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rPath Adds Integrations for Puppet, Cfengine, and Chef

03.08.2010
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The data center automation tool vendor, rPath, recently added support for open source configuration management tools including Reductive Labs' Puppet, Cfengine, and Opscode's Chef.  rPath is also working on native support for configuration management, which will include a config management engine.  This engine will be developed as a part of the company's new Project Javelin, and it should be released in the second half of 2010.

Provisioning and maintenance automation are the core functions of rPath's Release Automation Platform.  Jake Sorofman, the chief marketing officer at rPath says that "Configuration management is really the last mile of system automation, and we're extending our solution to include configuration data that is usually edited by hand or with highly technical tools."  rPath's Lifecycle Management system focuses on deep modeling and system version control, which is used to automate packaging, provisioning, and maintenance of software stacks.  rPath is now extending its model-driven, version-controlled approach to its config management engine.



The added support for popular open source config automation tools like Puppet, Chef, and Cfengine will add reliable config settings management and complement rPath's broader software system management.  The tools can be integrated through a "deploy and manage" or "side-by-side" method.  In the side-by-side method, rPath manages OS, middleware, and the application stack while the third-party tool manages config files, requiring no changes or integrations in either system.  With deploy and manage, rPath can use version-control to manage changing scripts alongside (and in sync with) software system manifests.  Scripts are deployed and reproduced through rPath and changes can be rolled back.  

Native configuration support will be coming in the second half of 2010 from Project Javelin.  Project Javelin is an effort to build what rPath calls the industry's first fully version controlled data center automation solution.  The native config management in rPath's platform will employ two approaches to provide the diverse set of configuration requirements required in many enterprises:

Version-controlled CIM (Common Information Model): CIM-based config management under the system version control will allow simultaneous deployment of systems and their supporting configurations.  
Direct configuration tempting:  Users will be able to templatize and parameterize traditional config files under system version control.  This approach will provide a lightweight, less controlled but easier to adopt model.

These capabilities will provide an alternative to the new open source integrations if customers are interested.  Both capabilities will be available in Q3 2010.