rPath for Windows


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We’re excited to announce rPath on Windows! With release 5.8, rPath extends model-driven automation to Windows Server 2003 and 2008. It’s the first fully version-controlled, automated .NET deployment solution for Windows, and finally gives Operations the tool they need to keep up with the flood of apps and updates from Development. Check out my 5-minute recorded demo or our Windows page for lots more info.

The Problem

This release isn’t about “checking the box” for Windows—it is attacking unique problems that plague Windows data centers. As I’ve blogged before, the impedance mismatch between Dev and Ops is especially dramatic when it comes to Windows server applications. .NET developers have modern, agile automation tools for cranking out apps and updates faster and with higher quality than ever before. But thanks to a lack of Windows automation tools, Operations is stuck with slow, manual deployment processes. Ops constantly faces an impossible choice: Deploy quickly and risk breaking dependencies, or deploy slowly and risk business opportunities?

That’s what pushbutton deployment means to us—it’s the solution to that dilemma. Pushbutton deployment combines speed and control.

The Technology

rPath Engineering built some completely unique approaches to this problem.

  • MSI generation—Windows Ops tools revolve around standard Microsoft MSI packages. Yet Dev output is frequently loose assemblages of files and scripts. Automation solutions usually force you to either start packaging everything cleanly in Dev (expensive) or to deploy loose files (unmanageable). rPath automatically generates MSI packages given directories of loose files, so you get the best of both worlds.
  • WIM generation—Provisioning in Windows faces another difficult choice. Ops can slowly build each system individually, layer by layer, for maximum flexibility and control. Or they can use ImageX to capture an image from a golden server for fast-provisioning—but one-size-fits-all—systems. rPath is the first automation system that does WIM layering. Before ever touching a managed system, rPath takes a base WIM image from Operations, version-controls it, layers on applications according to your model, and dynamically generates a WIM image for deployment.
  • System version control—rPath keeps all its Windows content—input and output—under strong version control. For example, that means the generated WIM images and MSI packages are completely reproducible. There’s no need to archive massive binaries since rPath keeps and remembers all the inputs and the construction methods.
  • Agentless management—Instead of running a heavy, network-listening, security-risking agent on your systems, rPath drives changes over the standard WMI interface. That’s the minimal footprint and the most Windows-compatible way to manage systems.

rPath on Windows

That’s what we’re doing in a nutshell, but there’s lots more to see. The demo and our Windows page on rpath.com are great places to start.

Republished with author's permission from original post.


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