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Automate Icinga for Windows with Ansible

von | Nov 24, 2022 | Windows, Automation, Icinga, Ansible

This article will cover how to automate the monitoring of your windows infrastructure with Ansible and Icinga for Windows. For that, I developed a new Ansible role which you can find here: https://github.com/DanOPT/ansible-role-ifw

The role will allow you to manage your infrastructure dynamically with an Inventory and group_vars file. It’s also possible to define PKI Tickets in the inventory and the support of the Self-Service API is coming soon. The parent as well as the zone of each host will be defined with the group name and their associated group variables.

The following topics will be covered:

  • How to organize your Windows infrastructure with an Inventory and group_vars file dynamically
  • Setup with On-Demand CSR Signing on the master
  • Setup with PKI Tickets for the client (agent or satellite) generated on the master
  • Coming soon

Prerequisites

This guide will not cover how to configure your Ansible host for WinRM connections. For that, there are already enough Blog Posts about that topic and the Ansible Documentation also covers it in detail (https://docs.ansible.com/ansible/latest/user_guide/windows.html).

What we will need:

  • Icinga2 master instance
    You will need an Icinga2 master instance. I will use Ubuntu 20.04 and the Icinga Installer (https://github.com/NETWAYS/icinga-installer) to deploy the instance.
  • Windows host
    For that, I will use a Windows Server 2012.
  • Ansible host
    Ansible host with remote access to the Windows hosts.

How to deploy your Icinga2 master instance

Configure the Netways extra repository:

wget -O – https://packages.netways.de/netways-repo.asc | sudo apt-key add –
echo „deb https://packages.netways.de/extras/ubuntu focal main“ | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/netways-extras-release.list

Icinga Installer requires the Puppet repository. So we will also need to configure the repository with the following commands:

wget -O – https://apt.puppetlabs.com/DEB-GPG-KEY-puppet-20250406 | sudo apt-key add –
echo „deb http://apt.puppetlabs.com focal puppet7“ | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/puppet7.list

Install Icinga2 master instance (including IcingaWeb2 and Director):

sudo apt update
sudo apt install icinga-installer
sudo icinga-installer -S server-ido-mysql

Do not forget to write down your Password and Username.

How to organize the Windows hosts of your infrastructure with an Inventory and group_vars file dynamically

For the organization of your Windows hosts, you will need an Inventory file and a group_vars/<zone-name> file. In the group variables file, we will define the parent node name(s) as well as the parent address(es). In the Inventory it is possible to define a PKI ticket as a host variable.

So if we have a simple setup like this:

The Inventory file would look like this:

[master]
windows-2012 ansible_host=10.77.14.229

[satellite]
windows-2012-2 ansible_host=10.77.14.230

The group name will be used to define the zone name of the parent. The parent node name and address will be defined in group_vars/master and group_vars/satellite. Here is an example of the master file:

ifw_parent_nodes:
  - 'i2-master'
  #- 'i2-master-2'
ifw_parent_address:
  - '10.77.14.171'
  #- '10.77.14.172'

The variables always have to be a list, even if only one master needs to be specified.

Setup with On-Demand CSR Signing on the master

For simplification I will only use one host in my Inventory and the group_vars/masters file I already described:

[master]
windows-2012 ansible_host=10.77.14.229

The most simple way to connect agents is to sign the certificates on the master. To achieve this the agent has to be connected and after that, we can sign them. The role has already all variables required, so we just need to run the Playbook:

---
- hosts: all
  roles:
    - ansible-role-ifw

Run the playbook with the following command:

$ ansible-playbook playbook.yml -i hosts
PLAY [all] ****************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

TASK [Gathering Facts] ****************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************
ok: [windows-2012]

TASK [ansible-role-ifw : Create icinga-install.ps1 using Jinja2] **********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************
ok: [windows-2012]

TASK [ansible-role-ifw : Execute icinga-install.ps1] **********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************
skipping: [windows-2012]

PLAY RECAP ****************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************
windows-2012 : ok=2 changed=0 unreachable=0 failed=0 skipped=1 rescued=0 ignored=0

After that, we can verify if a request has been made on the master with this command:

$ icinga2 ca list
Fingerprint | Timestamp | Signed | Subject
—————————————————————–|————————–|——–|——–
*****************************************************************| Nov 2 04:57:32 2022 GMT | | CN = windows-2012

Setup with PKI Tickets for the client (agent or satellite) generated on the master

It’s also possible to define a PKI ticket as a hosts variable in the Inventory (replace <pki-ticket>):

[master]
windows-2012 ansible_host=10.77.14.229 pki_ticket=<pki-ticket>

After that we need to set the variable ‚ifw_certificate_creation‘ to 1 in the Playbook:

---
- hosts: all
  vars:
    ifw_certificate_creation: 1
  roles:
    - ansible-role-ifw

Just run the Playbook and the agent should be connected to your master.

 

Coming soon

  • Self-Service API for Director
  • JEA Profile
  • Local ca.crt
  • Custom repository
Daniel Patrick
Daniel Patrick
Senior Systems Engineer

Daniel interessiert sich schon sein Leben lang für Linux-Distributionen, Programmieren und Technik. Im Bereich Linux konnte er bereits zwischen vier und fünf Jahre Berufserfahrung sammeln. Seit August 2022 arbeitet er für NETWAYS. Bei seinem letzten Arbeitgeber war er mitverantwortlich für das Leiten und Organisieren eines sechsköpfigen Teams, galt als Wissensträger und einer der ersten Ansprechpartner des Kunden, wenn es um technische Probleme ging. Nach der Arbeit hört er meistens auch nicht mit dem Arbeiten auf, sondern schraubt unentwegt an seinen Maschinen herum. In seiner Freizeit schaut er sich gerne gute Filme an und kümmert sich um seine zwei geliebten Katzen.
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