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Introducing the CTERA DevOps SDK: Automating Global File Services for Cloud-Native Enterprises

We are excited to announce the availability of the CTERA DevOps SDK, which enables DevOps and IT teams to automate enterprise file services on a global scale. Designed to enhance business agility for distributed enterprises, the new SDK for Python helps you automate IT processes, develop apps faster and reduce the complexity and cost of software development/testing.

CTERA on GitHub

 

Enterprises can use the SDK to create applications that integrate with CTERA’s Enterprise File Services Platform in diverse development and automation environments. With just a few lines of easy-to-write Python code, developers can programmatically provision storage resources and automate the deployment of up to thousands of edge filers at remote sites and in the cloud. The SDK addresses a wide range of use cases, such as replacing traditional NAS and file servers, global file sharing, monitoring the operation and health of storage infrastructure, and more.

DevOps Is the New IT

DevOps has become a linchpin in today’s data-driven, cloud-native enterprise. It’s the glue that connects the various departments within the organization and is crucial for keeping operations flowing between developers, internal users and customers.

To deliver infrastructure and applications to users at scale, IT needs powerful SDKs and automation tools. The CTERA SDK embeds the system’s existing API functionality and makes it available to DevOps teams as Python code for easy integration within an app or script. There’s no need to deal with complex API documentation and you don’t need highly skilled developers. In this way, the SDK augments business agility and enables enterprises to get new apps out quickly to their customers and users.

In addition to the Python interface, the CTERA SDK is also available as a plug-in for Ansible, enabling enterprises to use an easy and familiar platform for automated configuration management.

Supporting Remote Work

As enterprises shift to off-site work models based on remote data access, remote collaboration and even remote IT, the need for tools to automate IT processes across multiple sites and clouds increases. While these trends began some time ago, the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has highlighted the urgency of enabling employee productivity from any location and any device. The CTERA SDK was built to support this transformation, helping organizations roll out apps to remote users faster and to automate IT processes at scale.

CTERA DevOps SDS Brings Agility to File Services

Cloud-based enterprises need faster, more agile ways to deploy infrastructure and services across globally distributed locations. Based on insights gleaned from our customer base, we built the SDK to meet several real-world challenges:

1. Configuration Management

To accelerate speed of business, enterprises need to configure and roll out applications in an automated manner. The CTERA Enterprise File Services platform provides global file services based on a distributed storage infrastructure. Large enterprise customers have deployed this platform across dozens, hundreds and even thousands of remote sites. In these scenarios, automating the deployment of edge filers is critical for business agility. By creating an automated script with the SDK, you can roll out a CTERA Edge Filer remotely in less than 30 seconds!Configuring a new Edge Filer with the CTERA SDK for Python

What’s more, when configuring distributed systems manually, you risk the chance of making an error in configuring one of the edge filers. Using automation tools, you ensure a homogeneous and consistent configuration across the board across any number of remote field offices.

Flexibility is also essential for efficiently introducing changes/adjustments down the road. Consider, for example, creating a network share on a remote site. Using the SDK, you can automate this process with a couple lines of code and provision a network share across hundreds of remote sites in one shot.

2. Data Collection

The SDK can be used to gather performance metrics for storage infrastructure monitoring. Examples of these metrics include deduplication savings, local cache information like the total size of namespace and local cache size, as well as user storage utilization. This type of data can be exported in standard formats like JSON or XML payloads.

In addition, the SDK can help you monitor the Global File System KPIs, such as servers’ health, metadata capacity, inbound and outbound traffic, connection status of remote edge filers, number of connected user sessions, cloud synchronization state, local storage health and more. In this use case, the SDK can be used to extract user-defined KPIs from the CTERA API and forward them to an enterprise monitoring system.

3. Customer Business Logic for File Services

Another key use case for the SDK is the automation of enterprise-specific business logic related to file services, such as uploading and downloading data, automating the creation of a desired folder structure, and generating secure links to files and folders.

Here’s a simple example of business logic automation from a CTERA customer in the financial services space. Each time their sales team starts to work on a new client deal, they open a shared folder for collaboration among all team members working on the deal. This type of logic can be applied via the SDK to create a folder automatically based on a trigger from the CRM system.

Configuring a new Edge Filer with the CTERA Ansible CollectionReporting is another common example. Say you want to produce a compliance report detailing all actions performed by third parties (e.g., partners, suppliers, customers, etc.) on shared data, including their email address, source IP, file path, filename and timestamp. The SDK can be used to create such a report, listing all such actions with the requisite details for all shared data.

The CTERA DevOps SDK and Ansible Collection are available on GitHub today. Developers are welcome to adapt the code for their specific business needs, and we look forward contributions that will drive added value for the entire community.

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