When you need to take care of thousands and thousands of servers spread out all over the world, developing your own devops tools is inevitable. Facebook is a prime example of this. The good news is that Zuckerberg has greenlighted the move to let other developers use their tools by making it open source.
Phil Dibowitz, production engineer at Facebook, confirmed that the social networking site has made two Chef “cookbooks” available on GitHub. These cookbooks work with Chef configuration management framework. Opscode’s Chef helps Facebook configure everything from middleware, operating systems to package and software installation.
Dibowitz adds that they plan to make more modules and cookbooks available to the public as well. The two that are already available are related to running scheduled tasks and system controls. If you are currently maintaining and managing a large number of servers, you can use these cookbooks to set up defaults, change or add new system controls and basically scale your infrastructure.
The company has also made its Taste Tester testing framework and Grocery Delivery tool available. Taste Tester lets you manage your chef-zero instances and allows you to test modifications on production servers. The framework initiates a chef-zero server on your localhost and uploads a repository on the instance. It would then go to a remote server and uses its configs on the new instance. Grocery Delivery, on the other hand, helps sync your VCS repo and chef servers, making sure that cookbooks, databags and roles are in tune.
Other tools that are expected to be released soon include one that controls the DNS server to be used and other similar functions.
Facebook switched to Chef years ago because it wanted shared knowledge and responsibility for its devops. Instead of having a central team to take charge of configurations for all of Facebook’s systems, they opted to have shared responsibility between the code writers and the systems administrators. Furthermore, the company’s engineers were required to write documentation to describe their systems to help spread the knowledge.
Facebook’s move is unprecedented. You would want to think that the company would want to keep their devops tools proprietary. This is not the case with Oracle, which has from the very start supported the open source movement and is a staunch believer in using open source technologies. Instead of is a wide range of tools available out there that is written by different developers all ready for them to use.
This helps you make your Oracle investment work harder, while also saving you time and money from having to develop your own devop tools, frameworks and programs. You can rely on Oracle’s robust developer community to plug any holes and to come up with programs that you need.
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