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Ansible Operator Finalizers

The default behavior of an Ansible Operator is to delete all resources the operator created during reconciliation when a managed resource is marked for deletion. This behavior is usually sufficient for applications that exist only in Kubernetes, but sometimes it is necessary to perform more complex operations (for example, when your action performed against a third party API needs to be undone). These more complex cases can still be handled by Ansible Operator, through the use of a finalizer.

Finalizers allow controllers (such as an Ansible Operator) to implement asynchronous pre-delete hooks. This allows custom logic to run after a resource has been marked for deletion, but before the resource has actually been deleted from the Kubernetes cluster. For Ansible Operator, this hook takes the form of an Ansible playbook or role. You can define the mapping from your finalizer to a playbook or role by simply setting the finalizer field on the entry in your watches.yaml. You can also choose to re-run your top-level playbook or role with different variables set. The watches.yaml finalizer configuration accepts the following options:

See Ansible watches documentation for more information.

name

name is required.

This is the name of the finalizer. This is basically an arbitrary string, the existence of any finalizer string on a resource will prevent that resource from being deleted until the finalizer is removed. Ansible Operator will remove this string from the list of finalizers on successful execution of the specified role or playbook. A typical finalizer will be <qualified-group>/finalizer, where <qualified-group> is the fully qualified group of the resource being managed.

playbook

One of playbook, role, or vars must be provided. If playbook is not provided, it will default to the playbook specified at the top level of the watches.yaml entry.

This field is identical to the top-level playbook field. It requires an absolute path to a playbook on the operator’s file system.

role

One of playbook, role, or vars must be provided. If role is not provided, it will default to the role specified at the top level of the [watches.yaml][watches] entry.

This field is identical to the top-level role field.

vars

One of playbook, role, or vars must be provided.

vars is an arbitrary map of key-value pairs. The contents of vars will be passed as extra_vars to the playbook or role specified in the finalizer block, or at the top-level if neither playbook or role was set for the finalizer.

Examples

Here are a few examples of watches.yaml files that specify a finalizer:

Run top-level playbook or role with new variables

---
- version: v1alpha1
  group: app.example.com
  kind: Database
  playbook: /opt/ansible/playbook.yml
  finalizer:
    name: app.example.com/finalizer
    vars:
      state: absent

This example will run playbook.yml when the Custom Resource is deleted. Because vars is set, the playbook will be run with state set to absent. Inside the playbook, the author can check this value and perform whatever cleanup is necessary.

---
- version: v1alpha1
  group: app.example.com
  kind: Database
  role: database
  finalizer:
    name: app.example.com/finalizer
    vars:
      state: absent

This example is nearly identical to the first, except it will run the /opt/ansible/roles/database role, rather than a playbook, with the state variable set to absent.

Run a different playbook or role

---
- version: v1alpha1
  group: app.example.com
  kind: Database
  playbook: playbook.yml
  finalizer:
    name: app.example.com/finalizer
    role: teardown_database

This example will run the /opt/ansible/roles/teardown_database role when the Custom Resource is deleted.

---
- version: v1alpha1
  group: app.example.com
  kind: Database
  playbook: playbook.yml
  finalizer:
    name: app.example.com/finalizer
    playbook: destroy.yml

This example will run the /opt/ansible/destroy.yml playbook when the Custom Resource is deleted.

---
- version: v1alpha1
  group: app.example.com
  kind: Database
  playbook: playbook.yml
  finalizer:
    name: app.example.com/finalizer
    role: myNamespace.myCollection.myRole

This example will run the myRole when the Custom Resource is deleted. (The collection must have been installed.)

Run a different playbook or role with vars

You can set playbook or role and vars at the same time. This can be useful if only a small part of your logic handles interacting with the component that requires cleanup. Rather than run all the logic again, you can specify only to run the role or playbook that handled the interaction, with a different variable set.

---
- version: v1alpha1
  group: app.example.com
  kind: Database
  playbook: playbook.yml
  finalizer:
    name: app.example.com/finalizer
    role: manage_credentials
    vars:
      state: revoked

For this example, assume our application configures automated backups to a third party service. On deletion, all we want to do is revoke the credentials used to backup the data. We run just the /opt/ansible/roles/manage_credentials role, which is imported by our playbook to create the credentials in the first place, but we pass the state: revoked option, which causes the role to invalidate our credentials. For everything else in our application, automatic deletion of dependent resources will be sufficient, so we can exit successfully and let the operator remove our finalizer and allow the resource to be deleted.

Last modified February 3, 2021: *: format finalizers correctly (ee7e682a)