Don’t Fear the Reboot – Safe Patterns for Automating Metal

Author: Greg Althaus, CTO/Co-Founder RackN

Over the past few years we spent time with a wide variety of IT organizations to better understand the challenges they face deploying and enabling solutions. Two key themes emerged from these conversations:

  1. Zero-Touch (or as close as possible) Infrastructure
  2. Manual Inventory and Processes Don’t Scale and are Error Prone

With these two fundamental concepts in mind, we developed a highly targeted solution built on technology from the Digital Rebar open source community:

  • Digital Rebar Provision(DRP) provides a light-weight and easy to deploy API driven system to drive machines though a complete life-cycle.
  • DRP is designed around the concept of composition; the ability to build units of function that can be added to workflows so that infrastructure can be built and rebuilt consistently with fast error paths to discover problems.
  • RackN and the community offer content packages built for DRP to meet the needs of operators.

DRP operation follows a workflow pattern for machines from discovery to provisioned to decommission. This workflow approach allows operators to stage infrastructure provisioning with checks at critical stages of the process. There are 5 common workflows built into the tool; however additional workflows can be created and customized:

  •      Workflow 1 : DISCOVERY
  •      Workflow 2 : INSTALL
  •      Workflow 3 : DECOMMISSION
  •      Workflow 4 : MAINTENANCE
  •      Workflow 5 : RESTART

Over the next few weeks, I will be posting detailed blogs about each workflow stage providing insight into why this architecture was chosen and the benefits to operators. If you are interested in learning more about the Digital Rebar community or getting started with our RackN technology built on Digital Rebar I encourage you to click below:

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