Continuous Integration of Infrastructure, an updated talk from BBLISA June 2013
Stability is the name of the game for systems and networks operators. It's what we expect and what our end-users expect, but it can be incredibly difficult to achieve - a constant stream of security patches, dead-end releases, broken software, broken hardware, and demands from other internal stakeholders force change. Constant, never ending change.
Complicating this is the fact that these changes are rarely isolated. A change on one system (particularly a lower-layer system like a router) can ripple through entire services. We have, in effect, an integration problem with every software update or configuration change we apply. So to solve this, we look to the software development world to see how they deal with it, and the answer is continuous testing and continuous integration.
At TERC, they are currently combining configuration management (Puppet), hierarchical configs (Hiera), monitoring (Nagios), test software (RSpec/Cucumber), and a software development CI stack (Jenkins/rake/vagrant) in order to address this. This talk will focus on Nick's experiences in rolling all of this out, what the limitations of current software are, and touch on what his plans are to improve it.
Nick Cammorato is a former software engineer who currently heads up the ops team for TERC, a non-profit educational research institution in Cambridge, MA. He has over a decade of experience in system and network administration, most of which has been spent trying to automate himself out of a job.
Complimentary pizza, drinks, and beer provided by our venue host, Swipely.