Pivotal Platform Automation provides building blocks to create repeatable and reusable automated pipeline(s) for upgrading and installing Pivotal Platform foundations. We also provide instructions on using these building blocks in various workflows. In this introduction, we'll provide a high-level overview of Platform Automation. To dive-deeper, check out the references section.
See the Getting Started section for instructions on how to start using Platform Automation.
Uses om, (and by extension, the Ops Manager API) to enable command-line interaction with Ops Manager (Understanding the Ops Manager Interface)
Includes a documented reference pipeline showing one possible configuration to use tasks. When automating your platform, there are some manual steps you'll need to take to optimize for automation. We will call these steps out so that these are clear to you.
Comes bundled with Concourse tasks that demonstrate how to use these tasks in a containerized Continuous Integration (CI) system. Pivotal Platform Automation tasks are:
Legible: They use human-readable YAML config files which can be edited and managed
Modular: Each task has defined inputs and outputs that perform granular actions
Built for Automation: Tasks are idempotent, so re-running them in a CI won't break builds
Not Comprehensive: Workflows that use Pivotal Platform Automation may also contain
omcommands, custom tasks, and even interactions with the Ops Manager user interface. Pivotal Platform Automation is a set of tools to use alongside other tools, rather than a comprehensive solution.
A documented and supported deployment of Concourse CI to use with Platform Automation Toolkit. The Concourse for Platform Automation docs provide a step-by-step tutorial for how to get started. This approach to deploying Concourse uses the BOSH Director deployed by Ops Manager to deploy and maintain Concourse, Credhub, and UAA.
The Task Reference topic discusses these example tasks further.
Transitioning from PCF Pipelines
Platform Automation takes a different approach than PCF Pipelines. For instance, Platform Automation allows you to perform installs and upgrades in the same pipeline. We recommend trying out Platform Automation to get a sense of the features and how they differ to understand the best transition method for your environment and needs.
Platform Automation and Upgrading Pivotal Platform
Successful platform engineering teams know that a platform team that's always up to date is critical for their business. If they don’t stay up to date, they miss out on the latest platform features and the services that Pivotal delivers, which means their development teams miss out too. By not keeping up to date, platforms could encounter security risks or even application failures.
Pivotal offers regular updates for Pivotal Platform, which ensures our customers have access to the latest security patches and new features. For example, Pivotal releases security patches every six days on average.
So how can a platform engineering team simplify the platform upgrade process?
Small and Continuous Upgrades
Adopting the practice of small and constant platform updates is one of the best ways to simplify the platform upgrade process. This behavior can significantly reduce risk, increase stability with faster troubleshooting, and overall reduce the effort of upgrading. This also creates a culture of continuous iteration and improves feedback loops with the platform teams and the developers, building trust across the organization. A good place to start is to consume every patch.
How do we do this?
Small and Continuous Upgrades With Platform Automation
With Pivotal Platform Automation, platform teams have the tools to create an automated perpetual upgrade machine, which can continuously take the latest updates when new software is available - including Pivotal Application Service, Pivotal Container Service, Ops Manager, stemcells, products, and services. In addition, Pivotal Platform Automation allows you to:
manage multiple foundations and reduce configuration drift by tracking changes through source control with externalized configuration
create pipelines that handle installs and upgrades to streamline workflows.
Platform Automation and Ops Manager
The following table compares how Ops Manager and Pivotal Platform Automation might run a typical sequence of Pivotal Platform operations:
|Ops Manager||Pivotal Platform Automation|
|When to Use||First install and minor upgrades||Config changes and patch upgrades|
|1. Create Ops Manager VM||Manually prepare IaaS and create Ops Manager VM||
|2. Configure Who Can Run Ops||Manually configure internal UAA or external identity provider||
|3. Configure BOSH||Manually configure BOSH Director||
|4. Add Products||Click Import a Product to upload file, then + to add tile to Installation Dashboard||
|5. Configure Products||Manually configure products||
|6. Deploy Products||Click Apply Changes||
|7. Upgrade||Manually export existing Ops Manager settings, power off the VM, then create a new, updated Ops Manager VM||