Ruby

Create an inventory tool using MCollective's registration feature

I started working at a company (Shutterstock) that had MCollective implemented a few months ago. We use it to perform various functions across a wide range of servers. Things such as rolling the application servers to pick up new code, clearing caches, checking replication lag on databases, telling our puppetmaster to sign certificates, and even doing code deployment.

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Using Amazon's CloudFormation, cloud-init, chef and fog to automate infrastructure

Amazon recently announced their new CloudFormation API. This allows you to create what they call "stacks," which will bring up and provision various AWS resources. You are able to configure security groups, EC2 instances, RDS instances, and elastic load balancers just to name a few. With this level of support and ease of declaration, it makes you wonder how much longer things like RightScale are going to last.

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Cooking with Chef

I wanted to take some time to explain one of my favorite configuration management tools. That is Chef. I've been utilizing it pretty heavily over the passed few months and thought I'd share some of what I learned. I'm by no means an expert, but I've been managing my own chef-server as well as writing plenty of my own recipes.

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Capistrano for the sysadmin

There's always been a fine line between a good sysadmin and a programmer. Capistrano is software built for Ruby on Rails to make deploys across multiple servers easy, however, the potential is much greater than just code deployment. I have recently grown in love with how easily I can run commands across groups of servers, and setting up Capistrano is not a difficult task. If you've ever configured password-less SSH access, you can get this up and running without much difficulty.

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