As data centers scale, the ability to automate routine tasks enables this growth to occur without requiring additional staff. The problem is most automation requires learning a programming or scripting language which most IT professionals don’t have the time to do. As a result, they either keep manually doing tasks over and over one at a time, or hire an outside consultant to automate the tasks for them.
Vendors, of course, are sensitive to the problem and are continually adding features or capabilities to their solutions. But these additions are added based on popularity and practicality. The process doesn’t take into account the uniqueness of every data center. Nothing provides customization like a programming or scripting language nor does anything require the learning curve!
Nexenta may have an answer. Both its NexentaStor and NexentaEdge management APIs have a REST front end that enables the automation of many routine tasks as well as provides insights into the operation of the storage systems. To get around the programming curve, they provide the browser-based Swagger interface. With it, IT administrators can configure and retrieve information about their NexentaStor and NexentaEdge environments. There are a couple of sample scripts in the comments section of this post.
Nexenta Management API Use Cases
For cloud and managed service providers, the Nexenta Management APIs gives them the ability to automate such tasks as client on-boarding, capacity expansion and migration to alternate systems or clusters. They can integrate this automation with their own portal software, providing a seamless experience to customers.
Enterprises can use the management API for Test/Dev situations to automate the provisioning of new copies or snapshots of data so that developers are always working with the latest copy of code. Like service providers, they can automate the provisioning of new VMs or even help with capacity and resource planning. The automation also allows enterprises to increase performance of tasks like backup jobs by running simple pre and post scripts to ensure they get full use of their hardware.
The Advantages of Swagger
Swagger not only makes it easy for the non-programmer to quickly interact with their Nexenta systems, it also provides a self-documenting, central repository of automation for them to leverage across the enterprise. And potentially more important, unlike legacy scripting approaches, it does not require access to the kernel layer, making it more secure.
Creating a cloud is more than just a heavily virtualized infrastructure or an infrastructure that uses a modern software defined or scale out storage solution. True clouds are also highly automated, provide self-service and orchestrated provisioning.
While some vendors have tried to bake these capabilities into their standard user interface, eventually the data center requires very specific customization. The only way to get to that point is through scriptable automation of which REST seems to be the most popular. The challenge is how to learn, document and share those projects. By working with Swagger, Nexenta enables its customers to quickly jump on the automation fast track to lower IT costs while improving service levels.
Sponsored by Nexenta