Virtualization and Containers enable a self-service style data center, makes the process of provisioning a service instance merely simple but having said that – Configuring those services still must be accomplished. To put this in simpler words, once the provision of the service is done there will still be work that needs to go in to complete the same.
Configuration Management is one of the happening words in the technological space, and many as these terms are heard of in any of the meetings – most of them do not understand the perfect meaning or the usage of it in the IT space. In short, configuration management can be termed as the management of hardware and software of a business. Configuration management, in general, takes the following broad-set activities into consideration:
Configuration management is not just about Source Code Management in DevOps, but it spans across various other activities of Software development and Operations phases and hence it is often referred to as “Comprehensive Configuration Management”.
Let us now take a deeper look into this area where you would love to know that there has been a considerable growth which might have gone unnoticed. Taking this opportunity to the right path, you might be willing to take some learning out of this article and put to use, if you feel like doing so.
Having discussed in detail about Provisioning Management and Configuration Management DevOps, let us now take a closer lo/ok on all the tools that fall into this category of DevOps tools. We will discuss more in detail about these tools and also will take a look at the advantages that these tools will bring in to your DevOps setup.
RackHD is yet another Configuration Management, Orchestration tool that works through its cohesive APIs. Developers can put to use their APIs to make a larger Orchestration system or to create a User Interface to perform and manage Hardware services regardless of the underlying hardware. RackHD lets you automate a varied range of management tasks including the following (by providing a huge set of REST APIs to leverage upon):
Following are some of the advantages of using RackHD, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:
Related Page: What is DevOps Automation?
An agentless Configuration Management tool and also an Orchestration tool – these are the traits that can be discussed about Ansible. Playbooks, the configuration modules that are written in Ansible are actually in the YAML format which makes it relatively easier to read and write. This is one of the best features that is provided via the YAML scripts than any other Configuration Management DevOps tools present in this space. Ansible can also be used for Cloud Provisioning as well, with very fewer changes. Alongside that, Ansible can also be counted as a Deployment tool as well.
Ansible is most generally grouped along with other Configuration Management tool as like the Saltstack, Puppet or CHEF for the best of the performance of the amalgam. It can do Provisioning Management, Deployment Management and also Configuration Management when it joins hands with others tools as mentioned above.
Following are some of the advantages of using Ansible, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:
Puppet, a Server Configuration Management tool gives you an automated way to inspect, deliver and also to operate your software regardless of its deployment anywhere. It not only provides control over your applications but also provides consistency in entertaining modifications to the ever changing business needs. Even Puppet is a Ruby like readable language to prepare the deployment of the infrastructure. Puppet ensures that you don’t sacrifice on your security and also at the same time on your stability, by supporting DevOps in supporting automation and enabling faster releases.
Treating infrastructure as code, Puppet ensures that the deployments are much faster and later on reducing the risks of failures by continuously shipping the code. Puppet finds its usages mostly in the Configuration Management, Test Driven Development and also in Automation. It also ensures that the core of your time is being spent on the most important jobs as like your Development than being bothered about the superfluous task that can be automated or handled in a different manner altogether.
Related Page: Introduction to Puppet
Following are some of the advantages of using Puppet, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:
CHEF, a configuration management tool that was written in the Ruby language uses Ruby language itself to write its system configuration recipes in turn. This technology not only streamlines the processes of configuring and maintaining company’s servers but also helps in integrating with cloud based platform as like the Amazon OpenStack and also Google’s Cloud Platform. With the use of this technology, an individual can manage as many servers that can practically be possible and turn this infrastructure into code. The infrastructure that is in turn described as code can very easily be tested, readable by humans.
Infrastructure automation tools as like CHEF and Puppet make IT management lot easier, efficient and flexible. As mentioned earlier, CHEF has been very well known for its concept of “Infrastructure as Code”.
Following are some of the advantages of using Chef, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:
One of the oldest Configuration Management tools that are available in the market within the DevOps space of Provisioning and Configuration Management. CFEngine runs on C as opposed to any of the other DevOps tools that fit into this space. Since that the tool in itself is written in C, the corresponding learning curve to get yourself acquainted is quite steep – which can be tough sometimes. If you look on the brighter side of the picture, it also ensures that the CFEngine has a smaller memory footprint – which in turn means that is faster and runs with the lowest number of dependencies altogether.
Following are some of the advantages of using CFEngine, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:
Vagrant comes as the best choice to set up virtual machines for a Development environment, and this comes with utmost ease. One of the best features that one can think of is that it runs on top of the VM solutions as like VirtualBox, VMware, and Hyper-V etc. Uses the Vagrantfile that holds all the configuration that needs to go into the building of a vM. A machine that gets created can be shared with the other developers to have similar developer environments.
Vagrant impresses with its easy to use workflow and the focus on automation eases the whole process of building and managing virtual machine environments. Having said that, it reduces the time taken to setup a development environment and thereby increases the productivity parity.
Following are some of the advantages of using Vagrant, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:
Saltstack, a Python based open source configuration management tool that helps maintain remote nodes in defined states. Saltstack was developed bringing in more than one solution found for the remote execution and to make it faster, reliable and better. Saltstack attempts to accomplish this Herculean task through its core abilities to handle humongous loads of information and servers in the numbers of thousands through its simple and manageable Python interface.
Unlike the other tools in the same space as like the Chef, Puppet – Saltstack supports remote execution of the commands. Code for execution will be pulled from the Servers in the case of Chef and Puppet but in the case of Saltstack, the code will be pushed to many of the adjoining nodes simultaneously. The code compilation and the required configuration is pretty fast in the case of Saltstack.
Following are some of the advantages of using Saltstack, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:
Cobbler is a well classified Linux provisioning server which facilitates and caters towards automation of the network-based system installation of multiple computer operating systems. Cobbler, a tool for automating and facilitating systems installations, uses network boot to control and initiate the installations. Alongside that, Cobbler also facilitates Repository mirroring, kick-start templates, manages connectivity with the available power management systems. One of the best ways to see Cobbler is the way that it eases the life of System Administrators. There are lot of features that make it even more powerful like the XML RPC APIs, Configuration management and the KOAN client etc.
Following are some of the advantages of using Cobbler, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:
9. Secured Shell (SSH):
SSH is an acronym that stands for Secure Shell, is a software package that enables secure system administration and file transfers over insecure networks. Using SSH, you can issues commands to the server from just a command prompt just the same way as if, if you were sitting in front of the server itself. As time passes by and also after you get better command overs the basic commands, you can work faster than the cPanel GUI as well.
Following are some of the advantages of using SSH, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:
In this article, we have briefly introduced the concepts of Provisioning Management and also Configuration Management DevOps tools. We have discussed the various tools that fall into this space of DevOps tools and about their implementation, tried to provide the advantages of each of these tools. You can go through this article to gain the basic details of many of these tools that prevail in the space of Provisioning and Configuration Management DevOps tools.
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