Implementing your own Ansible Azure Collection

Introduction

In a recent azure ansible article I wrote (https://adrianhynes.medium.com/orchestrating-azure-resources-with-ansible-fa82f4e3dfd6), I came across a challenge, whereby listing resources in a resource group wasn’t real-time.

In that article I improvised by waiting and checking every minute until the resources eventually appeared. BUT that loop and sleep took ~20 minutes.

It turns out, the “/resources API is served from a regional cache from Azure Resource Manager, which is eventual consistent, and not real time” https://github.com/Azure/AKS/issues/1964

This means, in order to get a real time view of the resources in our resource group, we need to hit the regional azure management endpoint i.e. https://<region>.management.azure.com/

In this article, I want to show a simple way I’ve got around this by creating our own custom module.

Updating the Azure Ansible Collection

I’m going to do this through Azure Cloudshell, so at the time of writing, Ansible on Cloudshell is using Python 2.7, so first let’s install ansible for python 3

pip install ansible

Clone down the latest Azure Ansible Collection

git clone https://github.com/ansible-collections/azure.git

Install all the azure ansible collection dependencies

pip install -r azure/requirements-azure.txt

I’m going to create a new module, by coping azure_rm_resource_info.py

cp azure/plugins/modules/azure_rm_resource_info.py azure/plugins/modules/azure_rm_resource_info_rt.py

Now we’ll make a few changes, highlighted in bold

class AzureRMResourceInfoRT(AzureRMModuleBase)...self.module_arg_spec = dict(
url=dict(type='str'),
provider=dict(type='list'),
...
location=dict(type='str')
)
...
self.location = None...
def exec_module(self, **kwargs):
...
self.mgmt_client = self.get_mgmt_svc_client(GenericRestClient, base_url="https://"+self.location+".management.azure.com/")

See the full code for this module here: https://github.com/aido123/ansible/blob/main/azure_rm_resource_info_rt.py

Right we’re good to install/upgrade this Azure Ansible Collection.

#Generate collection tarball (--force to replace if ran previously)
ansible-galaxy collection build --force
#Install the collection tarball (--force to reinstall)
ansible-galaxy collection install azure-azcollection-*.tar.gz --force

Now let’s give it a run. Create a simple Playbook called ans.yaml

- name: AKS Demo Ansible Playbook on Azure Cloud Shell
hosts: localhost
tasks:
- name: List all VMScaleSets in the rsg1 Resource Group
azure.azcollection.azure_rm_resource_info_rt:
resource_group: rsg1
provider: compute
resource_type: virtualmachinescalesets
api_version: "2017-12-01"
location: northeurope
register: vmssresources
until: vmssresources.response[0].name is defined
retries: 20
delay: 60
- debug:
var: vmssresources

Now run the playbook

ansible-playbook ans.yaml

Conclusion

I hope you found this article useful and it gives you some ideas on creating your own azure ansible collection. Obviously you don’t want to have to reinstall the azure ansible module each time, so preferably you will create your own collection (extend azure_rm_common.py) that you can install independently.

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Adrian Hynes

Adrian Hynes

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Cloud Platform Architect. Opinions and articles on medium are my own.