Monthly Archives: January 2013

DevOps with Salt

You’ve heard rumors and hints of DevOps. You may have even heard tha the big-boys like Google and Amazon  use it. But what is it and why would you want it?

DevOps is the art of configuring your IT systems with a single programming tool. If a server breaks, just install another one and hit that red button to reconfigure it all in a few seconds! Sounds too good to be true? Wikipedia says DevOps “is a software development method that stresses communication, collaboration and integration between… bla bla bla..”; hey just forget all that jive. Just push the Shiny Red Button and your systems are configured like you wanted them to be! Yes, even thousands of systems!

Of course there are several technologies that already exist for it including SaltStack, Chef, and Puppet not to mention Crowbar. But you didn’t really come here to hear about all that techno-babble did you? Good then. Lets just talk for a bit how it gets used…

Can I rant and rave about how  well SaltStack works? SaltStack is a light-weight DevOps system that uses Python at its core. It is secure and quite fast. You can configure many different classes of systems and use a Master-Client type of setup to control your entire IT infrastructure (or much of it). You can control software, services, process, and system configuration settings. Check out their website if you like at

I know, I know, you are not impressed yet. Well you should be because it can save hundreds of hours and tens of thousands of your local currency units when used to manage your systems. Once you commit to this idea, you don’t even WANT to do manual configuration any more, that is too ‘yesterday’.

So how does Fortuitous use Salt? We configure our VPS servers with them. We don’t even care where we buy our VPS’s as long as we can run salt on them, and they get a perfect haircut every time. If one dies, we just buy another VPS, install SaltStack on it, tell the server its alive and Bob’s your uncle,  its cooked.

You’ll be glad to know Salt works with Amazon EC2, GoGrid – HP Cloud, Joyent, Linode, OpenStack, and Rackspace too. Well I hope I haven’t bored you too much, but I thought you should know.