Automation, devops drive open source deeper in the enterprise

Server provisioning and configuration management and automation are the latest examples of where the tech industry is being driven, largely by open source software. The leading open source server and IT infrastructure automation frameworks, Opscode Chef and Puppet Labs’ Puppet, sit on the leading edge of significant trends under way in enterprise IT — particularly disruption from cloud computing and devops, where application development and IT operations come together for faster, smoother delivery of software and services.

I’ve discussed the importance of open source software in cloud computing and in trends such as devops and polyglot programming. Consistently across all of these trends and the technologies that go with them, there are prominent roles for Chef and Puppet.

Read the full article at LinuxInsider.

Linux-like, devops management moves to enterprise, Windows

Signs that the devops are coming — both in the form of new software engineers and system administrators that are working more closely together for collaboration and in new automation and agile technologies, many of them open source — continue to highlight the movement of continuous integration and continuous management of applications into more mainstream enterprise IT environments. Devops, which refers to the confluence of application development and deployment of applications via IT operations, is spreading beyond Web 2.0, technology and media organizations to some of the same key verticals that have been early adopters of open source software.

One of the most obvious signs that devops is moving to more mainstream enterprise IT — adding users in financial services, insurance, telecom and other key verticals — is the extension of open source server configuration and automation to Windows environments, which are typical alongside Linux in most enterprises. We’ve recently covered this extension in reports on CFEngine, Opscode and Puppet Labs, all of which report demand and traction in mixed Windows-nix environments and in more mainstream enterprises.

Our coverage of CFEngine (451 subscribers) highlights the Norwegian vendor’s latest paid release, CFEngine 3 Nova, features simplified configuration and management along with scalability and the ability to continuously monitor, update and facilitate system self-repair. Other highlights of the release include simplified compliance features and a new GUI dashboard for setting policy and monitoring system health, as well as the state of IT services and systems. As for the added Windows support, the CFEngine 3 Nova update includes new native support for Windows with more fine-grained management of Windows servers and desktops via Windows Registry, Windows Services and Access Control Lists.

We covered some similar extension to management of Windows environments in our recent report on Opscode with Chef (subscribers). Reporting more demand for private Chef, rather than hosted, particularly among large enterprise users with Windows resources and systems to manage, Opscode enhanced these capabilities with new Chef software and cookbooks. Features include deployment and automation of Windows PowerShell task framework, IIS Web server, SQL Server and Windows Services.

We also covered an update from another open source server configuration and automation player: Puppet Labs (subscribers). The company’s of Puppet Enterprise 2.0 was focused less on Windows support, which is nonetheless previewed in its latest software, and more on improving usability and serving orchestration and compliance needs of large enterprises.

All three of these open source software-centered vendors report the transition of devops practices and tools being implemented (sometimes under other monikers such as continuous integration, continuous application management, cloud application management, release management or other) by more mainstream enterprises in financial services, media and others in addition to tech and web-oriented companies you’d expect to be doing devops.

CAOS Theory Podcast 2011.10.28

Topics for this podcast:

*Opscode Chef extends to Windows for more enterprise devops
*Black Duck continues growth, gains new funding
*Cloudant expands NoSQL database focus, customers
*New open source Web server and vendor Nginx arrives
*The downside of Microsoft’s Android dollars

iTunes or direct download (27:35, 4.7MB)

CAOS Theory Podcast 2011.09.30

Topics for this podcast:

*Cloud M&A potential around OpenStack
*Oracle’s commercial extensions for MySQL
*Puppet Labs rolls out Enterprise 2.0, hosts PuppetConf
*Basho bolsters Riak distributed data store in NoSQL race
*Our latest special CAOS report, ‘The Changing Linux Landscape’

iTunes or direct download (25:59, 4.4MB)

CAOS Theory Podcast 2011.05.13

Topics for this podcast:

*Watching for possible devops deals
*New technology, offerings highlight Hadoop
*Oracle proposes Hudson as Eclipse project
*Red Hat’s latest IaaS and PaaS
*Defining open source
*Big changes in the Linux and open source landscape
*451 Group at OSBC 2011 in San Francisco

iTunes or direct download (36:17, 6.2MB)

451 CAOS Links 2010.06.25

Red Hat lays the Foundations for cloud. Funding for Sencha and Nuxeo. And more.

