When to Ansible? When to Shell?

Any new technology requires a mental effort to understand. When trying to automate the boring stuff, one decision I have to make is whether to use straight shell scripting or whether to perform that operation using Ansible. What I want to do is look at a simple Ansible playbook I have written, and then compare what the comparable shell script would look like to determine if it would help my team to use Ansible or not in this situation.

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Cleaning a machine

After you get something working, you find you might have missed a step in documenting how you got that working. You might have installed a package that you didn’t remember. Or maybe you set up a network connection. In my case, I find I have often brute-forced the SSH setup for later provisioning. Since this is done once, and then forgotten, often in the push to “just get work done” I have had to go back and redo this (again usually manually) when I get to a new machine.

To avoid this, I am documenting what I can do to get a new machine up and running in a state where SSH connections (and forwarding) can be reliably run. This process should be automatable, but at a minimum, it should be understood.

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ipxe.efi for aarch64

To make the AARCH64 ipxe process work using bifrost, I had to

git clone https://github.com/ipxe/ipxe.git
cd ipxe/src/
make bin-arm64-efi/snponly.efi ARCH=arm64
sudo cp bin-arm64-efi/snponly.efi /var/lib/tftpboot/ipxe.efi

This works for the Ampere reference implementation servers that use a Mellanox network interface card, which supports (only) snp.

Network traffic for an Ironic Node

I’ve set up a second cluster, and the Ironic nodes are not PXE booting. Specifically, if I watch the nodes boot via an IPMI serial-on-lan console, I see that they send out a DHCP request and never get a response back.

This is a problem I am familiar with from my days at Penguin. Time to dig in and understand the networking setup on the controller to see why it is not getting the packet. Or, possibly, why it is getting it and the response is getting dropped.

I have another cluster that is working properly, and I am going to look at the setup there to try and contrast it with the broken set up, and figure out my problem.

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Automating Baremetal Node Creation for Ironic

Sometime your shell scripts get out of control. Sometimes you are proud of them. Sometimes….both.

I need to be able to re-add a bunch of nodes to an OpenStack cluster on a regular basis. Yes, I could do this with Ansible, but, well, Ansible is great for doing something via SSH, and this just needs to be done here and now. So shell is fine.

This started as a one liner, and got a bit bigger.

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