Automating enterprise workloads on the cloud with TOSCA

Configuration management tools set up middleware and CI and CD tools push changes into existing environments while monitoring tools are completely separate from these processes.

“For application automation to be successful, there cannot be a separation of processes,” said Yaron Parasol, VP Product at GigaSpaces. “To achieve agility, business continuity and cost reduction, IT organizations need a means to combine the automation and management of all application layers (IaaS, middleware and application modules), while maintaining knowledge of current tools.”

To take automation forward, we need a more holistic approach to interact with all three layers as part of the same flow. When deploying an application stack to the cloud, all needed resources should be created at the IaaS layer, the relevant middleware components installed and configured on each provisioned VM, then application code and modules pushed to the running middleware services.

OASIS TOSCA, an evolving standard for application topology and orchestration on the cloud, takes this approach, based on the following concepts:

  • Topologies. Describe all layers of the application and how they relate to one another
  • Workflows. Describe the processes (e.g., deployment, recovery from failure, scaling out, pushing new code)
  • Policies. Sets of rules that continuously evaluate the application’s current status (as reflected by monitoring and auditing system) and trigger workflows when needed

GigaSpaces’ Cloudify is an open-source tool that implements the concepts of OASIS TOSCA, providing support for various clouds, common devops tools and more.

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