This week I am taking a close look at Ansible, Prometheus, and Grafana to learn how these products can be used most effectively as an integration point with my platform, ArcShell. Some environments are highly restrictive and installing these tools are not always an option. However, I am seeing that these tools can effectively be deployed as stand-alone entities even when a larger enterprise setup isn’t possible, even across a large number of hosts. For example, I can install Prometheus with the intent of only monitoring the local host. There are benefits that can still be derived from this configuration even though it isn’t the way you would typically see it done. This has been an eye opener. I see the same possibilities with Ansible and other tools. This is easy to automate using my platform but certain it could be done with others as well.

Keep reading if you want to learn more about how ArcShell is designed to operate in highly restrictive environments and still maximize the usefulness of tools like these.

Do you work in a hostile environment?

The automation platform we build, ArcShell, is designed to operate in “hostile” environments. Consultants supporting external customers often work in these types of environments and they might look like this…

  • Remote network access requires going through a highly restricted remote desktop over a VPN. Forget installing software. Accessing the internet may not be possible.
  • In some cases remote access may not even be possible. Files, scripts, and other assets have to be sent to someone on site and executed on your behalf.
  • Access to Linux and Unix servers is over multiple SSH connections. Often via jump servers. Desktop management tools may not be available.
  • Frequent use of ‘su’ required to move from account to account to get to privileged accounts.
  • Network segregation of production and non-production operational environments.
  • Servers are older, out of date, or limited in which tools are supported.
  • IT environments burdened by long request response windows (often weeks or months).
  • Almost no ability to get ports opened to support networked software.

How does ArcShell operate when these conditions are present?

  • ArcShell is written in a simple scripting language that is already installed on most servers. Teams usually have multiple resources with proficiency in shell.
  • The most important services you need are already built into ArcShell. Services like alerting, messaging, log file monitoring, server connection inventory, and performance monitoring.
  • ArcShell can probe hosts and leverages popular tools like Ansible, Prometheus, and Grafana in stand-alone configurations even when enterprise network configurations are not possible.
  • ArcShell provides 30+ professionally developed modules to build the solutions you need when no other options are feasible.
  • ArcShell provides benefits from a single node, Virtual Machine, or can be deployed to 1000’s of nodes all from a single maintainable image.

Arclogic Software delivers new solutions and features every month. We provide everything you need to excel at automation in the most restrictive environments imaginable.

Go to Arclogic Software for more information about ArcShell.

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Ethan Ray Post