orcharhino Basics

This section of the introduction provides a quick overview for readers entirely new to orcharhino.

What is orcharhino?

orcharhino is a complete data centre management solution. It provides system lifecycle management through a single easy to use interface. In particular, orcharhino supports automated host deployment, configuration management, and patch management.

orcharhino automates most operational tasks, thus helping to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and increase the number of hosts that can be managed. At the click of a button, you can roll out additional hosts or apply the newest patch to hundreds of systems at once, therefore greatly increasing scalability and reducing time to market.

By supporting a wide range of established open source operating systems and enterprise solutions, orcharhino maintains maximum vendor independence and flexibility. You can monitor and manage hosts across physical, virtual, and cloud based environments while maintaining consistency on all of them.

Who benefits from orcharhino?

Due to its broad and flexible nature, any organization managing an IT infrastructure involving anything from a couple of hosts to a fully fledged data centre benefits from using orcharhino and its ecosystem.

orcharhino is vendor neutral:

  • Multiple Linux distributions: orcharhino is used by customers running single or multiple Linux distributions including CentOS, Debian, Oracle Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, and Ubuntu. orcharhino can also deploy and configure Microsoft Windows hosts.

  • Multiple configuration management solutions: orcharhino supports Ansible, Puppet, and Salt as established configuration management solutions, offering the full range of choices for customers new to these systems, or an easy transition for those already familiar with any of them.

  • Multiple virtualization solutions: orcharhino supports a wide range of virtualization options. You can run on-premise physical hosts, virtual machines, entirely cloud based systems, or any combination of all three.

What are the expected benefits?

  • Reduced administration costs through automation: Routine tasks can be automated, freeing up system administrators for higher value work, therefore greatly increasing the number of hosts that can be managed.

  • Faster system adjustments: New hosts can be rolled out at the touch of a button and dismantled just as easily, allowing you to react instantly to a change in your needs and ensuring availability when you need it most.

  • Manage your own software: Easily distribute your own software across different lifecycle environments such as development, testing, and production, as well as different logical, physical, or virtual locations in your organization.

  • Greater system consistency: Easily manage an organization wide infrastructure across multiple logical, physical, or virtual locations through a single interface. orcharhino’s centralized patch and configuration management helps you maintaining a consistent and healthy operating environment.

  • Scalability: orcharhino helps you run anything from a hand full of hosts in a single location to a distributed system with thousands of machines.

  • Greater system stability: orcharhino actively provides status reports on the health of hosts, configuration drifts, available security errata, and available updates. Using orcharhino, you can quickly apply security patches to all your hosts and ensure software comes from trusted sources.

  • Enhanced security: Ensure that your IT infrastructure is protected from third party access and that your data and IT processes are secure. orcharhino supports advanced user management options including user groups, roles and permissions, LDAP authentication, and context based restrictions.

Why orcharhino and why ATIX?

  • Vendor independence: orcharhino supports multiple configuration management tools (Ansible, Puppet, and Salt), multiple virtualization options (Amazon EC2, Google GCE, libvirt, Microsoft Azure, Oracle Linux Virtualization Manager, oVirt, Proxmox, RHV, and VMware vSphere), and multiple Linux distributions (CentOS, Debian, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Oracle Linux, and Ubuntu).

  • Consulting and engineering: Our consultants work with you to assess your particular needs and help with every aspect of implementation. If needed, our engineers adapt or expand the software to facilitate integration with existing services.

  • Training and support: ATIX believes in maximum Know-How transfer to our customers. We offer both professional support and training programs, which may be highly tailored to a customers’ individual needs.

  • Simple to use subscription model: ATIX is a partner for companies seeking to control IT infrastructure costs. Our subscription model is kept as simple as possible, depending only on the number of systems you want to manage via orcharhino. You subscribe for one orcharhino server instance plus packages of 50 managed hosts. In addition, we offer standard and premium support as well as a number of services around orcharhino.

Why Open Source?

orcharhino is based on the Foreman open source project and always includes the Katello plugin for added content management capabilities.

By relying on these and other open source projects, orcharhino benefits from a large and vibrant community of developers, testers, and users. All these community members contribute features, bug fixes, and real world feedback, thus enabling continual improvement of the resultant software products.

By taking these open source projects and packaging them under the name orcharhino, the ATIX development team is able to add its own features and bug fixes at will, allowing for quicker reactions to customer needs. In addition, it allows us to test and provide specific software states in the form of orcharhino releases. This level of control over the orcharhino product forms the basis for the enterprise support that our customers rely on.

All our features, bug fixes, and insights gained while working on orcharhino are also made available to the upstream open source projects. To date, we have developed several Foreman plugins, made major contributions to Foreman’s Debian, Ubuntu, and SUSE support, along with countless smaller contributions like bug fixes and small feature improvements. As such, ATIX is itself an integral part of the Foreman open source ecosystem. The community feedback we gain on our contributions is in turn passed back to our customers as we continually strive to improve our product.

Non-exhaustive list of used open source software
Foreman

Foreman is a lifecycle management tool to manage physical and virtual servers.

Katello

orcharhino uses Katello to manage content.

Pulp

orcharhino uses Pulp to fetch, organize, and distribute software packages. ATIX is an active maintainer of the pulp_deb plugin to manage deb content for Debian-based Linux systems.

Application Centric Deployment Plugin

orcharhino provides the application centric deployment plugin to conveniently deploy multi-host applications. ATIX develops and maintains the Foreman ACD and Smart Proxy ACD plugins as well as two freely available ACD Playbooks: ACD Playbook for ELK and ACD Playbook for Prometheus and Grafana.

SCC Manager Plugin

The SCC Manager plugin helps you add SUSE content from your SCC account to your orcharhino. It is open source software developed and maintained by ATIX on github.com/ATIX-AG/foreman_scc_manager. ATIX also provides the Hammer CLI plugin for SCC Manager on github.com/ATIX-AG/hammer-cli-foreman-scc-manager.

Snapshot Management Plugin

The Snapshot Management plugin allows you to create snapshots of virtual machines running on VMware vSphere and Proxmox. It is open source software developed and maintained by ATIX on github.com/ATIX-AG/foreman_snapshot_management.

Ansible Plugin

orcharhino provides the Ansible plugin to simplify configuring managed hosts.

Puppet Plugin

orcharhino provides the Puppet plugin to simplify configuring managed hosts.

Salt Plugin

orcharhino provides the Salt plugin to simplify configuring managed hosts. ATIX is an active maintainer of the Salt plugin.

Debian Errata Parser and Errata Service

ATIX provides the errata parser to parse the Debian Security Announcements (DSA) and Ubuntu Security Notices (USN) to generate a list of Debian and Ubuntu errata. The errata server provides access to Debian and Ubuntu errata generated by the errata parser through an HTTP interface.

The ATIX Debian and Ubuntu Errata service provides errata for Debian and Ubuntu. When creating a repository of type deb, point the Errata URL at ATIX’s Debian and Ubuntu Errata Parser server. Use https://dep.atix.de/dep/api/v1/debian for Debian and https://dep.atix.de/dep/api/v1/ubuntu for Ubuntu.

An erratum contains the information which packages have to be updated to fix a security issue. Debian and Ubuntu errata are derived from the Debian security announcements (DSA) and the Ubuntu security notices (USN).

Ensure to only add Debian and Ubuntu errata to Debian and Ubuntu repositories that contain the packages needed to apply the errata. For Debian, you need the <debian_release>/updates repository, for example bullseye/updates. For Ubuntu, you need the <ubuntu_release>-security repository, for example focal-security.