locaweb_cfengine_case_studyLocaweb – Building and Managing a Large-Scale, IaaS Cloud

“The beauty of becoming highly automated with CFEngine is that it allows us to have full control of the whole stack and move very fast. The perceived quality of Locaweb is judged by our IT Operations. To ensure the highest level of quality, we rely on consistent and full control, which is what CFEngine gives us.”, Sal Jamil, CTO, Locaweb

With CFEngine Locaweb automates its Linux and Windows IT infrastructure and operations, reducing costs and boosting efficiency.

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Locaweb – The largest Cloud provider in South America

Locaweb operates one of the largest IT infrastructure deployments in South America to provide IaaS and PaaS services to end customers. Locaweb has grown exponentially since its inception 15 years ago. Today, Locaweb has approximately 250,000 customers and roughly 30% of the hosting market.

Locaweb houses in excess of 30,000 servers. It provides services on heterogeneous platforms ranging from Windows to Linux running on both physical servers as well as virtual (VMware, KVM, Xen) machines.

A total of 3 datacenters manage tens of thousands of physical servers and virtual machines and provide 60 distinct types of services Supporting this environment presented the IT infrastructure operations team at Locaweb with unique challenges.

The Challenges and Results

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Faster server provisioning and
automated application management
.
Needed to drastically reduce machine and service provisioning times, often from days to hours and minutes.
A fully automated provisioning Infrastructure
Now able to provision new servers, and bring services and applications online in minutes — reliably and consistently.
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Be able to manage a complex heterogeneous environment
Needed to efficiently manage IT-infrastructure across multiple OSes, and VMs running a large number of services and applications
Disparate infrastructure consistently managed
Now using the same policy policy language to manage a heterogeneous infrastructure.
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Improve Quality of Service
Needed to remove barriers (time, effort, tool limitations) in providing best-in-class service to customers
Faster response-times
Now able to make any kind of changes across thousands of machines within minutes. Self-healing capabilities of CFEngine ensure resiliency and availability of infrastructure and services
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Reduce Manual Repetitive Tasks
Needed to reduce the time and effort spent on performing repetitive tasks such as configuration changes
A fully automated IT-infrastructure
Changes are now made once, in CFEngine . CFEngine takes care of the management, and its reporting capabilities have given IT-operations the necessary trust in the tool to make these changes.
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Improve the Diagnosis and Troubleshooting
Production systems issues needed to be faster debugged and understood.
Deep Insights in Actual States of the systems
CFEngine provides rapid visibility into infrastructure; allows for quick isolation of issues, and automatic remediation
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Improve Integration between Existing Tooling
Existing tooling and processes across source code repository, ticketing systems, asset management systems and monitoring systems needed to be
integrated and automated
Tightened integration using CFEngine as the glue
CFEngine provides integration points across various systems (Git, Leela, ServiceNow, other homegrown tools). Now running a complete ecosystem of tools working well together
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Improve Personnel efficiency
Needed to separate Windows and Linux islands and remove silos between
teams
A trust-base culture speaking a common language
CFEngine allows different engineering groups to speak the same language enabling the removal of silos. Systems management becomes a universal profession independent of platforms or devices managed

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