Using Automation for Faster Cloud Adoption
Most work conversations I’m involved in go something like this: blah cloud adoption blah agility blah. It’s true that public cloud provides an innumerable list of benefits, but to me, the most attractive aspect is a uniform, API-driven method of provisioning resources. This makes it inherently automatable, unlike so many frustratingly simple and tedious data center tasks.
I always encourage organizations to use cloud as a gateway to automation. There are two primary avenues for automation: infrastructure provisioning and application-delivery aspects of the business. While easy in concept, automation requires a lot of initial investment before its value is returned. I like to start with focusing on the management aspect and automate most of the back-end operations tasks.
For example, my team often builds and destroys Rubrik Cloud Cluster deployments as part of our testing, so this is something that made sense to automate. Across the team, some like to use automation tooling such as Terraform, while others prefer native template tools like AWS CloudFormation. We’ve made these use cases available on Rubrik Build so that you can use some of the same tools that we use internally.
We previously announced the Rubrik Provider for Terraform, which simplifies the act of using the Rubrik API for routine tasks. Our team uses Terraform to provide a simple workflow for managing infrastructure. Namely, we repeatedly deploy Rubrik Cloud Cluster in our lab environments for testing purposes. We’ve written a handful of reusable configurations, so we simply run a few commands to test and apply changes. In the spirit of sharing, we are publishing the Terraform modules used for some of our most frequent tasks.
Terraform modules provide an easy way to abstract common blocks of configuration into reusable infrastructure elements. A module is a container for multiple resources that are used together; basically, collections of .tf files containing resources, input variables, and outputs that exist outside the root folder of your configuration.
We made the decision to take a module-first approach for all of our Terraform configurations, with the goal of reducing maintenance and making management of the infrastructure more efficient. These modules also help us collaborate with other teams across the company by providing reusable abstractions.
Available on Rubrik Build, we have shared modules for deploying, configuring, and bootstrapping Cloud Cluster, as well as the workflows necessary for CloudOut and CloudOn. So far, these are the use cases that we’ve used Terraform the most. We’d love to hear how you’re using Terraform and Rubrik together!
AWS CloudFormation simplifies provisioning and management on AWS. You are empowered to create templates for the service or application architectures you want, and have AWS CloudFormation use those templates for quick and reliable provisioning of the “stacks.” The Rubrik Build team has built a collection of templates to help you get started with AWS CloudFormation. These templates allow you to quickly deploy and configure AWS resources needed for Rubrik CloudOut, CloudOn, and Cloud Cluster.
CloudFormation templates ensure that dependent resources are created in the proper order. For example, let’s say you want to deploy Rubrik Cloud Cluster. CloudFormation will provision the EC2 instances required based on the variables you input, wait for that to finish, then bootstrap the Rubrik software as a 4-node cluster. AWS CloudFormation “orchestrates” the provisioning of the desired resources. Rather than writing a series of scripts with multiple AWS API calls, wait loops, and retry logic, you just use a template to do what you want and CloudFormation executes. Most excellent.
Rubrik Build is committed to making APIs as easy to consume as possible. These new use cases can help you increase automation of infrastructure tasks and ease the transition to a public cloud model. We’d love your thoughts on all of our Build projects! Don’t hesitate to reach out to @RoxieAtRubrik with any of your questions or feedback.
Follow @RubrikBuild on Twitter for the latest on what automation projects are available and how to contribute.