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Software Stack Management and Deployment Frameworks

Sun provides two products for managing and deploying integrated software stacks:

  • Sun Management Center (SunMC) Change Manager. A stand-alone software product that provides quick and easy deployment of integrated software stacks on multiple target hardware systems.

  • N1 Provisioning Server Blades Edition. Provides an entry point to N1 that can grow to manage the entire data center, including multiple geographically dispersed data centers.

Both of these products are built on the technologies discussed in the previous section to manage and deploy software stacks.

Managing Blade-Based Server Farms With N1 Provisioning Server Blades Edition

Running on one or more dedicated servers, in an out-of-band management network, N1 Provisioning Server 3.0 Blades Edition enables you to rapidly design, configure, provision, and scale blade-based logical server farms automatically. This software manages this blade pool, along with other networking resources, in a way that enables multiple users to create, scale, reconfigure, and decommission multiple, securely separated blade-based farms on the fly.

The current release, N1 Provisioning Server 3.0 Blades Edition, is designed for managing Sun Fire™ blades and associated infrastructure (like shelves or switches).

N1 Provisioning Server 3.0 Blades Edition automates the configuration and deployment of servers, firewalls, load-balancers, and network resources. It also virtualizes resources to enable management of the blade server platform as a system and enables the rapid deployment of an entire blade-based server farm.

The N1 Provisioning Server Blades Edition also includes an internal event database for integration with billing, inventory management, and service-level agreement (SLA) enforcement.

Managing Software Stacks With Sun Management Center Change Manager

The Sun MC Change Manager provides a framework that helps enable the rapid deployment of software stacks. These software stacks are managed and deployed in the form of flash archives. The Sun MC Change Manager uses a customizable flash archive to implement and deploy software stacks.

When used with LU, the Sun MC Change Manager framework enables you to deploy and manage software stacks while the managed systems (for example, the installation target or clone systems) are up and running, even within a production environment. Further, the framework provides a grouping mechanism with which you can group similar managed systems together and manipulate them as one. This grouping mechanism helps to ensure that systems performing similar functions are not only installed identically, but that configuration changes to any of those systems are made to all systems in the group. This mechanism is a powerful tool to help prevent configuration drift among systems.

SunMC Change Manager also includes a software stack auditing feature. These auditing capabilities implement system and file comparison mechanisms to detect changes. This auditing feature also helps to detect drift among systems that were intended to be software identical.

The Sun MC Change Manager implementation utilizes three distinct system types:

  • Sun MC Change Manager server. The system that runs the Sun MC Change Manager and also acts as a repository for flash archives (software stacks), profiles for installing those stacks, and configuration files.

  • Managed systems. Systems where software stacks will be deployed. Sun MC Change Manager controls these systems by remotely executing and monitoring commands for installing, upgrading, and auditing software and their systems.

  • Master systems. Used as templates to build software stacks. Master systems must have Sun MC Change Manager client software packages installed on them to ensure that software stacks will contain the components required to deploy and manage the stacks.

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