Create Ansible Dynamic Inventory for Microsoft Azure

This blog post will show you how to create a dynamic inventory for Microsoft Azure with Ansible.

Dynamic Inventory

Ansible dynamic inventory allows us to manage resources on Azure or other cloud providers without maintaining a static inventory file. A dynamic inventory allows us to target all the hosts inside a resource group or hosts that have specific tags.

Create Azure Credentials

The first step in creating a dynamic inventory is to authenticate to Microsoft Azure, and the recommended method is using a credentials file.

Download Ansible Dynamic Inventory Plug-In (azure_rm.py)

The next step is to download the Ansible dynamic inventory plug-in from Github. The plug-in is a python script—the link to the plug-in below.

https://github.com/ansible/ansible/blob/stable-2.9/lib/ansible/plugins/inventory/azure_rm.py

After you download the file, make sure you set the permissions on the file using the following command.

chmod +x azure_rm.py

Create an Inventory Configuration file

The next step is to create an inventory configuration file (YML) in the same directory as the plug-in file (.py) from the previous step. The file name must contain the word azure_rm in the name and therefore I called it in.azure_rm.yml

In my case, I will target all the resources inside a resource group called ubuntu-resources.

    plugin: azure_rm
    include_vm_resource_groups:
    - ubuntu-resources
    auth_source: auto
    
    keyed_groups:
    - prefix: tag
      key: tags

Before you run the file in the terminal, run the following command to disable host key checking.

 export ANSIBLE_HOST_KEY_CHECKING=False

To test that everything is working, I will ping all the VM in the resource-group Ubuntu-resources. Note: I am also passing a variable for the SSH key and the username of the VMs.

  ansible all -m ping -i ./in.myazure_rm.yml --private-key=~/.ssh/id_rsa --user=vmuser

The output is shown below.

ubuntuvm | SUCCESS => {
     "ansible_facts": {
         "discovered_interpreter_python": "/usr/bin/python"
     },
     "changed": false,
     "ping": "pong"

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