Photo by Fré Sonneveld on Unsplash

Photo by Fré Sonneveld on Unsplash

Automate complex IT infrastructures with StackStorm

Causal Chain

Article from ADMIN 65/2021
StackStorm is an open source, event-based platform for runbook automation.

If you want to take home a message from the coronavirus pandemic, one would be that it is acting as a catalyst for digitization in all areas of life. However, it is precisely this phenomenon that presents IT administrators with new challenges because environments are not only becoming more complex but also more diverse, which goes hand in hand with an increase in administrative overhead. Gone are the days when infrastructures could be managed manually. Modern infrastructure management environments open an opportunity for avoiding error-prone manual adjustments.

Insiders have bandied about Infrastructure as Code (IaC) as the key to tomorrow's infrastructure management for some time now. IaC is to be understood as an abstraction solution for managing the hardware and software components of an IT infrastructure. Machine-readable definition files are used instead of a physical hardware configuration or special configuration tools. In this article, I describe the basic structure and practical use of StackStorm, "a platform for integration and automation across services and tools [that] ties together your existing infrastructure and application environment so you can more easily automate that environment" [1].

StackStorm at a Glance

StackStorm [2] is often mentioned in the same context as SaltStack, which was acquired by VMware, and Ansible; however, the comparison is misleading because StackStorm focuses on running management tasks or workflows on an event-driven basis. In particular, the tool defines triggers and events, which it then reacts to when those triggers or status changes occur. StackStorm supports automatic correction of system settings, security reactions, rules-based troubleshooting, and deployment. The tool also has a rules engine and a workflow

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