orcharhino is a complete data centre management solution for physical and virtual servers. Key features include automated system deployment, configuration management, and content management including patch management. It allows you to automate tasks and quickly deploy hosts, all through a single unified interface.
This alphabetically ordered glossary provides an overview of orcharhino related technical terms.
- Activation Key
Activation keys are used by the subscription manager to register hosts with orcharhino’s content management. An activation key consists of three parts: a lifecycle environment, a content view, and subscriptions. It can be used for multiple machines and behaves like configuration information rather than a traditional software licence key. Once the subscription manager sends the key to the orcharhino, it is able to deliver the appropriate content.
Ansible is a configuration management tool running agentless via SSH or PowerShell to provision machines. It uses so-called Playbooks (
.yaml-files) to describe configuration, deployment, and orchestration. Most tasks that can be performed using orcharhino can be automated via Ansible. Within orcharhino, Ansible can be used as a configuration management tool for your managed hosts. You can also use Ansible to automate orcharhino itself using the Foreman Ansible modules.
- Compute Resource
A compute resource is an external virtualization solution, that can be attached to the orcharhino. Once attached, the orcharhino can deploy to, as well as manage instances within the virtualization solution. Prominent examples for compute resources include VMware, libvirt, and Proxmox installations, as well as cloud providers like Microsoft Azure. Compute resources can be accessed via the infrastructure menu. Refer to the compute resource chapter for more information.
- Configuration Management
Configuration management describes the task of configuring and maintaining your servers. For doing so, Ansible, Puppet, and Salt may be integrated into orcharhino, which allows you to maintain everything in one place as a single source of infrastructure truth.
Content may either describe a software repository, errata information, or other files.
- Content Repository
A content repository is a place where content is located at, usually a remote source for software. Types supported by orcharhino include files, deb, and yum repositories, as well as container images for Docker and Puppet modules for Puppet.
- Content View
Content views are comprised of products and allow for version control of content repositories. Composite content views don’t contain products, but other content views, which allows for a more modular approach of managing content.
A deployment is the supply of software to its intended destination. This process is ideally automated. In orcharhino, it is used to describe the creation of a new host, which includes its provisioning, installation of an operating system, and configuration.
Foreman is the upstream open source project, that forms the basis for orcharhino. More information can be found at theforeman.org.
Hammer is a command-line interface tool for Foreman. It can be used to directly interact with orcharhino’s API without the need for a browser. It works well for automating certain recurring tasks, another possibility is to use either remote execution or Ansible modules. The documentation contains a Hammer CLI guide.
Host describes a system which is managed by orcharhino. It can be either physical or virtual. A host is always connected to exactly one content view in orcharhino.
- Host Group
Host groups are used to specify certain properties in advance for new hosts to be built. It may contain networking information as well as operating system choices. It further helps unifying configuration management in Ansible, Puppet, and Salt by grouping hosts. It applies not only to new hosts, but also existing ones.
Katello is a plugin for Foreman to enable content management, i.e. hold software packages available. It depends on Pulp for content management, i.e. fetching software from repositories and storing various versions of it. It is installed by default. More information can be found at theforeman.org/plugins/katello.
- Lifecycle Environment
Lifecycle environment describes the stage in which certain versions of content are available to hosts. By default, all products are in Library, whereas Testing and Production are optional additional stages.
Location is a tag mostly used for geographical separation of managed hosts by orcharhino. This could be different cities or different data centres.
Organization is a tag used for organizational separation of managed hosts by orcharhino. This is particularly useful when dealing with several customers or business units.
- Patch and Release Management
Patch and release management describes the process of acquiring, managing, and installing patches and software updates to your infrastructure. It also keeps control on the package versions available to the hosts and provides information on applicable errata.
Products are collections of one or more content repositories including their respective errata information. One or more products form a content view, i.e. it may be a bundle of CentOS 7 and CentOS 7 Client.
- Provisioning Template
Provisioning templates are templates, which automatically generate AutoYaST (for SUSE), Kickstart (for RHEL, CentOS, and Oracle Linux), or Preseed (for Debian and Ubuntu) files used to automatically install an operating system. This results in an installation process without the need of manual user input.
Pulp manages repositories of software packages by mirroring them locally. It provides patch and content management for Katello. More information can be found at docs.pulpproject.org.
Puppet is a software configuration management tool utilizing a declarative language in a master-slave architecture. The documentation contains a Puppet guide. More information can be found at puppet.com/docs/open-source-puppet.
PXE stands for preboot execution environment and is used to boot operating systems received from the network rather than a local disk. It requires a compatible NIC and relies on DHCP and TFTP.
A repository is a single source of content, usually in form of an URL. One or more repositories form a product, e.g. CentOS bundling CentOS os, CentOS updates, and CentOS extras.
Salt is a modular configuration management tool used to maintain hosts in certain defined states, e.g. have packages installed or services running. It is designed to be idempotent. orcharhino utilizes Salt for configuration management. The documentation contains a Salt guide.
- Smart Proxy
Smart proxies are network nodes acting as an intermediate relaying network traffic in a certain manner. They may provide DHCP, DNS, TFTP, and CA functionalities as well as supplying synced or relayed content from the orcharhino.
A subscription is closely tied to a product and contains the right to access certain content.
- Subscription Manager
The subscription manager is a client application which is necessary for the host to receive content from the orcharhino. It activates and deactivates subscriptions and may enable or disable repositories. The subscription manager registers the machine to orcharhino using its activation key.
Syncing describes the process of content being pulled from external repositories to the local pulp storage.
- Sync Plan
Sync plans describe the periodic execution of certain syncs from external content.
Virtualization describes the process of running multiple operating systems with various applications on a single hardware host using hypervisors like VMware, Proxmox, or libvirt. It facilitates scalability and cost savings.