The modern world demands an innovative concept of digitization. There are numerous large enterprises who have switched their work of operations on a federated model. This is that they are then separated into different business units or organizations. This is with regard to the setting off with different goals, features, procedures, and skillsets. These are the enterprises that are being typically used as systems to manage the entire set of infrastructure configuration and changes.
Now here when taking it further, we can always ask a question to ourself and that is “Can we apply a federated model to the process of configuration management?”. Well, if this is being thought for, then indeed we need to know about the pros and cons of the services, and along with that how does AWS OpsWorks for Chef Automate fit into that model?”
Today in this blog post we would be having a discussion on how to approach this configuration management in a federated enterprise. The main focus is on how the service can be leveraged by you and that too in AWS OpsWork for Chef Automated get the desired and set goals.
Now let us proceed further and have a look at some of the details that play an integral part having AWS OpsWork for Chef Automated work integrated.
Single Chef server to serve all parts of your organization
It is the base for every single service that proper approach of the getting the work done needs to be taken into consideration. The same is with Chef services too. The approach process of configuration management in a non-federated way includes as well as involves every single use of Chef server across many of them in different business units.
But, what I have heard here is something totally different and that is for different business units they have their own chef nodes, cookbooks, anture of environments. But how does it works and how to get them separated too.
The only way you can achieve this is with Chef. It is the concept of Chef Organizations, which is a core part of the Chef Server software.
Chef Organizations allows you to separate the following items among different business units, but they still reside on a single Chef server:
- Data bags
The biggest and the core benefit of this approach or service is that every individual business unit can easily and independently manage their own nodes, access permissions and also along with that can perform maintenance/updates on its infrastructure on its own schedule. It is like having this type of work and isolation allows the business unit to grow together and also to have access to their own unique environments, roles, data bags, and cookbooks. Moreover, if this hosting is been there on single server then the amount of too would be reduced and also with this there will be less efforts required for its set up and maintenance for a separate Chef server for each business unit.
Single Chef server per business unit
When there is a conversation about model for integrating a true fabricated approach so as to configure the management, we try out simple methods and ways. This is with regards to the company’s business units/organizations. Also, as they have their own Chef Server, it is easy for them to get the best benefits out of it. The more of the benefit seems to be with the cloud server.
“What are these new benefits you speak of?”
Well, it is very common to have different business units, each with its own respective AWS Account, for all of their resources. This approach is used for billing. It gives us a perfect, accurate and easy separation of resource usage per business unit. If each business unit uses a Chef server in a centralized AWS account, billing and management of that resource can get out of hand.
Moving further, another benefit that is considers as a major one is that it is not at all related to the cloud server very strictly. Also, with this the maintenance of the Chef server and the potential downtime it experiences, does not cause disruptions across all organizations and their infrastructure. The risk of failure too gets reduced by having a Chef server for each business unit and that too at each single point. If you rely on a single Chef server throughout your enterprise, that server’s failure would cause potential down time across all business units. By using multiple Chef servers you reduce the blast radius of potential Chef server down time.
In addition to it, the concept of chef organizations can entirely be utilized in a sophisticated federated model. In overall the nodes from all the organizations can be visible on the Chef Automate dashboard because you can filter nodes based on Chef Organizations.
“But what happens to our cookbooks? Does each business unit need to write its own?” To answer these questions, let’s take a look at Centralized Cookbook repositories.
Centralized Cookbook repositories
One of the fastest as well as greatest ways to make it possible for you to configure all of your companywide Cookbook repository consistent and also keeping it safe and updated. This means that for the configuration purpose and infrastructure the teams and business units can use these sets of cookbooks which are being created by other parties of the company and that is entirely on their respective Chef Servers. The return of this service turns out to reduce the effort that are being required for the purpose of start of using the Chef as a configuration management system in a business unit. This is because most of the time it is required code that is the termed to be the base and which is already present.
Each cookbook must be as dynamic as possible. When you write a cookbook, leverage attributes, templates, and data-bags as much as possible so you can be flexible and help other teams use the same cookbook for, their use cases.
“So what kind of Cookbook repos can we use?”
The fastest, and the simplest approach is to have the cookbook managed centrally and this is possible only with the use of Git repository. Yes, this approach of the service is this simple and easy. The tool used is Berkshelf so to make the process of managing the cookbook and pulling them from the chef supermarket. Also, the same can be done with the help of Git repo. In addition, because Berkshelf supports specifying a repository branch, you can even select a specific branch of your cookbook repo, for example, a certain testing branch to be used in a Dev environment.
As mentioned before – you can have centralized Cookbook Git repositories across the entire company. Then each team could create its own repositories and push cookbooks – which could, in turn, be used by everyone in the company.
How does OpsWorks for Chef automate fit into all of this?
AWS OpsWorks for Chef Automate (OWCA) provides a fully managed Chef server and suite of automation tools, which compose Chef Automate. OpsWorks for Chef Automate offers you a consistent Chef server configuration throughout all deployed servers. All servers are deployed and bootstrapped by OpsWorks, so this means that each new server will be configured in the same way. Additionally, OpsWorks takes care of the Chef server maintenance in the form of server patching, minor Chef updates, and backups. That means that you do not have to spend time and effort in order to set-up and configure a Chef Automate server. You can just let OpsWorks handle that for you, and have your business units focus all their energy on writing or using Chef cookbooks in their environments.
The fact that OpsWorks handles patching means that you don’t need to connect to the Chef server using SSH. You only need to use knife to manage your Chef server software. With backup and restore in place, you can easily revert back to a working version of your server if something goes wrong.
Today we have discussed how and what is the process and ways to get the implementation of federated model in an accurate as well perfect manner. This also assist in making the configuration management use Chef and OpenWorks. We at Cloud-Stack group understand the importance of the work, and the reason for getting it migrated from one server to another.
Having experience for over years we have delivered numbers of projects when it comes to integration of cloud based services. Our expertise in providing the service that is as per the current trend and demand in the market makes us the first choice and preference to complete the work within the given as well as stipulated time frame.
The current demand of the market is to have safe and secure network on which the entire business data can be relied and the companies and organizations can take a sign of relief for the safety of their data and information.
This is why there is a need to have an company where you can outsource your work and post that be relaxed and confident that there would not be any issue arising over the work and that is from its start to its end.
The approach of the work is very easy and clear and that is with regards to deliver full 100% of the work to the clients and that is only possible with the adherence of the dedicated software, technique, and approach to get the work completed.
Moreover, the discussion to have the implementation of federated model for configuration is only possible with the help of use of Chef and OpsWorks. Already the approach for the work is been shared by us and that is the process is very simple and faster too.