Self service delivery and management of complex software systems - rPath

Organizations are looking at the self service provisioning and management features being offered by cloud providers and have decided that they could reduce their overall costs of IT administration if they could use something similar for their own systems regardless of if they are physical, virtual or hosted in the cloud somewhere.  Recently, rPath dropped by to tell me about their newest software release. They appear to be offering something that just might hit the spot.

What rPath has to say about its new release

Key features of rPath’s new solution include:
  • Complete transparency and control of software and configurations running in the data centers – all with the push of a button.
  • Seamless integration with newScale, Eucalyptus, and VMware vCloud Director, providing stakeholders with an integrated technology platform that offers an on-ramp to private and hybrid cloud computing in the enterprise.
  • A next-generation interface that acts as a highly visual and dynamic command-and-control center, allowing IT to easily model and manage the lifecycle of software systems, business services, and configurations to generate new images and system updates on demand. This makes the most complex IT tasks intuitive and easy to perform for any IT organization, regardless of size or sophistication.
  • Unified automation for software and configuration enabling configuration data and software to be managed together as part of a unified automation platform. This allows IT providers to correctly deploy and update configuration settings for applications, middleware, and OS alongside the application, middleware and OS software.

Snapshot analysis

Keeping track of components that make up a given application can be challenging. Applications rely on specific versions of operating systems, application frameworks, development tools and libraries, database management engines and the like. Making sure that the right components are used at the right time can require a great deal of expertise and time.

The alure of a self service building, provisioning and management environment is strong if an organization is looking for ways to reduce their overall IT staff costs. Getting from today's world to where they'd like to go is challenging. Developers have to be familiar with each of the tools, the support systems, version control systems and use them properly each and every time or applications don't get built correctly. This can lead to outages when new versions of software are deployed and don't work correctly.

rPath has developed a really clever, easy to understand user interface and a robust set of back end tools to make the process appear to be drag, drop and press the deploy button.  The tool understands dependencies among various software components, which applications are using what versions of software and lets the developer know what's needed and when.

When I was a developer, lo these many years ago, I wish I had something like rPath's tool rather than the rather arcane set of systems I had to use. 

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