How to Use Ansible Tower for Centralized Management and Control

How to Use Ansible Tower for Centralized Management and Control. In this guide, we introduce Ansible Tower, its advantages then show you how to install and use Ansible tower for centralized management.

In today’s extremely fast domain of IT infrastructure management, automation is the most important part to smooth work, enhance efficiency, and remove errors.
The open source tool that is most popular in the world of automation is Ansible. It has become famous for its simplicity, scalability, and flexibility among DevOps teams.

To improve the capacity of Ansible, Red Hat initiated Ansible Tower, which is a web based automation platform with a graphical interface that offers centralised control and visibility over the Ansible system.

What is Ansible Tower?

Ansible Tower is web based software that offers job scheduling, a centralised hub for handling automation jobs, and inventories.  It simplifies the automation job, and users with non technical backgrounds may use it too.

The key features of Ansible Tower include:

Dashboard and Job Status Monitoring: Ansible Tower shows a graphical dashboard that gives a live status of system status, inventories, and automation tasks. It allows users to supervise the development of jobs, resolve problems, and scrutinise trends systematically.

Role Based Access Control (RBAC): With RBAC, businesses clarify users responsibilities and level of access, making sure that only personnel with rights and authority handles particular job templates, inventories, and projects. This improves safety and enforces business policies.

Job Scheduling and Orchestration: Ansible Tower enables users to schedule tasks at certain times or periods, allowing routine jobs and automated maintenance. In addition, Ansible Tower aids workflow orchestration, where numerous tasks are combined to generate composite automation processes.

REST API and CLI Support: Ansible Tower provides RESTful APIs, enabling smooth amalgamation with different systems and tools. Additionally, Ansible Tower provides a command line interface (CLI) for advanced users who interact with the platform using scripts.

Notifications and Logging: The platform initiates notifications for task status, events, failures, etc. It gives regular updates regarding the automation process to stakeholders and administrators. It keeps a record of all logs with the objective of troubleshooting and auditing.

Advantages of Ansible Tower

Centralized Management: Ansible Tower unifies all the tasks and automation processes, offering a centralised management platform. This removes the requirement to manage numerous Ansible installations on different systems. Furthermore, it causes improved resource management and organisation.

User friendly Interface: Ansible Towers interface is web based, simple, and intuitive; even users with limited technical expertise easily access and use it. Making it simple for users further helps different stakeholders, or teammates, make the best use of the benefits of automation in spite of limited technical knowledge.

RBAC for Enhanced Security: Role Based Access Control makes sure that the automation system is only accessible to the right person. They protect the system from unwanted breaches and ensure the safety of sensitive data and infrastructure.

Improved Collaboration: With the help of Ansible Tower, teammates share roles, workflows, and automation playbooks. This boosts both team spirit and innovation in the organisation.

Scalability and Flexibility: Ansible Tower is capable of managing large scale operations with ease. It scales up in direct proportion to the size of the organisation. Adaptable to hybrid and multi cloud environments and merges different cloud platforms.

Reduced Time to Market: Ansible Tower reduces time wastage by automating all the routine tasks. This increases the speed of operation and allows faster delivery of software and services, which further improves time to market for businesses.

Consistent and Auditable Automation: Ansible Tower implements consistency and standardisation in automation operations. Ensures compliance with industry standards and regulations by allowing version control and auditing of playbooks and job templates.

Easy Integration and Extensibility: Ansible Tower’s REST API provides smooth integration with current systems and tools, enabling businesses to make the most of their present infrastructure investments. Also, it helps with custom integration and extension to achieve particular organisational needs.

How to Use Ansible Tower for Centralized Management and Control

In this section, we set up Ansible Tower on CentOS 8 operating system and show you how to create and run jobs via the Ansible Tower interface.


  • A root user or a user with sudo privileges.

Install Ansible

By default, the Ansible package is not available in the RedHat or CentOS default repository. So you need to add EPEL repository to your system.

Install the EPEL repo using the following command.

					dnf install epel-release -y

Once the EPEL repository is installed, install Ansible with the following command.

					dnf install ansible -y

After installing Ansible, verify the Ansible version with the following command.

					ansible --version

You see the Ansible installed version with the following command.

Install Ansible Tower

First, download the Ansible Tower latest version from the Ansible website. Download it using the following command.

					curl -O

Once the download is completed, extract the downloaded file with the following command.

					tar xvfz ansible-tower-setup-latest.tar.gz

Next, change the directory to the extracted directory and edit the inventory file.

					cd ansible-tower-setup-3.8.6-2
nano inventory

Change the following lines:




Save and close the file when you are done.

Next, run the following command to start installing Ansible Tower.


Once the Ansible tower is installed, you see the following output.

					PLAY [Install Automation Hub node] *********************************************
skipping: no hosts matched

PLAY [Install Tower isolated node(s)] ******************************************
skipping: no hosts matched

PLAY RECAP *********************************************************************
localhost : ok=186 changed=92 unreachable=0 failed=0 skipped=85 rescued=0 ignored=3

The setup process completed successfully.
Setup log saved to /var/log/tower/setup-2023-08-12-16:09:42.log.


The above script installs Nginx, PostgreSQL, and other required tools on your server. Check the all listening ports using the following command.

					ss -antpl

This shows you the list of all ports used by Ansible Tower on the following screen.

ansible tower listening port

Access Ansible Tower Web Interface

Now, open your web browser and access the Ansible Tower web UI using the URL http://your-server-ip. You see the Ansible Tower login screen.

Provide your admin username, password and click on the SIGN IN button. You see the Ansible Tower subscription screen.

Provide your Ansible Tower username, password and click on the GET SUBSCRIPTION button. You will see the following screen.

Select your license and click on the SELECT button. You will be redirected to the Ansible Tower dashboard screen.

How to Use Ansible Tower

In this section, we show you how to create an inventory, host, project, and run a job via the Ansible Tower dashboard.

First, click on the Inventory in the left pane, you will see the following screen.

Click on the + icon to create a new inventory. You see the following screen.

Provide your inventory name, and other information then click on the SAVE button.

Next, click on the Hosts tab to create a new host. You see the following screen.

Define your hostname, variable and click on the SAVE button.

Next, click on the Project => + icon to create a new project. You see the following screen.

Define your project name, SCM type, and Git URL, and click on the Save button.

Next, click on the Credentials => + icon to create a new credential for your host. You see the following screen.

Define your credentials name, type, username, password, and click on the Save button to apply the changes.

Next, click on the Templates => + icon to create a new job. You see the following screen.

Provide your jobs name, type, inventory name, project name, playbook name, and click on the Save button.

Finally, click on Jobs in the left pane. You see your created jobs on the following screen.

Now click on the rocket symbol to run your jobs.

How to Use Ansible Tower for Centralized Management and Control Conclusion

In this post, we installed Ansible and Ansible Tower on the CentOS/RedHat system. Then, we showed to create an inventory, host, credentials, project, job and execute the created job via the Ansible Tower dashboard. I hope you have now enough understanding on how to install and use Ansible Tower to create and manage Ansible projects via web based interface. now use the Ansible Tower in the production environment to automate your infrastructure via Ansible Tower.

To summarize, Ansible Tower is a power pact add on to the Ansible environment that offers improved automation capacity and managerial features. It has centralised control, a user friendly interface, scalability, and RBAC. By embracing the Ansible Tower, organisations improve their capabilities, reduce costs, be more flexible, and respond faster to change.

Avatar for Hitesh Jethva
Hitesh Jethva

I am a fan of open source technology and have more than 10 years of experience working with Linux and Open Source technologies. I am one of the Linux technical writers for Cloud Infrastructure Services.

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