root ansible_ssh_pass=”your_password_here” inventory host or group variables
  • ansible_user=root ansible_ssh_private_key_file=”path_to_your_keyfile.pem” inventory host or group variables

For more information on become plugins, see Understanding privilege escalation.


  1. Navigate to the installer

    1. [bundled installer]

      $ cd ansible-automation-platform-setup-bundle-<latest-version>
    2. [online installer]

      $ cd ansible-automation-platform-setup-<latest-version>
  2. Open the inventory file with a text editor.
  3. Edit inventory file parameters to specify your installation scenario. Follow the example below.

4.1.4. Example Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform multi-node inventory file

This example describes how you can populate the inventory file for a multi-node cluster installation of automation controller.

  • You cannot install automation controller and automation hub on the same node.
  • Provide a reachable IP address for the [automationhub] host to ensure users can sync content from Private Automation Hub from a different node.
  • Do not use special characters for pg_password. It may cause the setup to fail.







4.1.5. Flags and extra vars

You can pass flags and extra variables when installing automation controller.


Table 4.1. Flags



Show this help message and exit


Path to Ansible inventory file (default: inventory)


Set additional Ansible variables as key=value or YAML/JSON


Perform a database backup in lieu of installing


Perform a database restore in lieu of installing


Generate and dsitribute a SECRET_KEY

Use the -- separator to add any Ansible arguments you wish to apply. For example: ./ -i my_awesome_inventory.yml -e matburt_is_country_gold=True — -K.

  • When passing -r to perform a database restore default restore path is used unless EXTRA_VARS are provided with a non-default path. See the example below that passed an EXTRA_VAR specifying the restore path:

    ./ -e 'restore_backup_file=/path/to/nondefault/location' -r
  • You can force an online installation by passing -e bundle_install=false:

    $ ./ -e bundle_install=false

Table 4.2. Extra variables



When installing automation controller make sure Ansible is also up to date



When installing Tower also create the Demo Org, project, credential, Job Template, etc.



When installing from a bundle where to put the bundled repos



Disable HTTPS traffic through nginx, this is useful if offloading HTTPS to a load balancer



Disable HSTS web-security policy mechanism



Port to configure nginx to listen to for HTTP



Port to configure nginx to listen to for HTTPS



A temp location to use when backing up



Specify an alternative backup file to restore from



The minimum RAM required to install Tower (should only be changed for test installation)



The minimum open file descriptions (should only be changed for test installations)



Ignore preflight checks, useful when installing into a template or other non-system image (overrides required_ram and min_open_fds)



  • To upgrade core:
./ -e upgrade_ansible_with_tower=1
  • To disable https handling at nginx:
./ -e nginx_disable_https=true
  • To specify a non-default path when restoring from a backup file:
./ -e 'restore_backup_file=/path/to/nondefault/location' -r


To override an inventory file used by passing it as an argument to the setup script:

4.1.6. Running the Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform installer setup script

You can run the setup script once you finish updating the inventory file with required parameters for installing your Private Automation Hub.


  1. Run the script

    $ ./

The installation will begin.

4.1.7. Verifying automation controller installation

Once the installation completes, you can verify your automation controller has been installed successfully by logging in with the admin credentials you inserted into the inventory file.


  1. Navigate to the IP address specified for the automation controller node in the inventory file.
  2. Log in with the Admin credentials you set in the inventory file.

The automation controller server is accessible from port 80 (https://<TOWER_SERVER_NAME>/) but will redirect to port 443 so 443 needs to be available also.


If the installation fails and you are a customer who has purchased a valid license for Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform, please contact Ansible via the Red Hat Customer portal at

Your automation controller is now ready for initial configuration. Next steps

4.1.8. Next steps

  • Review Configuring proxy support for Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform if setting up automation controller with a proxy server.
  • See Managing usability analytics and data collection from automation controller for information on controlling what information you share with Red Hat.
  • See the Ansible Tower Quick Setup Guide to learn more about using automation controller.
  • For complete automation hub configuration documentation, see the Ansible Automation Platform product documentation.