Tuesday, April 07, 2009

ControlTier all Apache 2 licensed in 3.4.3

The next release of the ControlTier distribution will switch to an all Apache 2 license agreement. All of ControlTier 3.x was already Apache 2 licensed except for the Workbench server web app so this really just makes it all consistent. Workbench had been licensed under GPL 2 due to previous business arrangements that have since been re-worked. 

How does this impact end users? Well, not much except for the knowledge that you only have one open source license to be aware of and that Apache 2 provides the most freedom of use. 

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 dev2ops.org for more information and progress on the next version

ControlTier 3.4.2 posted to SourceForge.net

ControlTier 3.4.2 is now available:

Here are the release notes:

And don't forget to check out the ControlTier Wiki for documentation: