XebiaLabs and Environment Provisioning

Different Tools for Different Jobs

As you start to adopt DevOps and Continuous Delivery, you look for tools that can help you speed up development cycles, standardize infrastructure management, and automate software delivery.

Provisioning and configuration management tools such as Terraform, AWS CloudFormation, Puppet, Chef, SaltStack, and Ansible are popular choices for standardizing software installation and management on infrastructure and environments. These tools automate infrastructure by creating and managing your environments, using scripts that you write.

Environment Provisioning versus Application Release Automation

However, if you are looking to implement Continuous Delivery, you’ll need to automate the process of releasing your applications and deploying them to different environments in the enterprise release pipeline. You need Application Release Automation (ARA) to automate the release process from code to delivery, and to automate deployment from development to testing to staging to production.

Application Release Automation integrates provisioning and configuration management tools as part of the process and brings together all of the other steps and tools in your software delivery cycle to accelerate delivery and provide the enterprise-level scalability, reusability, and standardization that your business requires.

CONTINUOUS DELIVERY ECOSYSTEM

Diagram showing the Continuous Delivery ecosystem and blueprint with the XebiaLabs DevOps Platform

Successful DevOps at scale demands more than provisioning tools

Provisioning environments, orchestrating releases, and deploying applications are all closely related parts of the software delivery process, so you might think that you can use one tool to do it all. But provisioning software won’t give you the foundation you need for successful DevOps at scale. Why not…?

Continuous Scripting
What you get with a provisioning tool
 

MANUAL SCRIPTING

You have to write many customized scripts to deploy each different application to each different environment. These scripts must be tested and forever maintained


Deployment patterns that are limited to what you script, with no “on-the-fly” pattern changes


Simple “undo” actions or no rollback capability at all… unless you script it


No support for release coordination, with limited management for technical dependencies only

LIMITED VISIBILITY

Visibility that’s limited to automated work in the area of provisioning and simple deployments, with no tracking of manual tasks in the process


Limited status information that is only usable by technical users, with no automated risk assessment and no notification until something goes wrong


Basic reports that only reflect the provisioning phase of the pipeline and that don’t guide teams toward improvements

NO STANDARDIZATION, LITTLE CONTROL

Scripts to collect information beyond basic compliance data must be hand-coded and maintained


Basic user management and access control that requires technical expertise to set up


Disparate processes and one-off scripts that don’t scale across the organization

Scalable DevOps
What you need for DevOps at enterprise scale

AUTOMATION

A standardized deployment plan that is automatically generated, based on a model of your application and environment. The model determines and executes the right steps each time, so extensive scripts are not needed


Support for advanced patterns such as canary, blue-green, and rolling deployments


Intelligent, automated rollback when things go wrong


Scalable release orchestration and comprehensive dependency management

COMPREHENSIVE INSIGHT AND INTELLIGENCE

Oversight and management of your real-world, end-to-end release process, including both manual and automated tasks


Visibility into release status across the pipeline, with built-in risk intelligence that provides proactive alerts when releases are in danger of failing


Reports that visualize the entire release process and provide goal-based insights for improving release efficiency and speed

SIMPLIFIED COMPLIANCE AND CONTROL

Easy-to-access, easy-to-read, comprehensive compliance data that is automatically collected


Granular access control that’s easy to configure and manage


Standardized processes that scale across teams and promote reuse

We started by looking at provisioning tools like Chef, Puppet, and Ansible to build out our DevOps plans. Once we saw XebiaLabs, we immediately understood the limitations we would encounter if we tried to repurpose provisioning tools and write scripts to automate deployments at scale. XebiaLabs met our needs for fully automated and self-service deployments, granular control over user roles and privileges, and integrations with existing tools.

- Jonathan Berdah, CTO of Customer Service and Operations at Ullink

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The XebiaLabs advantage

Provisioning and configuration management tools are perfect for automating your infrastructure and ensuring consistent configurations across your environments; you absolutely need one! But to scale DevOps, you need more. You need a platform that will let you take control of your release pipelines, so you know you’re getting full visibility across – and control over – your real-world software release and deployment process.

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Standardize and enforce DevOps processes

Granular, role-based permissions provide tight control over who…

Standardize processes by modeling them in release and deployment templates that can be used again and again, creating consistency across your organization.

Standardize processes by modeling them in release and deployment templates that can be used again and again, creating consistency across your organization. Granular, role-based permissions provide tight control over who can do what.

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Take advantage of sophisticated orchestration

Coordinate a set of interdependent releases

XebiaLabs DevOps Platform offers orchestration features that are as smart as they are easy to use.

Whether you’re coordinating a set of interdependent releases or implementing advanced patterns such as blue-green, canary, or rolling deployments, the XebiaLabs DevOps Platform offers orchestration features that are as smart as they are easy to use.

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Get cross-team collaboration and visibility

Everyone can implement Application Release Automation best practices,…

The XebiaLabs DevOps Platform includes a friendly UI that works for business users and highly technical users alike.

The XebiaLabs DevOps Platform includes a friendly UI that works for business users and highly technical users alike, giving all teams the up-to-date information that they need to work together. A shared platform means that everyone can implement Application Release Automation best practices, no matter what their role.

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Future-proof your deployments

Immediately deploy applications to new target systems as your…

Spend less time writing scripts and more time innovating with our model-based, highly scalable approach to deployment.

Spend less time writing scripts and more time innovating with our model-based, highly scalable approach to deployment. Immediately deploy applications to new target systems as your infrastructure grows, without installing additional software or customizing configuration.

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Integrate manual and automated work in the process

Create code-to-production delivery pipelines that bring manual…

Introduce more automation as your DevOps initiative grows.

Create code-to-production delivery pipelines that bring manual and automated work together in one flow, for maximum visibility into the entirety of your real-world application release process. Introduce more automation as your DevOps initiative grows.

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Build compliance into the release pipeline

Make it easy for everyone to follow compliance guidelines by…

Compliance officers and risk teams can join the process from beginning to end, monitor activities, access results, and easily provide data to auditors…

Make it easy for everyone to follow compliance guidelines by automatically capturing audit data as part of the release pipeline. Compliance officers and risk teams can join the process from beginning to end, monitoring activities, accessing results, and easily providing data to auditors as needed.

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Do your job...
with provisioning and ARA

Sometimes, combining tools makes them more effective. In the same way a hammer and chisel together help you create a sculpture, using provisioning and CM tools together with the XebiaLabs DevOps Platform help you scale DevOps across your enterprise. You get the best of both worlds: automated environment provisioning and setup followed by seamless application deployment, with full visibility and control of your end-to-end release processes.

Man using a hammer and chisel to carve a statue

More Information

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10 Reasons You Can’t Scale DevOps with Configuration Management Tools

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10 Reasons You Can’t Scale DevOps with Configuration Management Tools

10 Reasons You Can’t Scale DevOps with Configuration Management Tools

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