The creation, utilization, and maintenance of source code files, scripts and tool frameworks needed to automate the deployment and ongoing management of complex hardware and software solutions requires many highly skilled staff. DevOps positions are notoriously hard to hire and expensive to maintain. If a skilled DevOps person leaves, the automation knowledge is often gone too.
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Allowing DevOps staff to focus on creating and testing solution blueprints for operational staff to utilize, the deployment and ongoing management of complex hardware and software solutions becomes a very consistent, repeatable and scalable process that alleviates organizational bottlenecks and reduces mistakes.
Diverse hardware, firmware, operating system, platform software, applications and back-office systems from many vendors each have their own programmatic interface making the integration and automation very complex, time consuming, expensive and brittle.
SCAIL provides endpoint adapters covering a wide variety of programmatic interfaces supported by most types of hardware and software. Because all adapters map to a common object model, users experience a uniform set of lifecycle operations across very diverse hardware and software endpoints, simplifying their management.
Many APIs from many automation and management tools makes deploying and managing hardware and software extremely complicated. In addition to the tools, the number of individual hardware and software APIs associated with a deployment may be insurmountable.
Instead of separate APIs for each tool framework associated with each separate lifecycle function and each hardware or software endpoint type, SCAIL provides a single Smart API capable of all lifecycle operations on all hardware and software endpoints. The API uses an intuitive query language that is simple yet powerful to provide detailed API results making it extremely peformant and scalable.
Deploying complex hardware and software solutions typically requires a multitude of files, pulled from wide variety of locations. Integrating the origin points of such a wide variety of install artifacts is complex, time consuming and hard to maintain. In many cases, unless staged locally, fetching these files happens over the internet adding significant security vulnerabilities.
SCAIL provides its own centralized deployment repo. It supports all of the image types needed to locally cache the install artifacts for every layer of firmware and software in complex deployments. Other pipelines can publish or mirror media into the repo creating a completely air-gapped solution that does not touch the internet. In the event media must be fetched from the internet, the repo has the ability to transparently cache file downloads eliminating recursive internet fetches.
Deploying a common set of hardware and software assets partially managed by more than one organization or company through more than one channel boundary creates data sovereignty issues, integration complexity and massive overlap of similar tools performing the same function.
A single integrated platform capable of deploying, configuring, transferring and managing hardware and software resources by multiple organizations, each with their own isolated views and permissions protects customer data while eliminating the integration complexity and tool framework overlap.
Many contributors in multiple organizations, each with their own role and responsibility in the deployment, configuration and management of a common set of hardware and software resources lead to duplicated permissions definitions and RBAC integration in each respective tool framework.
With SCAIL multiple contributors in multiple organizations can collectively deploy, configure, and manage a common set of resources; each only having the permission set needed to accomplish their role. This eliminates integration, duplication efforts, and reduces user management complexity.
When hardware or software endpoints are discovered or installed and configured, they are occasionally inconsistent with what was planned at a site. Whether the cause is manufacturing errors, shipping damage, incorrect versions or configuration mistakes, continuing to build or operate inconsistent endpoints wastes time, bogs down staff, and potentially causes costly outages.
The ability to define and plan hardware and software resources expected at a location ahead of time and compare them to what is discovered, deployed, or configured, provides immediate notice if a process is broken. Fixing unexpected process issues when they happen increases organizational efficiency, deployment stability and prevents costly outages.
Almost all IT environments lack a single source of truth. In many cases tool frameworks haven’t been integrated. Organizational boundaries can lead to tool and data duplication. Trying to assemble a cohesive view of inventory takes a substantial amount of time and cost. In many cases the information assembled is already outdated by the time it’s collated.
SCAIL retains a comprehensive historical inventory of tenant, user, configuration, workflow, KPI, event, alarm and log data for all hardware and software endpoints. A consolidated inventory increases organizational efficiency, reduces duplication, simplifies changes, and provides exceptional correlation for triage and troubleshooting.
When multiple users from separate groups are responsible for deploying and operating complex solutions, obtaining each person's respective contributions is usually done using an inefficient manual process with many delays and mistakes. Without a historical as-built record, updates, expansions and migrations must rely on the same antiquated processes.
SCAIL provides many users in many groups with a way to collectively configure complex hardware and software in a consistent and reproduceable fashion. This streamlines the deployment process saving significant time and money. Retaining a persistent configuration for all deployments greatly simplifies performing updates, expansions and migrations.
Deploying complex environments with specialized hardware and software require the execution of many steps in a sequence that are often difficult to perform and even more challenging to repeat at scale. Scripting tools neither perform tasks transactionally nor log the results making troubleshooting very difficult.
Through a common set of autonomously initiated transactional workflows SCAIL enables scalable and repeatable installation, configuration, and collection operations. When each workflow is transacted SCAIL retains a log of workflow steps and its results making it very easy to troubleshoot when a workflow didn’t succeed and analyze why.
Writing individual scripts to poll for the detailed status of specific attributes in each hardware and software endpoint and reporting them in a common format is tedious, complex, time consuming and expensive.
Utilizing the same distributed architecture and device adapters for deployment, configuration, collecting stat metrics and events, SCAIL can query the managed hardware and software endpoints for real-time operational data.
Monitoring tools don’t inherently manage hardware and software inventory. Individually integrating hardware and software endpoints into separate monitoring tools creates complexity and time constraints for compiling solution level KPIs (key performance indicators).
By collecting and persistently storing diverse hardware and software statistical data in a common centralized format SCAIL allows real-time querying and reporting of multi-dimensional metrics, thus supporting meaningful KPIs.
Keeping track of every deployed firmware and software version and manually checking them for CVEs is an insurmountable task. Without an automated process with the ability to trigger events, keeping deployments safe is impossible.
SCAIL ingests muti-severity vulnerability and exploit data for specific versions of hardware and software deployment inventory. It then compares them with a workflow to produce multi-severity exposure events and automates the remediation to substantially reduce the security exposure.
Establishing a common set of triggers and associated severity levels for many diverse hardware and software endpoints is not possible without a framework for defining them and processing them. When alarm instances do occur, being able to immediately see them, acknowledge them, and clear them is imperative in order to keep operations staff synchronized.
SCAIL visualizes and persistently stores alarms and their details in a common format, with a common set of states, for external hardware and software endpoints and internal operations. This provides operations staff with a uniform view of the quantity and severity of issues, automatic email and text notifications, and the ability to acknowledge and clear them while triaging them.
Quickly triaging failures to establish root cause is extremely difficult without detailed log information correlated to configuration commits, high severity health events and degrading performance metrics.
In addition to collecting and persistently storing hardware and software logs in a centralized logging database, SCAIL can correlate log data with inventory changes, configuration commits, health events and stat metrics to provide a holistic view of likely problem causes.