Steve Taylor, CTOConfiguration management is not the responsibility of a single team anymore. Instead, it has not only become a larger component of the DevOps picture but is also a core component of the continuous delivery process, balancing frequent releases with minimal risks. The new technology that supports configuration management for continuous delivery is driven by open source. However, open source is often designed for smaller projects—catering to start ups. While larger enterprises must turn to commercial tools for the scalability to perform better in the multi-platform environments, CIOs often face a high cost in purchasing these tools to address today’s configuration management challenges.
Enter OpenMake Software—a company delivering highly reusable and integrated build, release and deploy DevOps solutions, serving both project teams and operations. The firm’s agentless delivery technology, Release Engineer, delivers enterprise level configuration management through application level automation, at an easy entry price, reducing the risk of entering the corporate process change. Release Engineer is highly scalable, expanding and contracting to support larger production environments as well as smaller development requirements. It enables automation of tracking and updating of application releases and offers the ability for teams to collaborate, set up approval gates and secure the environments they own. Release Engineer also serves as a central location for developers, testers and production control to share information and collaborate on domain-specific configuration-updates.
Domains enable the use of ‘component’ sharing, thereby creating standardization at the infrastructure layer needed for environments supporting frequent releases. “Jumping versions, rolling forward, rolling back, calendaring, promoting up or down the life cycle and managing low level server parameters are all part of the configuration features coordinated by Release Engineer,” explains Steve Taylor, CTO, OpenMake Software.
Additionally, in order to support frequent continuous delivery methodology, the role of configuration management must shift left into the development process at the earliest state in the lifecycle. Catering to this requirement is the company’s build automation solution OpenMake Meister. Meister achieves the ‘shift left’ by providing insight into how binaries are created, long before they are deployed.
Release Engineer serves as a central location for developers, testers and production control to share information and collaborate on domain-specific configuration-updates
This insight is the first step in achieving configuration management at the earliest state in the development cycle. Meister provides a centralized location to define what components are to be used in the creation of binaries. It uses source code scanning to manage and report on software dependencies, accelerate builds and support healthy incremental builds for agile practices.
Taylor believes that cost effective solutions and delivering a high level of customer service are the magic combination that has allowed the company to serve the configuration management landscape for over two decades. For instance, a popular credit company was struggling to meet their audit requirements, even though they were using a centralized ‘version control’ process for their software change management. The client’s financial auditors wanted to know what source code was used to create the final binaries that were moved to production. “The customer implemented our Meister product which takes control over the compile and link process and reports on every artifact used to create the binary,” states Taylor. As a result, the team ended up with the ‘President’s Plate’ award that year for their outstanding configuration management reporting.
Serving more complex platforms that were once called ‘open systems,’ the firm is enthusiastic about their 7.6 release, due in January 2016 and 8.0 release midyear. Moreover, OpenMake Software is also adding Galaxy Roles to Release Engineer, enabling data center administrators to use the Ansible Galaxy Roles to manage lower level configurations. Taking customers to the next level of configuration management, the company is providing as much transparency and automation in the build to release process.