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Immutable Infrastructure Webinar on DevOps, Security, Storage and Containers


Last week, I moderated a webinar on immutable infrastructure with industry influencers actively working on making this concept a reality. The video of the webinar is embedded below and the attendees did a fantastic job of going deep into the topic with important considerations including DevOps, security, containers, and storage issues.

For background on immutable infrastructure see the section below the video.

Webinar Attendees:

  • Greg Althaus, Co-Founder and CTO, RackN (@galthaus)
  • Christopher MacGown, founder and CTO of Piston (@0x44)
  • Riyaz Faizullabhoy,  Security Engineer, Docker (@riyazdf)
  • Sheng Liang, Founder and CEO Rancher Labs (@shengliang)
  • Erica Windisch, Founder and CTO, IOpipe (@ewindisch)

What is immutable infrastructure?

The basic concept is to never make any updates to any deployed infrastructure and instead make all changes to golden builds (applications, operating systems, containers, etc) that are regularly deployed, taken down and redeployed. The deployment is automated for EVERY level of the software stack to ensure consistency of infrastructure.

Good References:  O’Reily Intro to Immutable Infrastructure, Immutable Deployments on Codeship Blog

What are the benefits of immutable infrastructure?

This concept is a perfect solution for cloud-based solutions that are distributed with hardware abstraction and cloud-native applications:

  • Operations – this technique simplifies the amount of operations required to support modern, complex cloud-based services
  • Continuous Deployments – substantially reduce the amount of failures when services are follow a continuous deployment model
  • Reduce Errors and Threats – having an automated process reduces the possibility of operator error and also protects against hackers modifying parts of the infrastructure as a new redeployment will not be impacted by previous hack
  • Cloud Reboots – this technique fits the model of having cloud reboots as it will naturally support this issue which currently brings down services not implemented to support this issues

What are the challenges of immutable infrastructure?

There are several issues currently being explored:

  • Tooling – there is no existing standardized set of tools to support this concept
  • Costs – there are high costs (time & resources) to setup this concept during initial deployment
  • Speed – it takes more time to solve an existing program as the golden images must be updated and then the service taken down and redeployed
  • Server Replacement – a automated methodology must be established to update pieces of the infrastructure while allowing the service to continue operation
  • Storage – the replacement of storage services like databases are complex

For more information on this topic, I encourage you to reach out to any of the webinar participants or contact me at HPE where I can put you in touch with our infrastructure and cloud teams.

Senior Manager, Cloud Online Marketing
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About the Author


I manage the HPE Helion social media and website teams promoting the enterprise cloud solutions at HPE for hybrid, public, and private clouds. I was previously at Dell promoting their Cloud solutions and was the open source community manager for OpenStack and at Rackspace and Citrix Systems. While at Citrix Systems, I founded the Citrix Developer Network, developed global alliance and licensing programs, and even once added audio to the DOS ICA client with assembler. Follow me at @SpectorID

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