New automation can save customers time and money

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Loudcloud has introduced enhancements to the automation technology in Opsware v2. It is also introducing new modules that help tackle some of the most complex infrastructure problems - code deployment, operational audit, and robust disaster recovery.

Opsware captures and manages the thousands of pieces of information, required to grow an Internet infrastructure successfully. This automates formerly manual tasks, offering a quality, scale and speed in Internet operations not available with any other competitive solution.

Opsware v2 increases the level of automation applied to customer’s Internet infrastructure. New enhancements allow a unified view of customer’s websites. For example, a coordinated change can be managed across a set of web servers and their related devices, such as load balancers and firewalls, in one single action. Previously, Opsware would automate each device type separately.

This unified view also allows all modules to communicate, enabling a newly provisioned web server to be automatically monitored, secured, backed up, recovered after a disaster, and included in future code deployments.

These powerful new capabilities increase the reliability of the site architecture by reducing the chance of human error, and increase the overall speed of improvements to customer’s sites.

Code deployment
Businesses constantly make changes to their websites. A successful code deployment requires hundreds of interdependent parameters to be set and configured. Even small errors in this process can result in site downtime or other performance degradation.

Opsware’s new code deployment module simplifies the implementation of upgrades and reduces the likelihood of accidental errors through a strict process of staging and thorough testing. A key feature is its ability to quickly “roll-back” to previous versions of code without impacting the site’s reliability. Overall, the automation of this highly manual process can cut code deployment times to a few minutes.

Enhanced disaster recovery
Physical threats to Internet infrastructure vary from power outages, such as those plaguing California over the past months, to earthquakes, to disruptions of fiber networks. Should one of these instances occur, the damage could result in data loss and extended site downtime.

Most disaster recovery consists of an expensive duplicate, standby site in another location that mirrors the active system. Many service providers, including Loudcloud, provide the option of such a standby site, but at a cost that may be prohibitive for some customers.

The new disaster recovery module automates the configuration of hardware and software to expedite the construction of another site infrastructure. Opsware-enabled data centers enable sites to be rebuilt exactly like the original, away from the point of the disaster.

Operational audit
Managing large, complex, operating environments requires tracking thousands of individual devices, software, configuration data, and all required management processes. Using paper records to manage physical reality requires strict adherence to documentation procedures and requires valuable engineer time. Inevitably, manual tracking lags physical reality, leading to discrepancies that make the data difficult to use for business decisions. Many companies are forced to perform detailed physical and logical inventories prior to making any hardware or software upgrades, spending numerous hours investigating the results of months of changes.

Loudcloud’s new operational audit module provides an accurate and up-to-date snapshot inventory of the hardware, software and configuration profile of each device within a customer’s infrastructure. A physical system inventory, enabled by hand-held scanners linked to the Opsware foundation, is performed in a fraction of the time required to perform this process manually. Opsware automation technology constantly audits customer infrastructure, detecting any changes that may have occurred as a result of unauthorized engineering work or a security breach. Customers now have the information they need to gauge ongoing efficiency, or act quickly to make needed changes.

About Loudcloud
Loudcloud provides services which enable businesses to benefit from reliable, high-quality and scalable Internet operations without undertaking the difficulty and expense associated with building the required expertise in-house.

Loudcloud

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