Linux Platform Lifecycle Management

During the last decade, IT projects in large enterprises have become extremely complex, their budgets have grown  to astronomic heights, results have often got unpredictable , as well as final costs. Customers complain about lack of communication and vague resource planning. The reason for that is the rapidly changing world of -related technologies. Service delivery processes are not standardized, solution providers are heavily underutilized, there is no time for proper planning. Therefore, based on many years of service delivery experience, we are successful on the market with services offered under different conditions. Conditions that are fair to our customers and ensure that the total costs will not overwhelm the project budgets.

Fair-approach Policy:

  1. Pay for the result – man-days are our responsibility

Our customers are never charged for extra time we need to deliver the service. It's our responsibility to deliver it on-time!

  1. Know what you get

The Service Packs are always properly defined and documented. Our engineers arrive on site well prepared, armed with high-level knowledge. They are repeatedly trained and accordingly certified. Their step-by-step check-lists and manuals will ensure service delivery in top quality and according to standards.

  1. Stay covered – we will always stand behind our work

We build our services on relationships. Our Service Packs come with options of supplementary personalized support services that include fast response times, various communication methods and case ‑tracking capabilities.

Why Lifecycle Management?

Since 2008, most companies have experienced continuous dramatic budget reduction for IT departments, while business requirements kept growing. Under such conditions, efficient resources utilization is critical. Environments with growing Linux infrastructure often report reaching scaling limits with in-house developed system administration tools.

Legacy Environment

 

With Lifecycle Management

Deployment of new systems takes too much time and effort.

Time-to-production

With RHN Satellite, any amount of new systems is provisioned within minutes.

Systems are unique, standardization guidelines are difficult to follow. IT environment becomes too complex, administrators focus on individual systems rather than on infrastructure as a whole.

Environment standardization

With proper lifecycle management, standardization rules and guidelines are easy to follow. This results in decreased environment complexity, fewer outages and increased reliability.

It takes far too much time to incorporate new employees.

Quickly on board

With proper documentation, with well defined processes, when using standard tools, new employees are easily trained and introduced into production.

Lifecycle Management

Based on many years of experience providing Linux/Unix platform related consultation services, we have identified issues that are – to  some extent – common in many different environments. A re‑occurring phenomenon is a rapidly growing amount of deployed Linux systems. The lack of central management tools and company-wide standards, result in a long interval between business requirements and the ability of IT departments to react. Also, the lack of automation and standardization leads to scaling limits of such an infrastructure. In other words, under such conditions, every business requirement results in the growth of an IT administration team. The fact that this is a very common scenario for almost any Linux-based environment, only means that the real technical advantages of this platform are not entirely leveraged! But what are the best practices that can help to consolidate a Linux infrastructure, and how can the Linux IT department become more efficient in terms of “time-to-production” and platform scaling?

The first step that needs to be performed is the incorporation of  Lifecycle Management, which we offer as a turnkey solution in the form of a Service Pack. In our vision of consolidated Linux platform, it plays the role of a standardization “guard”, ensuring that all the systems are installed in the same standardized way and kept in well defined state by specifying all the phases of the system's lifecycle.

  1. Fully automated OS installation capabilities ensure that newly deployed systems are compliant with the company-wide standards, which minimizes security risks and significantly speeds up time-to-production. The systems are deployed to production quickly, and the only step which needs to be performed by a human is to plug the physical system in and to press the power button. This leads to a significant shrink of deployment costs.
  2. Software and patch management implements tools and workflows necessary for automated or semi‑automated distribution of software and updates. This makes it possible to carefully prevent the production systems from being updated before patches are tested properly.
  3. OS disaster recovery, decommission and re-provisioning are different phases of each system's lifecycle. For any of them, the proper workflow needs to be defined so that the systems can be quickly and easily returned into production.

Technologies used

In Vdel we believe that no tool will help any environment to consolidate the Linux platform on its own. As a vendor‑independent company providing consultancy services, we will deliver a solution that best suits the customer's infrastructure.

From the point of view of Lifecycle Management, we have longstanding experience with a commercial open source Red Hat product called RHN Satellite.  This product very well fits infrastructures mostly based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. As an alternative for environments consisting of several Linux distributions, we build the Lifecycle Management solution on top of Spacewalk, which is a community‑driven open source project closely related to Satellite.

The Service Pack

The success of any Linux platform lifecycle management project heavily depends on the pre-implementation phase. Our engineers and architects not only have deep knowledge of the technology itself, but they also understand the project in its complexity. They will bring their expertise and extensive experience to ensure a long-term sustainability of the Linux infrastructure as a whole.