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Run Book Automation with PlateSpin Orchestrate
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Run Book Automation with PlateSpin Orchestrate

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This session will describe how to use PlateSpin Orchestrate for tasks beyond virtualization management. Run Book Automation can support the IT operation in a variety of processes, including …

This session will describe how to use PlateSpin Orchestrate for tasks beyond virtualization management. Run Book Automation can support the IT operation in a variety of processes, including monitoring, ticket enrichment, problem diagnosis, change and repair, optimization and virtualization, system management and disaster recovery. IDC predicts that data center management will be required to implement higher automation in all fields of system operation.

This session will show what the typical use cases for Run Book Automation are, how PlateSpin Orchestrate fits the requirement for an automation implementation platform, and where in the enterprise IT infrastructure it can be implemented organically and in manageable steps.

A number of implementation examples, such as a disaster recovery implementation for SAP components, prove that automation is not necessarily a huge step, and that even limited projects can lead to a quick return on investment. Implementation details in code and project examples, a technical demo and a tour of the existing example code will conclude the session.


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  • 1. Run-book Automation with PlateSpin Orchestrate ® Adam Spiers Senior Software Consultant Novell adam.spiers@novell.com
  • 2. The Run-book Documentation of approved diagnostic and recovery procedures Hard to write Difficult to update Very hard to read 2 © Novell, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 3. Run-book Automation Support the IT operations through automation: Monitoring Ticket enrichment Problem diagnosis Change and repair Optimization and virtualization management Disaster recovery 3 © Novell, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 4. IDC Worldwide System Infrastructure Software 2009 Top 10 Predictions: 3. Datacenter operations cost concerns will drive IT organizations to adopt automated management software solutions – To overcome headcount constraints while continuing to deliver required service levels, IDC advises IT decision makers to look for run-book automation, process automation, and orchestration tools that can be implemented incrementally (...) – These tools need to be able to support physical and virtual machines, network devices, middleware, applications, and databases. December 2008, IDC #215390, Volume: 1 Operating Environments: Top 10 Predictions 4 © Novell, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 5. IDC Worldwide System Infrastructure Software 2009 Top 10 Predictions: 6. Standalone virtual server management tools will be gobbled up by automated systems change, configuration, and operations automation platforms – Although once viewed as a standalone product category, in 2009, virtual server management tools will be increasingly integrated into more comprehensive systems provisioning, change, and configuration management solutions. (...) – For IT decision makers, 2009 is the year to move virtual server management back into the core datacenter operations environment. With the majority of IT organizations anticipating significant use of virtual servers in production environments in 2009 and beyond, IT teams will be able to operate more efficiently if virtual server and physical server operations become more tightly connected in terms of both process work-flows and management tools. December 2008, IDC #215390, Volume: 1 Operating Environments: Top 10 Predictions 5 © Novell, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 6. Run-Book Automation Integration Audit DB Server Mgmt. Dashboard Storage Mgmt. Run-book Admin Automation Enterprise Network Console Mgmt. Ticket System CMDB 6 © Novell, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 7. Product Requirements A data center run-book automation tool must be: • Multi-Platform (Unix, Linux, Windows server) • Able to cover more than servers (storage, networks) • Scalable and easy to integrate • Extensible by IT admin staff • Flexible to integrate in existing environments (Enterprise console, ticket system, CMDB) • Able to manage physical and virtual machines • Secure, with audit capability 7 © Novell, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 8. PlateSpin Orchestrate ® • Multi-platform, distributed automation tool • Front end integration by Java API • Automation with Python scripting • User authentication and audit database • Policies for authorization • Manages servers, VMs, and other components 8 © Novell, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 9. Why Position PlateSpin Orchestrate ® for Run-book Automation? • PlateSpin Orchestrate can do a lot more than RBA – Optimization, VM management, green IT, … • RBA requires much less integration effort – A workload optimization project has a big development effort attached – RBA can be started iteratively • RBA has a short ROI cycle • RBA implementation can grow organically into workload optimization and more complex implementations 9 © Novell, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 10. Examples
  • 11. Example: SAP BIA Fail-over (Project is in solution development together with HP) • Client has two SAP Business Intelligence Accelerator installations in two cities for DR • The failover “run-book” has 40 pages of step-by-step instructions! – Steps have dependencies on both sides, some steps must be run on one server, some on up to 16 servers per side • Proof of concept of two days in HP lab automated the more complex steps on the infrastructure side (storage system failover and SAP cleanup/restart) 11 © Novell, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 12. Example: Setting Passwords (This one originally convinced a customer to buy PlateSpin Orchestrate) ® • When an admin leaves the company, the admin passwords needs to be changed on all systems – Unix, Linux, Windows – Even on machines that may be powered down right now (for a long time) • PlateSpin Orchestrate has the feature to run jobs on resources rejoining the grid – Can change password as soon as machine powers up 12 © Novell, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 13. Example: Ticket Enrichment Speed up information gathering in incident handling • For a new incident ticket on a specific business service: – Find all systems relevant for that service – Run a support script on all these systems – Attach the information to the ticket automatically • The “intelligence” of the script can grow over time – Check if databases are still in backup mode – Check if VLANS are configured on switch ports • This service will benefit from integration with a Configuration Management Database, e.g. Novell ® CMDB360 and Novell myCMDB ™ ™ 13 © Novell, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 14. Example: Check System Health • Check for full file systems and try to fix immediately – Platform-dependent locations – Application-dependent scripts – Flexible cleanup scripts • Check for application and system processes – Application-dependent checks – Check for hanging backup processes etc. 14 © Novell, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 15. Example: Check Databases • Check processes and connectivity – Check system tables – Check application databases running (easily configured) • Provide automatic restart and recovery assistance • Check archive log and backup modes 15 © Novell, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 16. Example: Public Key Management • Support handling of SSL/TLS keys on servers – Check certificate validity – Generate new Certificate Signing Requests – Collect CSR – (Signing certificates is security sensitive) – Distribute certificates to servers • Same with SSH keys – Update known_hosts and authorized_keys lists 16 © Novell, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 17. Example: What Is There Today ? The tutorial already has some good example jobs that are building blocks for RBA, e.g. • doit – Execute a command on a host or a group of hosts • Baseline – Compare a configuration file against a baseline file – Distribute the “master” file on a group of hosts 17 © Novell, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 18. Questions and Answers
  • 19. Unpublished Work of Novell, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This work is an unpublished work and contains confidential, proprietary, and trade secret information of Novell, Inc. Access to this work is restricted to Novell employees who have a need to know to perform tasks within the scope of their assignments. No part of this work may be practiced, performed, copied, distributed, revised, modified, translated, abridged, condensed, expanded, collected, or adapted without the prior written consent of Novell, Inc. Any use or exploitation of this work without authorization could subject the perpetrator to criminal and civil liability. General Disclaimer This document is not to be construed as a promise by any participating company to develop, deliver, or market a product. It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. Novell, Inc. makes no representations or warranties with respect to the contents of this document, and specifically disclaims any express or implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for any particular purpose. The development, release, and timing of features or functionality described for Novell products remains at the sole discretion of Novell. Further, Novell, Inc. reserves the right to revise this document and to make changes to its content, at any time, without obligation to notify any person or entity of such revisions or changes. All Novell marks referenced in this presentation are trademarks or registered trademarks of Novell, Inc. in the United States and other countries. All third-party trademarks are the property of their respective owners.