How to Implement an Automated System Build for an eCommerce Platform

June 11, 2014
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When a high number of potential customers hit your eCommerce platform you need extra capacity fast. With RH Satellite and Puppet you can provision extra capacity fast.

How-to-implement-an-automated-system-build-for-an-eCommerce-platform.jpg

When a high number of potential customers hit your eCommerce platform you need extra capacity fast. With RH Satellite and Puppet you can provision extra capacity fast.

How-to-implement-an-automated-system-build-for-an-eCommerce-platform.jpg

All retailers experience peaks and troughs usually as a result of public holidays and weather. eCommerce sites get peaks and troughs too, but they can be bigger and arrive without much warning; maybe there’s been a new advert on TV, a film release, or a blog recommending a product went viral. The result could bring millions of people hit the site looking for the product and the retailer may need to commission lots of extra servers – immediately.

A Standard Operating Environment

The key to rapid implementation is having a defined standard operating environment (SOE) with core builds to suit defined sets of hardware or virtualised cloud servers. Each core build should have pre-configured services and the required applications installed. Roll out copies of the core build to your new servers and the job’s done.

Except it’s not that simple. A large eCommerce platform will likely use several different core builds for different parts of the enterprise. All of them will be subject to frequent upgrades, configuration changes and bugfixes, so making sure that the core builds contain all the same application versions and configurations as the current production servers before you roll out hundreds of old versions is time consuming and a chore. You need to know that the core build images you have ready to go really are ready for immediate deployment.

Save time with a SOEMP

In short you need a SOE Management Platform (SOEMP)  which includes Red Hat Satellite Server, Nagios  and Puppet. An SOEMP allows system administrators to automate repetitive tasks and quickly deploy and actively manage the SOE, significantly reducing the cost of maintaining a core build’s security, quality assurance, deployment and maintenance cycle.

Red Hat Satellite is an easy-to-use system management platform for your Linux infrastructure. It lets you manage tens, hundreds, even thousands of Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems as easily as one.

Puppet automation software

Puppet automation software from Puppet Labs helps system administrators to manage infrastructure throughout its lifecycle, from provisioning and configuration to patch management and compliance. Puppet automates repetitive tasks so you can quickly deploy critical applications and manage change, scaling from tens of servers to thousands, on-premise or in the Cloud. Puppet is Open Source software but a commercial version with enhanced features and professional support is available. Puppet is widely used by major organisations including many running eCommerce platforms.

Puppet uses a simple human-readable declarative configuration language to define the desired configuration of a core build. Configuration changes can be simulated before enforcing them. Integration with asset management allows Puppet to configure systems automatically. Once enforced, Puppet maintains the desired setting automatically correcting any configuration drift. It reports on the differences between actual and desired states and any changes made in enforcing the desired state. Puppet has the ability to manage several core builds in parallel.

Discover the benefits a standard operating environment (SOE) could bring to your eCommerce business. Get your free eGuide now: Best practice Linux guide: How to create a standard operating environment for a strategic ecommerce platform