David Moreau Simard

3 minute read

So I got an idea recently… Let’s rebrand Ansible Run Analysis to ARA records Ansible.



If you’d like to review and comment on the code change, you can do so here: https://review.openstack.org/#/c/547245/.

Why ?

I watched the last season of Sillicon Valley recently. The series, while exaggerated, provides a humorous look at the world of startups.

I don’t have any plans on creating a startup but I love that it makes you think about things like needing a clever name or how you would do a proper “elevator” pitch to get funding.

I’ll take this opportunity to practice for fun.

ARA Records Ansible is Another Recursive Acronym.

The “elevator” pitch

ARA Records Ansible is a project from the OpenStack community that makes it easier to understand and troubleshoot your Ansible roles and playbooks.

  • Do you run ansible-playbook -vv by default ?
  • 50 000 lines of console output to look at ?
  • How do you tell what changed ? Where ? Which task failed ?
  • What parameters did you use in that ansible-playbook command yesterday ?
  • What was the value of your host facts last week ?
  • What code or Ansible version did your playbook run with a month ago ?

With ARA, you don’t need to look at your 50 000 lines. ARA tells you everything about your entire playbook execution history through an intuitive self-hosted web interface, command line interface and soon, a full REST API.

ara reports

The “we’re stuck in the elevator” pitch

ARA is a native Ansible callback plugin that transparently save everything about your playbook executions.

No matter if you’re running Ansible from your laptop or from a server, this data ends up in a database – offline to sqlite by default. If you prefer MySQL or PostgreSQL, that’s cool too.

ARA makes your playbook execution history database available through:

  • A web dashboard: Python flask and Patternfly CSS (pretty!)
  • A CLI client: Python cliff – same client interface as the “openstack” command (json or yaml output, etc.!)
  • An API: Available in version 1.0 (work in progress!)

Learn more about the project

One of ARA’s core features and values is its simplicity. You can read about the other core values of ARA in the project manifesto.

To learn more about ARA, you can find the open source code on GitHub or watch this short video demo on YouTube:

Chat with us

If you want to chat with us, we’re on IRC in the #ara channel on Freenode and on Slack.

The two are bridged with slack-irc so everyone can talk together. It’s pretty awesome.

Stay up to date

If you’d like to stay up to date on what’s coming in ARA 1.0, you can follow the project on Twitter: @ARA_community and this blog.

Thanks for reading, feel free to let me know if you have any questions !