RunDeck is a separate open source project hosted on GitHub focussing on a simple to use web-based distributed orchestration console. See the home page http://rundeck.org.
RunDeck is cross-platform open source software that helps you automate ad-hoc and routine procedures in data center or cloud environments. RunDeck allows you to run tasks on any number of nodes from a web-based or command-line interface. RunDeck also includes other features that make it easy to scale up your scripting efforts including: access control, workflow building, scheduling, logging, and integration with external sources for node and option data. Read more in the User Manual.
Hello fellow ControlTier users,
In addition to working on ControlTier, I'm working on a new open source project along with a couple ControlTier developers called "RunDeck". The goal of this project is a client-less, easy to install and use command and control server. It's really a spin off or a promotion of some of ControlTier's most popular features: Jobs and ad-hoc command execution.
RunDeck shares many ControlTier ideas and its code base was seeded from ControlTier 3.6. Combine CTL Center, supporting shell tools (ctl-exec, ctl-queue, ctl-run, ctl-jobs), document formats like job.xml and a subset of resources.xml, and you can probably envision the RunDeck footprint. The user interface design should also be quite familiar to CTL Center users with some improvements, as well.
What's the focus of the RunDeck project?
A particular focus of RunDeck is the further development of the ad-hoc command execution environment. Any of you that were attracted to ControlTier's "script-driven approach" will find RunDeck particularly of interest. We are really excited about two feature areas:
- distributed command prompt: We want to create a dynamic and powerful interface to filtering and dispatching commands and scripts to Node sets. We've got all kinds of ideas on how to do this graphically
- pluggable external data providers: Everyone has existing sources of data about their environment and process. We want to enable a simple way of exposing this data to RunDeck
From an admin's standpoint, we want RunDeck to have a small footprint, running on a single server, without the need to install client software. For new users, we want to focus on a tool with a small learning curve with a lighter weight scripting model.
How is RunDeck different from ControlTier?
RunDeck is an evolution of some features of ControlTier into a standalone service. RunDeck also relies on external services to provide the Node catalog that ControlTier manages on its own. This can make it easier to use with existing management tools. RunDeck is lighter weight and does not use the CTL module programming framework, it only uses Jobs.
RunDeck defines multi-step procedures using workflow sequences and does not use the granular type/object resource model, repository and distributed object paradigm. Because of this, RunDeck relies more heavily on other tools in the chain. We have also put effort into giving RunDeck an easier install process. The RPM installer also shows our work on adopting the Linux system standards. Finally, RunDeck is using a different project hosting service, GitHub. We like GitHub's social features and excellent git support.
What does RunDeck mean to ControlTier?
In the future, RunDeck could be a drop in replacement for CTL Center and ctl-exec. This would allow ControlTier to focus on its original design of being a model-driven automation framework. Your feedback will help make that decision.
When is RunDeck available?
RunDeck preview builds are available now, and a beta release candidate will be available soon.
For more information, go to http://rundeck.org
Note, as of Dec 10 2011, RunDeck is on it's fourth major iteration: 1.4.
ControlTier users can take advantage of RunDeck by using it in place of CTL Center. In a ControlTier Google group post, Anthony Shortland states:
There is nothing preventing a ControlTier user with an operational solution based on a Workbench resource model and a set of Ctl modules taking advantage of these latest innovations by carefully reconfiguring the installation to drop certain components and switch to the newer stuff incrementally. In other words there's a clean migration path to adopting the "loosely-coupled" tool-chain approach rather than continue to rely on all the tightly-coupled components included in the ControlTier install.