Tailored tools and interfaces for SysAdmins
Powering up Foreman with DevOps automation, security and external integrations.
Client
Undisclosed
Industry
FMCG
Services
Foreman development
Timeline
2018 - ongoing
About the project
An open source tool for sysadmins, tailored to their exact project needs, Foreman can make operations work faster, easier and much more pleasant. Thanks to custom plugins, integrations and a new API, it scales with the client’s business.
Delivered solution
We developed a set of plugins that allow users (the client’s team) to adjust Foreman to their needs and to the needs of their customers’ infrastructures. The sysadmins can accomplish simple tasks quickly through automation and focus on real challenges.

Goals and challenges

#1
New GraphQL API for Foreman
The project required the creation of an interface for building hosts (virtual machines) more easily. The idea was to automate elements of host creation, allowing sysadmins to build multiple virtual machines with a standard configuration very quickly. We initially built the interface like a plugin.
#2
A script rendering engine based on templates
The client was already using a rendering system, but it was insufficient. The new engine would support extension through plugins. To do, we needed to rewrite the existing tool, making the code cleaner and easier to maintain. This was also a necessary step for integration with Vault.
#3
Integration of multiple external tools
The client wanted to integrate Foreman with their existing toolset, to make their work environment more efficient. Notable integrations included Vault, which can be used for storing secrets data, and an infrastructure monitoring tool. The latter would allow easier management of the entire infrastructure.

Technologies

  • Foreman
    Foreman
  • ruby
    Ruby
  • rails
    Rails
  • react
    React
  • postgre-sql
    PostgreSQL
  • GraphQL
    GraphQL

Results

An interface for building hosts quickly
Foreman can be used directly to create hosts, but the form is complex. The new interface offers a minimalistic version of it, speeding up host creation - for hosts with a standard configuration.
A GraphQL API as a core element
Our solution is now a basic Foreman functionality - it’s in the main repository. It’s a new generation API. GraphQL supports complex requests with a number of conditions, generating one response.
New Foreman plugins
Vault offers improved security of using secrets data in templates, while a monitoring tool collects data from various sources in one place. Foreman can be added to most monitoring systems without a hassle.

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