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Windows Applications in the Cloud

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Raphael Simon, Sr. Systems Architect at RightScale, led this session at the RightScale User Conference 2010 in Santa Clara. …

Raphael Simon, Sr. Systems Architect at RightScale, led this session at the RightScale User Conference 2010 in Santa Clara.

Session Abstract: Using RightScale's ServerTemplates, it is now possible to define and manage cloud deployments that implement an entire Windows software stack. Such deployments can be automated with monitoring, alerts and auto-scaling to reap all the usual cloud benefits. This session will give you insight into how Windows instances can be dynamically configured using the RightScale Platform and make you better equipped to move your Windows applications to the cloud. We will show how ServerTemplates work with Windows, how to use PowerShell to configure services, and generally discuss the Windows boot and configuration process. The session will also cover challenges that are unique to the Windows platform such as licensing and system updates.

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Transcript

  • 1.
  • 2. Moving Windows to the Cloud
    Raphael Simon, Sr. Systems Architect
  • 3. Windows in the Cloud without RightScale
    Windows images inconsistent
    Do not follow best practices
    Use root partition for everything
    Pre-install all required software
    Bake in license
    Custom configuration
    Long development iterations
    No consistent automation
    Trust relationships hard-coded
    Ad-hoc orchestration
  • 4. Windows in the Cloud with RightScale
  • 5. Moving Windows to the Cloud
    Windows images inconsistent
    Do not follow best practices
    Use root partition for everything
    Pre-install all required software
    Bake in license
    Custom configuration
    Long development iterations
    No consistent automation
    Trust relationships hard-coded
    Ad-hoc orchestration
  • 6. Windows RightImages
    Consistent settings
    Across regions and clouds
    Firewall, file sharing, SQL Server install, ASP.NET install
    Follow best practices
    Bigger root partition
    Use volumes for database files
    Work in progress, keeps improving
  • 7. Windows MultiCloud Images
    Combination of:
    2003 / 2008
    32 bit / 64 bit
    Bare / IIS / SQL Server Std
    RightLink installer for installing RightLink on pre-existing Windows images
  • 8. Moving Windows to the Cloud
    Windows images inconsistent
    Do not follow best practices
    Use root partition for everything
    Pre-install all required software
    Bake in license
    Custom configuration
    Long development iterations
    No consistent automation
    Trust relationships hard-coded
    Ad-hoc orchestration
  • 9. ServerTemplates: Built-to-Order Servers
    Modular – Portable – Reproducible
    Application
    Applications
    • Cloud independent
    App Libraries
    SQL Server/ASP.NET…
    Networking
    Cloud Portability
    • Standard configuration
    Storage volumes
    OS
    RightImages &
    Multi-Cloud Images
    • Standard image “API”
    Virtual machine
  • 10. RightScale ServerTemplates vs. Images
    Big & opaque
    Complex to reproduce
    Static
    Not cloud-portable
    • Slow workflow
    • 11. Not cloud-agile
    Modular & flexible
    Reproducible & maintainable
    Dynamic & agile
    Multi-cloud enabled
    • Dev-like workflow
    • 12. Dynamic configuration
    Virtual Machine Images
    RightScaleServerTemplates
  • 13. ServerTemplates: A Closer Look
    Starts with a multicloud image
    Defines base software
    Adds:
    Boot, operational and decommission RightScripts and/or recipes for configuration
    Alerts definitions for automation
    ServerTemplates are versioned
    Reproduce exact configuration
    ServerTemplates can be published/imported
    Sharing / reuse
  • 14. Monitoring and Alerts
    Monitoring recipe for CPU, memory and disk space
    Create monitoring scripts to monitor custom data
    Written in a ruby DSL
    Can leverage WMI
    Completely dynamic: Add/remove monitoring scripts at any time
    Use monitored data to create Alerts
    Can use elaborate rules to define alerting conditions
    Alert escalations can send emails, reboot server, relaunch server, run a RightScript or recipe, vote array grow and vote array shrink
  • 15. Hands-On Creating a Domain Controller ServerTemplate
  • 16. Moving Windows to the Cloud
    Windows images inconsistent
    Do not follow best practices
    Use root partition for everything
    Pre-install all required software
    Bake in license
    Custom configuration
    Long development iterations
    No consistent automation
    Trust relationships hard-coded
    Ad-hoc orchestration
  • 17. What is RightLink?
    Functions
    Receive commands from RS
    Query RightScale (instance API)
    Locate related servers
    Open-source Agent
    Extensible
    Transparent
    Secure
    Signed & encrypted AMQP transport
    Deployment scope
    RightScale
    Tag
    store
    server1
    server2
    serverA
    serverB
    RL
    RL
    RL
    RL
    Production
    Development
  • 18. Leveraging RightLink
    RightLink provides the following Chef resources
    Log: appends to local log and audits (audits are visible in the dashboard)
    RightLink tag: Add or remove tags from instance
    Remote recipe: Run recipes on remote instances (route by tag)
    Server collection: Query instances by tags
    RightLink-enabled images also include the following utilities
    rs_tag.cmd: Add or remove tags from instance
    rs_run_right_script.cmd: Run RightScript on local instance. Starting with 5.6 also run RightScripts on remote instances
    rs_run_recipe.cmd: Run recipes on local instance. Starting with 5.6 also run recipes on remote instances
    rs_server_collection.cmd: Starting with 5.6 query instances by tags
  • 19. Hands-onAutomatic User Creation
  • 20. Where Are We?
    Underlying infrastructure in place
    RightImage 5.5 GA
    Time to build-up the stack
    Expect more production ready ServerTemplates in the near future
    What do you need?
  • 21.
  • 22. Windows Best Practices
    License keys registration
    Install software on boot: License key is an input that is used to generate the answer file
    Bake software into image: Write Powershell script which registers key on boot
    System updates management
    Updates disabled by default
    Cherry-pick updates, test, sysprep & bundle (use provided RightScript)
    Roll new image
  • 23. When to Install Software
    Dynamic installation
    Easier maintenance
    Licensing
    Faster startups
    Attended installers
    Bake into image for:
    Install on boot for:
    • Whenever you can
    • 24. When you have no choice