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Complex Cloud Application Lifecycle Automation using Cloudify

Aptira Complex Cloud Application Lifecycle Automation using Cloudify

One of the world’s largest IT companies required a Cloud native application orchestration solution for their data management services which can be potentially applied to their other software technology product lines. We developed a highly extendable orchestration solution based on Cloudify – an award-winning Open Source application and network orchestration platform based on TOSCA.

The Challenge

This organisation needed the new orchestration solution to be integrated with multiple components – including their existing cloud environment (private DC/AWS/Azure), configuration management toolset (Ansible) and their application product line.

This integration was required in order to provide a centralised web-based management interface for complex deployments (such as automated service/resource deployment and updates), along with metrics monitoring and to support day 2 operations in an automated fashion. Also, service function chaining in application deployment is essential with the proposed orchestration solution. Namely, the parameters between deployments should be able to pass on, and one deployment may trigger others. Another bonus of this integration is that it will allow the organisation to provide a user-friendly interface, in turn mitigating any operational changes to their clients.

The Aptira Solution

Aptira and Cloudify have partnered to deliver solutions for Open Infrastructure, SDN, NFV and ONAP for leading Telco’s and Enterprises, and we have delivered many multi-cloud solutions based on Cloudify’s orchestration platform. We utilised this deep expertise to develop TOSCA blueprints for Cloudify to meet the customers’ requirements, implementing the following:

  • Full application lifecycle management: The solution doesn’t just automate the initial deployment phases (such as installation and setup) but also make it easy to update resources during runtime and monitor all post-deployment changes.
  • Resource management on a variety of infrastructures: The solution introduces a plugin mechanism to easily enable, simplify and unify the control and management of resources and application deployments in clouds (OpenStack, AWS, GCP, Azure), infrastructure (vSphere) and containers (Docker, Kubernetes) via single orchestration system.
  • Central orchestration for Ansible configuration management: The solution allows the organisation to leverage existing Ansible playbooks to integrate into the orchestration system rather than to convert it into a different format. It is designed to provide different ways to orchestrate repeated operations via Ansible, include running Ansible playbooks in a centralised platform or remote managed hosts via SSH connections or native Ansible APIs.
  • Service deployment chaining: The solution allows complex resource provisioning and deployment steps in a fully automated fashion that will help the organisation to easily build application and service pipelines for their customers.
  • Auto scaling and recovery: The solution allows for automatic scaling functions as well as intelligent, automatic backups through centralised management, monitoring, scaling, and recovery operations.

The Result

Aptira’s application orchestration solution has been deployed in the organisation’s Azure cloud environment with their Ansible configuration management system, meeting the following requirements:

  • Automating required cloud resource provisioning before application deployment
  • Reusing existing or shared cloud resources
  • Deploying applications using Ansible playbook libraries via the centralised orchestration management interface
  • Capturing real-time performance metrics of deployed applications and resources
  • Allowing deployment dependency and complex application deployment chaining
  • Allowing resource changes and application configuration updates during runtime
  • Using Ansible playbooks through centralised orchestration management to regularly execute day 2 operations such as automatic backup

This solution can now be applied to their other software technology product lines, fulfilling the organisation’s operational scenarios and requirements for application deployment.

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