Visible Ops: If At First You Don’t Succeed, Build, Build Again

By now you should have a better understanding of how your data center is setup and exactly what's all in there. You've been carefully monitoring changes to this environment and are ready to take it to the next level. The "Visible Ops Handbook" introduces the concept of "production fuses" : when things go wrong with … Continue reading Visible Ops: If At First You Don’t Succeed, Build, Build Again

Visible Ops: Setting Up Your Configuration Management Database

The next step to get a better grip on your environment is figuring out exactly what kind of production configurations you have running out there. If you've ever caught yourself walking through the data center and wondering just what in the hell those servers in the back corner are for, this phase will be quite … Continue reading Visible Ops: Setting Up Your Configuration Management Database

Configuration Management: Introduction to Puppet

After years spent working with Cfengine, Luke Kanies decided to form the company Reductive Labs in 2005 and Puppet, a long time idea and quickly stabilizing prototype, was born. He describes it as an open-source, next-generation server automation tool. Configuration files (called manifests) are written declaratively, and there is a client/server model for distribution handling. … Continue reading Configuration Management: Introduction to Puppet

Configuration Management: Introduction to Cfengine

As promised in my last post about configuration management, I want to introduce you to one of the key Open Source configuration management players on the scene today - Cfengine. Embarked upon in 1993 by Mark Burgess, Cfengine has helped system administrators configuring and maintaining their servers in the data center for over a decade … Continue reading Configuration Management: Introduction to Cfengine

Configuration Management: Scaling The Data Center and Growing Your Business

The Velocity 2008 Conference hosted many excellent presentations and discussions concerning web performance and operations. Adam Jacob, of HJK Solutions, presented how his company goes about "Building An Automated Infrastructure". To briefly explain what an automated infrastructure is, let's think of servers and data as office buildings and automobiles. Would it make sense to begin … Continue reading Configuration Management: Scaling The Data Center and Growing Your Business