Thursday, April 02, 2009

New Whitepaper: Achieving Fully Automated Provisioning

Working with our friends at Reductive Labs, we've just finished a whitepaper called "Web Ops 2.0: Achieving Fully Automated Provisioning"(pdf).

There is a live example of our joint ControlTier and Puppet solution, naturally. However, the main point of the paper is much broader than that. What we are proposing is an outline of an open source toolchain for fully automated provisioning.

What's the criteria for "fully automated provisioning"?

That details are in the whitepaper but here's the list we came up with:
  1. Be able to automatically provision an entire environment -- from "bare-metal" to running business services -- completely from specification
  2. No direct management of individual boxes
  3. Be able to revert to a "previously known good" state at any time
  4. It’s easier to re-provision than it is to repair
  5. Anyone on your team with minimal domain specific knowledge can deploy or update an environment
Here's the proposed open source toolchain (with ControlTier and Puppet highlighted):

Read the whitepaper and let us know what you think. I imagine that we'll get some objection to either the criteria or the toolchain... but that's fine. Sparking a conversation is actually what we want.

The point of all of this is to encourage discussion on how open source provisioning tools fit together to provide real world solutions. It's all too often that we meet people looking to improve their operations but they are befuddled by all of the various open source choices that don't seem to have much relation to each other. Hopefully this paper will be a first step towards greater public discussion. Educating the public lifts all boats.

All of the content in the whitepaper is licensed under the Creative Commons (Attribution - Share Alike) license.

Update: See this post on the for more information and progress on the next version


Anonymous said...

You have a typo in your white paper on page 6; the word should be "complementary," not "complimentary." Great and timely paper though!

Damon Edwards said...

Thanks for the heads up! It's been fixed.

Lewis Marshall said...

Excellent paper - I couldn't agree more. I was thinking about similar stuff when I wrote about CML: freeze dried IT in my blog.

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Unknown said...

Error on page 7, second bullet point:

"...diverted attention away from strategic work the would deliver higher.."

I believe it should be s/the/that/

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