Red Hat Ansible Certified Content

Red Hat Ansible Certified Content for IBM Z Content Solution

Welcome to the Red Hat Ansible Certified Content for IBM® Z® content solution, your homepage for technical resources.

Red Hat® Ansible Certified Content for IBM Z helps you connect IBM Z to your wider enterprise automation strategy through the Ansible Automation Platform ecosystem. The Red Hat Ansible Certified Content available in Ansible Automation Hub and Galaxy provides a wide range of Ansible collections that enables development and operations automation on z/OS and z/OS middleware products. The collections offer a seamless, unified workflow orchestration with configuration management, provisioning, and application deployment in one easy-to-use platform.

Today, we offer collections for z/OS core, z/OS MF and IMS that can be readily used. We are actively expanding our collections to automate other common configuration and management tasks for software in the broader IBM Z community.

Big Picture: Red Hat Ansible Certified Content for IBM Z

step 1 make sure you have the right software

Make sure you have the right software for your z/OS system.

step 2 install the ibm zos core collection

Install the RedHat Ansible Certified collection.

step 3 start your automation journey

Start your automation journey by running the modules.

How to get started with Red Hat Ansible Certified Content for IBM Z

Overview

Use the RedHat Ansible Certified collection to automate tasks on z/OS. Start by referring to the included sample playbooks and the module documentation provided in each of our modules. Use the ansible-doc command to view the documentation to learn about each of the modules, such as zos_data_set, by issuing ansible-doc ibm.ibm_zos_core.zos_data_set or by visiting the module documentation page.

An Ansible playbook consists of organized instructions, referred to as tasks and roles, that define work for a managed node (host) to be automated using Ansible.

The Red Hat Certified collections include playbook directories that could contain any number of sample playbooks. These playbooks can be run with the ansible-playbook command with minor modifications to the inventory, ansible config and group_vars

You can run the supplied sample playbook that leverages the new z/OS core modules and modules that are provided by Ansible.

The playbook gives you a sample of the type of Ansible modules we offer, in addition to the modules that come out-of-the-box with Ansible. This playbook performs the following steps:

  1. Pings the host to ensure that the z/OS target node is reachable.
  2. Ensures that the correct JCL folder exists.
  3. Writes and submits a HELLO JCL job to the system.
  4. Queries that submitted HELLO job.
  5. Gets the job output and then removes the HELLO job and its folder.

That same playbook will also create and delete a data set:

  1. Creates a PDS data set named USER.PRIVATE.TEST.
  2. Validates that the data set was created.
  3. Deletes the newly created PDS data set USER.PRIVATE.TEST.

Steps

Follow these steps to run a playbook:

  1. Edit the ansible.cfg file to include pipelining = true.
  2. Modify the sample inventory to add the z/OS host, user, and Python location.
  3. Update the group_vars in the all.yml file to point to locations on ZOAU and Python on z/OS.
  4. Run the Ansible playbook using the following command:
    ansible-playbook -i inventory <sample>.yaml

You've just run your first Ansible playbook for IBM Z!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the benefits of using the IBM z/OS core collection?

  • Integrate z/OS into an enterprise automation strategy in a consistent way
  • Enable a common approach for hybrid applications and infrastructure management
  • Enable transparent visibility of z/OS automation when orchestrated by Ansible
  • Drive best practices to manage automation in source control to move towards infrastructure as code
  • Leverage Ansible and Python skills, which are readily available in the marketplace and can be applied to z/OS
  • Use modules to codify key maintenance and operational tasks for z/OS software so that you can focus on what you’re trying to accomplish, rather than worry about how to write JCL, for example

Q: Where do I get support for the Red Hat Ansible Certified Content for IBM Z?

A: Ansible Galaxy is the central location for sharing open source, community-supported content. If you want enterprise support, you need a subscription to the Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform that includes support for all partner-certified content available on Ansible Automation Hub. The z/OS core collection is available on both Galaxy and Ansible Automation Hub.

Q: Will more collections be available?

A: Absolutely! More collection and content will be made available in support of middleware provisioning, middleware configuration, middleware management, and application deployment, to name a few. The collections are starting with a focus on z/OS but are intended to expand more broadly to the IBM Z ecosystem over time. Ansible Galaxy contains the complete list of collections.

These content collections are accelerators to make automating z/OS with Ansible even easier. Ansible is a powerful tool, that can be used out of the box to build your own automation. With Python as the core language for Ansible modules, it's easy for developers to build and contribute their own modules in support of any automation strategy.

Q: Do I need to be an Ansible expert to use this collection?

A: Ansible is a powerful IT automation tool that you learn quickly. Get started by checking out Ansible's Getting Started website.

Q: Is there an easy way to get started working with the collections?

A: Yes, use the sample playbooks provided with each of the collections.

z/os core

IMS

z/OSMF

Q: Ansible can cover a lot of use cases: some of which I already have some technology solutions for. Does Ansible replace any existing technologies I already use?

A: It is up to each enterprise to determine its strategy for how it evolves the set of tools and technologies that it uses. The good news with Ansible is that it integrates with a wide range of technologies across the hybrid multicloud landscape, and across IBM Z. You can use Ansible automation to integrate with what you have or build new playbooks with certified collections to create something new.

Leverage your existing JCL, REXX, and z/OSMF assets or most anything else using Ansible as the driver to automate Z. The choice is yours.

Technical resources

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June 2020

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April 2020

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March 2020

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