Follow 451 CAOS Links live @caostheory on Twitter and
“Tracking the open source news wires, so you don’t have to.”

# Red Hat took a solution-led approach to the cloud with Red Hat Cloud Foundations, and launched Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 2.2 with both server and desktop virtualization. Meanwhile Red Hat and Cisco announced the integration of Cisco VN-Link with Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization. Red Hat also released JBoss Enterprise Portal Platform 5.0, while eXo introduced eXo Add-on Modules for JBoss Enterprise Portal Platform Site Publisher. Matt Asay examined where Red Hat is growing.

# Sencha, which was recently formed via the merger of Ext JS, jQTouch and Raphaël, raised $14m from Sequoia Capital and Radar Partners.

# Nuxeo added $3.3m to its series A funding round.

# Oracle returned Sun to profitability. (PDF)

# GroundWork Open Source announced GroundWork Monitor Cloud Connector for Eucalyptus, and claimed to have doubled its customer-base since January 2010 and quadrupled it in the last eight months.

# NorthScale released Membase Server, a persistent NoSQL database based on memcached, and formed the open source project with Membase Server users Zynga and NHN.

# The Eclipse Helios release is now available for download.

# Adobe agreed to publish its Puppet modules for managing Hadoop in the Puppet Forge.

# Zend Technologies announced the general availability of Zend Server Cluster Manager.

# Nokia will use Linux MeeGo software in its N-series phones.

# eXo Platform released eXo Collaboration 2.0 and eXo Knowledge 2.0.

# ActiveState added support for financial and scientific computing Python packages.

# OKI released the source code to SFF, a SIP application development framework for Mobicents.

# Google released the Android 2.2 “Froyo” source code, as the H reports.

# Matt Asay assessed the potential value of Novell.

# Glyn Moody asked Can the CodePlex Foundation Free itself from Microsoft?

# AlienVault released version 2.3 of its AlienVault Professional SIEM.

# Tasktop Technologies announced Tasktop Pro 1.7, which builds on the release of Mylyn 3.4.

# Zmanda released Zmanda Cloud Backup 3.0.

# WANdisco released WANdisco certified Subversion binaries for Windows.

# The Inquirer reported that Mandriva has been saved from being acquired.

# Ars Technica reported that openSUSE developers are seeking greater autonomy from Novell.

# Marten Mickos defended the open core licensing strategy, while Henrik Ingo argued that open core is not open source.

CAOS Theory Podcast 2009.09.04

Topics for this podcast:

*EC pauses Oracle-Sun over MySQL
* Open source licenses debated
* Red Hat growth opportunities and Summit roundup
* Reductive Labs seeking cloud role for Puppet software
* VMware-SpringSource analyzed

iTunes or direct download (26:04, 5.9 MB)

On open source and cloud computing

Last week I wrote about whether Google’s potential acquisitions might be stifled by its focus on its own infrastructure software projects but noted that by releasing App Engine the company was encouraging a wider ecosystem of applications based on its platform.

What I didn’t discuss at the time was the potential risk of application vendors finding themselves locked-in to the App Engine platform. Of course Amazon also has this issue, the potential impact of which was revealed this weekend.

It is with this in mind that it was interesting to see the debut of 10gen, a new open source cloud computing start-up founded by Doubleclick veterans and backed by Union Square Ventures.

Over at The 451 Group’s Cloud Cover blog, Vishy Venugopalan has the details:

“10gen offers an open source stack consisting of an app server and object database; developers can write apps in server-side Javascript or Ruby (experimental) and host it on their own computing clouds,” he writes.

“It’s also striking that many platform-as-a-service companies deviate from the standard Web server-app server-relational DB trio, of which the LAMP stack is an example. Google App Engine uses BigTable for its storage whereas 10gen wrote its own MongoDB database.”

10gen also has it own application server and file system, and the whole lot is available under open source licenses.

Of course 10gen isn’t the only open source cloud enabler/provider. There’s also Enomalism and Joyent among others that boast their ability to reduce vendor lock-in. Then there’s the likes of Eucalyptus, Puppet, Hypertable, Hbase, and Hadoop.

While Amazon and Google have first mover advantage when it comes to the cloud, could concerns over lock-in and portability mean that open standards and open source are the long-term platform for cloud computing?