Infrastructure as a Service, DevOps and Security Operations
System Administration Automation with the OpStack's Open Stacks
Effective automation at scale requires a systematic approach. Individual administrators or small teams too often independently write scripts to make their jobs easier — this is good self-interested behavior that saves time and reduces operator error. But independent scripts written to different standards, in different languages, with no common data definitions, monitoring, source control, or means for orchestration do not meet the needs of the digital enterprise at cloud-scale.
The OpStack Stack Builder leverages on the best available open source languages and components to simplify the automation of processes across both your in-house and cloud infrastructure assets. By providing both a framework and a common set of tools, the orchestration of complex processes across disciplines becomes straight-forward and manageable. Serving a request for a new development database cluster — requiring virtualization, system, storage, network, and database administration tasks — can be orchestrated into a single, automatically fulfilled service request. The approach allows experts on each technology to automate their steps in the overall process, building on expertise, streamlining deliverables, and reducing elapsed time by eliminating manual hand-offs.
Immediate benefits of implementing OpStack Stacks include:
- Automated self-service builds of physical and virtual Windows and Linux servers — in any IaaS cloud or in your data center.
- Automated deployment and configuration of security agents and packaged software.
- Configuration standardization and enforcement across hypervisors, servers, and containers.
- High-speed, stateful, patching and configuration management with real-time reporting of OpStack built or remediated server instances.
- A repository of live server state — feeding or checking the CMDB.
- Automated compliance reporting direct from the stack.
And these are just the beginning of what an automation-driven IT function can provide. As our customer’s team is freed from the drudgery of manual operations and has an automation discipline to build on, technology benefits compound — instead of technology debt.
Open Source Stackers and Contributors
The OpStack team has worked with dozens of languages, tools, and packages in automating operations as employees of a half-dozen different firms over the last 15 years. Some lessons can only be learned by hands-on-experience and successful trial-and-error.
The accompanying Stack Builder is solution tailored, but it includes many of the technologies and tools used or incorporated into recent OpStack Engagements to meet the needs of our clients.
OpStack does not require every one of these components for every client installation. We understand that substitutions are often called for. For example: If a client uses only one Linux distribution, then it's standard package repository is an obvious replacement for Uyuni (even though it is likely based on Uyuni).
We are strong supporters of open source and contributors to open source projects, but we also understand that proprietary products can play an important role in your operational stack. Splunk, New Relic, DataDog, Oracle, and SQL Server as well as the Atlassian tools (including Jira and Confluence) are all excellent packages which we regularly integrate, install, and configure as part of an OpStack solution. Part of any OpStack engagement is working to make use of tools that already play an important role in your environment. We pick the smallest number of additional components that are required, and integrate them through the solution.