What if you could eliminate all manual effort on newly delivered racks? That’s exactly what this SRE team wanted to accomplish. Prior to RackN, this company’s process was a boot provision cycle that involved multiple manual steps that resulted in days of effort and frequent miss-configuration. Their RackN Digital Rebar integrated process automatically takes systems from first boot to production.
In the touchless workflow, new racks are discovered, inventoried and validated from their first install boot. Once they’ve passed initial screening, their target configuration is retrieved from the master inventory system for flashing RAID/BIOS before installing the correct operating system. Any discrepancies from expected architecture generate notifications for attention. Each system is added to the existing Puppet configuration manifests as soon as it’s completed this cycle. At that point, the systems join the existing workflow.
The fully automatic provisioning cycle does more than save the SRE team time. It helps the team focus on critical tasks instead of routine provisioning. This is not just for initial provisioning, the RackN Digital Rebar system makes it painless to reprovisioning systems for hygienic rebuilds or equipment reallocation. Since issues are automatically flagged, the team does not have to monitor routine processes. This also improves security because fewer people are involved in the chain of custody. Further, a comprehensive audit log makes it easy to track changes to systems for both operational and accounting management.
Next phases for this effort include switch integration to ensure that systems can be quickly identified by their rack location. Also, the customer is interested in leveraging RackN Digital Rebar hybrid capabilities to move automation seamlessly between their cloud and physical deployments.