Make Your IT Automation Systems Play Together Like a Symphony

Cloud Orchestration with Chef

Add the Cookbook to your Node

I’m assuming that you’ve created cookbooks for your Apache2 Web server, your MySQL database server, and your load balancing server.

Once you’ve created a cookbook for each, you can then upload them to the Chef server by issuing the following commands:

knife cookbook upload apache2
knife cookbook upload mysql
knife cookbook upload loadbal

If you wish, you can also simply use the -a switch while in the directory that contains all of the cookbooks:

knife cookbook upload -a

Now that you have uploaded the cookbook to the server, you have implemented orchestration and automation.

DevOps, Security professionals, and Orchestration

Orchestration has become extremely important because of DevOps, as well as security. The DevOps approach has, in many ways, brought automation and orchestration to the top of the IT administrator’s mind. This is because with DevOps, the developers are now acting more and more like systems administrators. Developers now need to launch functional systems. Therefore, it’s vital for the IT administrator to create accurate automated task templates so that the developers can activate services to test their code.

Similarly, orchestration software needs coordinate these task templates so that developers have a complete IT services environment. Developers can’t create proper code in an environment that has only 75% or even 95% of the working services available. Similarly, security professionals also require properly-orchestrated services.

In the past, security professionals simply waited until a “staging server” was made available, complete with newly-developed code. The security professional would then review the code, as well as how well the code worked with the mocked-up production environment. Today’s DevOps environment tends to short-circuit this relatively simple process. With a DevOps approach, code is developed and implemented on a server throughout the project. This means that the security professional needs to test the code implementation along the way, as well.

Which software works best?

Many solutions are available, including Chef, Puppet, Salt, Jenkins, and Ansible. Dr. Google knows all – you can review each of the solutions and discover which of these solutions is best for you. Puppet is ideal for larger implementations, as it has a well-known Software as a Service (SaaS) implementation, and solid support Like Puppet, Chef is useful for both large and small-business implementations. Both have been around for years, which means that they most likely have dealt with the typical pitfalls of cloud computing.

Conclusion

It really doesn’t matter if you’re using Chef, Puppet, or another orchestration tool such as Ansible. They’re all very solid platforms. What does matter is that you understand how each vendor implements each of the steps of the cloud orchestration process. Once you understand how each orchestration engine works, and how it can easily coordinate with cloud providers such as AWS and Microsoft’s Azure, you can then begin to quickly deploy and orchestrate well-defined, scalable business solutions for your organization.

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