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Devops Shokunin

Using Open Source to Provide Infrastructure Services

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Operations Teams need to provide eight critical services to the developers and users of their environment.  At my current employer, I use open source software to provide these services that allow our developers to be more productive and our customers to experience stable, responsive service.

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Source Code Management

Keep all of our bespoke software, configurations and notes under strict version control.

Sofware: Git
Pros: Fast
Stable
Many developers familiar with it due to Github’s popularity
Cons: Steep learning curve
Somewhat cryptic commands
Option: Subversion

Continuous Integration

Build, test, version and package our software so that it may be quickly and safely deployed to our staging environment

Sofware: Jenkins
Pros: Easy Integration with GIT
Nice GUI
Flexible enough to meet our needs
Cons: Configuration limited to GUI
Written in Java*
Option: Cruise Control

 

Provisioning

Spin up nodes to become part of the processing farm and decommission nodes no longer required

Sofware: Custom scripts using Fog
Pros: Simple scripts
Easy to customize
Support multiple cloud providers
Cons: Custom tool
Option: Cobbler, RightAWS

 

Configuration Management

Ensure that all nodes are automatically and correctly configured and remain in a known configured state

Sofware: Puppet
Pros: Easy configuration language
Well supported
Active community
Cons: Have to learn said configuration language
Requires serious investment of time
Option: Chef

 

Monitoring

Check on services and nodes to ensure that things are behaving as expected before the customer notices

 

Sofware: Icinga
Pros: Can be easily auto-configured by Puppet
Well understood
Nagios syntax
Works well with nagios checks and plugins
Cons: Requires serious investment of time and constant care
Option: Nagios, Zenoss

 

Capacity/Performance Management

Collect system metrics for assessing performance and capacity planning.  Some organizations have monitoring perform this role, but I have very strong opinions on this being kept separate.

 

Sofware: Collectd/Visage
Pros: Light, fast daemon on each box
Flexible server
Many plugins availble
Cons: Separate process to run
Requires a lot of disk and disk I/O
Option: Ganglia

 

Log Collection

Centrally collect, store and monitor system and application logs

Sofware: Rsyslog/Graylog2
Pros: Rsyslog provides flexible configs
MongoDB backed server performs well
Easy front end for log viewing
Cons: Takes a while to learn Mongo
Harder to pull/backup then text logfiles
Options: Syslog-ng Logstash

 

Deployment Management

Allow developers and technical staff to deploy and monitor application activity.  Since each infrastructure is unique, it makes sense to build a custom solution to this problem.

 

Software: Mcollective/Sinatra/ActiveMQ
Pros: Sinatra makes it easy to write simple web applications
Mcollective is extremely fast
ActiveMQ is very flexible and resilient
Cons: Sinatra is not a full featured as Rails
Mcollective requires a change of thinking about command/control
ActiveMQ is Java*
Options: Control Tier

 

* I list Java as a con because we do not have extensive in-house Java expertise and it rquires us to install something we would not have normally