No data center can still be managed by hand today. This is why complex toolchains have replaced the administrators’ self-written scripts. This not only changes the day-to-day business of the admins, but also the knowledge required of them and thus the requirements of their profession. New concepts and ways of thinking join the new tools. Approaches such as Infrastructure as Code and GitOps require a rethink in system administration.
The new “iX compact 2021 – modern data center” therefore provides over 160 pages not only technical knowledge for implementing data center automation, but also strategic know-how: What are the first steps towards data center automation? What prerequisites have to be created? How do the steps of automation build on each other? Which concepts can I use as a guide? What new ways of thinking does the team need to adopt? How far can I rely on open source?
But the question is also particularly important: What are the future-oriented concepts? Isn’t GitOps just one of the many DevOps fashions? As a consequence of virtualization and containerization, Infrastructure as Code has emerged. Administrators not only keep applications and system images in a repository with version control, but also all configuration data. This becomes the only “source of truth”.
Server and networks better under control
Distributing images and configurations at the push of a button is the task of configuration management tools such as Ansible or Puppet. Frontends and meta tools such as AWX and Foreman have set themselves the goal of simplifying their use. GitOps has consistently taken this concept further: Agents look for discrepancies between the specifications in the repository and the actual system configurations and correct them. But not only the management of virtual and physical servers can be automated, but also that of active network components. Python tools also help to overcome manufacturer and product-specific barriers.
And last but not least, it is about your personal career: Which training and further education opportunities are recommended in system administration today? What do you have to know and be able to do? What skills do employers require today? What use are advanced training certificates for my career?
The iX special issue aims to provide a guide on the way to data center automation. the PDF version of the special issue for immediate download costs 12.99 euros, the printed edition for 14.90 euros is now available in well-stocked newsagents and can be ordered free of charge in the Heise shop. The bundle Heft + PDF costs 19.90 euros there.