Lead Image © J¸rgen Acker, Photocase.com

Lead Image © J¸rgen Acker, Photocase.com

Setting up DevOps Orchestration Platform


Article from ADMIN 56/2020
DevOps Orchestration Platform open source framework was developed in Golang and can be used to bootstrap an IT infrastructure dynamically or import details of an existing IT infrastructure locally on VirtualBox or in the Cloud.

DevOps Orchestration Platform [1] is a web-server-based software platform and framework that implements an abstraction layer above Terraform [2] and Ansible [3], including the utilization of Ansible EC2.py and GCE.py scripts (Figure 1). It employs other open source technologies such as GoTTY and various JavaScript libraries and allows you to control security at two levels from the GUI: cloud hypervisor level (AWS Security Groups and Google Cloud Platform Firewall) and operating system platform level (iptables).

Figure 1: An overview of the high-level architecture of DevOps Orchestration Platform.

The platform currently supports a local VirtualBox network, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). The tool can run Ansible playbooks of various applications for installation on the deployed or imported infrastructure. Many sample Ansible playbooks have already been provided, forming a basis on which to extend the framework.

A Docker module allows you to install the Docker daemon and client on arbitrary virtual machine (VM) instances and use the same Ansible playbooks to deploy software into Docker containers before committing the changes into a Docker image (baking) that can be pushed to a Sonatype Nexus 3 Docker registry. Nexus 3 itself can be installed on an instance from the DevOps Orchestration Platform GUI without running a single command or editing a single configuration file.

For this article, I assume you have already installed the components and versions shown in the "Technologies" box, with the necessary paths and Linux environment variables configured. I also assume you have accounts on whatever choice of Cloud provider you want to use (AWS/GCP) with API keys already generated so that you can fully deploy instances and configure security groups and subnets.


The following components should be installed and configured before starting:

  • Ubuntu Linux 18.04
  • Vagrant 2.0.2 [4]
  • VirtualBox 5.2.30 r130521 (Qt5.9.5) [5]
  • Ansible 2.8.1
  • Python 3.6.9
  • Python 2.7.17
  • Terraform v0.12.0
  • Golang: go1.10.4 linux/amd64 [6]

For a list of current restrictions and limitations, see the "Limitations" box. In a later section, I describe how the framework can be extended to overcome some or all of these limitations. Note that the current limitations would not prevent you from going into the Google Cloud or AWS console and making changes or additions, manually or by API scripts, to components such as virtual private clouds (VPCs), routing tables, subnets, and network access control lists (NACLs).


Only the following are currently supported:

  • The default VPC on AWS and GCP
  • The default security group/firewall on AWS and GCP
  • The default NACLs and default routing tables

User Guide

After ensuring the indicated version of Golang, as well as the versions of the other software mentioned, is installed and accessible by path environment variables, navigate into webserver in the top-level directory to build the web server:

cd webserver

Now, point your web browser (note that only Firefox and Chrome are supported) to http://localhost:6543 .

Deploying the Infrastructure

The first task is to decide whether to deploy on a local VirtualBox network, in AWS, or in Google Cloud. If using AWS or Google Cloud, the first task is to configure your keys. Select AWS or Google Cloud in the left navigation bar and store the keys, which you will have obtained from the AWS or Google Cloud console. Alternatively, you can import AWS keys from environment variables by pressing the corresponding button.

Instances on AWS or Google Cloud can be launched, or you can import details of existing instances. Importing existing instances uses the API keys to execute Ansible EC2.py and GCE.py scripts, which are dynamically populated as templates and then run, allowing the interrogation of details about existing cloud resources. Only basic details are imported (e.g., public and private IP addresses and subnets), because only the default VPCs are currently supported (Figure 2).

Figure 2: Importing details about existing Google Cloud resources from the default VPC.

Launching new instances is achieved by dynamic populating of Terraform templates. The templates and details are abstracted from the user, and the functionality runs "behind the scenes"; you only have to use the GUI. Details of new instances and subnets are added from the top table, where you choose the instance name, region, availability zone, and Ubuntu or CentOS operating system. The new instance then appears in the lower table.

In the case of Google Cloud, you must choose a user-defined fully qualified domain name (FQDN) and provide the user ID for the Google Cloud user account. (The FQDN is arbitrary but can be used in the case of a private BIND9 server deployment). The buttons in each added instance row are self-explanatory.

After the Terraform log run has completed, clicking TEST (Figure 3) makes the platform interrogate the Terraform output (Figure 4) and pull the variables into the system. The results (public and private IP addresses) appear on each row.

Figure 3: Launching new Google Cloud resources into the default VPC.
Figure 4: An AWS Terraform log.

VirtualBox instances can be deployed into a local VirtualBox network that uses a mechanism hidden from the user: dynamic populating of Vagrant files. Again, you need not edit the Vagrant files. Select VirtualBox in the left navigation column to use this option.

Configuring Hypervisor Security

The left navigation bar can be used to navigate to the cloud hypervisor firewall configuration window (known as Security Group in the case of AWS and Firewall in Google Cloud). New rows of Protocol -Port combinations are added from the uppermost table that then appear in the lower table, after which the corresponding ports can be opened or closed by clicking the buttons (Figures 5 and 6). Note that in each case, only the default firewall security group for the (default) VPC is currently supported.

Figure 5: AWS default security group configuration.
Figure 6: Google Cloud hypervisor default firewall configuration.

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