Published on 1 September 2015 by

As administrators automate more of their data centers and implement DevOps culture across IT teams, they remove more and more black boxes, coordinate deployments that span multiple infrastructure components, and unify change management processes. But up until now, there was one administrator who couldn’t get in on the Puppet Enterprise automation goodness: the storage admin. We’re happy to announce that's all changed with the availability of the NetApp Forge module, the first module written by Puppet Labs for storage devices.

Storage administrators have to maintain traditional infrastructure and deal with ever-increasing demand for data storage. Many organizations rack and stack new arrays at an alarming rate. Tools like Splunk, Elasticsearch, and Hadoop produce huge amounts of data that has to be kept up with. Storage has to be fast, but only for the most commonly accessed data, which complicates array configurations. At the same time, storage admins have to support new practices such as immutable and ephemeral infrastructure. As virtual infrastructure is provisioned and decommissioned, new iSCSI targets and NFS exports have to be created, and access has to be managed. Oh, did we mention this all has to be managed on the disaster recovery site too?

That’s a lot, and good automation is the only way to keep up the pace and stay sane.

The new NetApp module lets you simplify or even automate away all these tasks. Here are just some of the things the module can do:

  • Automatically add newly rack-and-stacked arrays to virtual servers.
  • Manage disaster recovery and primary site configuration simultaneously, including replication.
  • Create, modify and delete volumes, including auto-increment, snapshot schedules and volume options.
  • Automate management of QTrees, iSCSI targets (including CHAP authentication), NFS exports (including export security), users, groups, roles, and quotas.
  • Manage snapmirror relationships and schedules.

DevOps and Storage

As organizations embrace DevOps and experience dramatic improvements in IT throughput, they’re asking themselves how to get similar benefits in storage management. Application and virtual infrastructure teams need to easily propose changes to the storage infrastructure and have those changes reviewed, tested, and deployed in an automated fashion, while adhering to predefined standards.

Using Puppet Enterprise and the puppetlabs-netapp module, storage teams can define a standard way to provision volumes and manage access, while providing a simple interface so application and virtual infrastructure teams can get the storage they need for development, testing, and produciton in an automated, self-service and safe way.

DevOps for Storage Admins, Too

In short, this module automates away almost all the tedious tasks storage administrators do every day, so they can focus on what they do best: collaborating with other teams to improve the storage infrastructure. In combination with other Puppet modules to manage networking and virtual infrastructure, IT organizations can unify their change and deployment processes to include virtual infrastructure, network, and storage, and replace lengthy deployment conference calls and ticket avalanches with a few Puppet runs.

Carl Caum is the senior technology marketing manager at Puppet Labs.

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