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orchestra Archives - AWS Managed Services by Anchor

AUTOMATE ALL THE THINGS!

By | Technical | 2 Comments

You can’t walk two metres down the street without someone going on about how cool and hip “The Cloud” is these days, being able to spin up hundreds of identical Linux VMs easily. Tools to build and configure lots of identical systems or VMs are plentiful. But what if there is no “standard build” or even anything close, with different hardware, networking, software, distro, services, firewalls etc. every time, but you don’t want to spend all your time doing custom server builds and configuration? Being a provider that specialises in customised hosting solutions, not only do most of our server builds have custom requirements, but we also have to configure lots of our own internal systems to deal with the eccentricities of each new server that we bring up. We…

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The Automation Waltz

By | Technical | One Comment

When you have a bunch of machines involved in a process, you need to ensure that various stages in this process have executed. If the target host is unavailable, you want a guarantee that the job will execute when the host becomes available again.  This is well beyond the capabilities of ssh in a for-loop. In trying to solve this problem, we had assessed tools like mcollective, but came to the conclusion that they were inappropriate for our environment.  mcollective in particular was removed from consideration as it was designed for a more homogeneous environment than the one here at Anchor. When we realised we needed a different solution, a few of us gathered around a whiteboard and started enumerating our requirements.  The result was Orchestra, which we’re releasing today under the BSD License….

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