Scalr, how to simplify cloud operations beyond Puppet and Chef
In previous articles I wrote about automating cloud operations as a key to successfully and quickly launching new services.
You can use Chef or Puppet to automate the deployment of servers. However neither solves some of the other problems with cloud operations: autoscaling and disaster recovery.
Scalr is relatively new and still a bit rough around the edges. However it has great promises to simplify deployment, automate scaling and quickly recover from server outage. Scalr uses the out-of-the-box functionality from Amazon to quickly bootstrap an environment via AMIs. Afterwards it implements an alternative autoscaling that does not rely on Amazon’s. Disaster recovery depends on the type of server but it can automatically recover from master database failure and other elements in a typical scalable web architecture.
Scalr is not only a good sample of the 80-20 rule in which they focus on the most common scenarios. However via a plugin mechanism it is very easy to extend. I expect other public cloud providers to contribute plugins in the near future.
At the moment Scalr is still rough around the edges but definitely with the right push of some startups and public cloud providers it should quickly mature. With some custom plugins a telecom operator that is thinking about IaaS and private clouds should definitely look at it and inspire themselves…