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DreamHost uses Dell’s Crowbar as a lever to raise automation.

(2 out of 3 physicists approve of the title above)

Ever wonder what makes DreamHost’s datacenters tick?

Datacenter of the Apes

If you guessed an army of helper monkeys that is all hopped up on Red Bull and grain alcohol, then you sir, are sorely mistaken.  Contrary to popular belief, our primate relatives are not allowed in our datacenters because their fingerprints are incompatible with our biometric security system, and our employees prefer Monster Energy Drink, thank you very much.

Give up?  It’s a powerful combination of software code, hardware, a talented crew from Engineering and NOC, and an obsession with automating processes that borders on OCD.

We take automation seriously.   So seriously in fact, that we have a corporate mantra that involves repeating “au-tow-mate” in a robot’s voice.  You see, automation has always been ingrained in our company culture.  Since we have software developers with mad coding skills, we’ve been able to create our own tools that really leverage automation.

For example, we have a homegrown web panel, migration tools, provisioning systems, and databases that all work together in harmony.  At the press of a button, we can migrate a Shared customer to VPS, or provision and configure bare metal Dedicated Servers.  With this level of efficiency, we can better serve our growing customer base of over 300,000 while maintaining competitively low prices.

So what’s next?

As we scale out our infrastructure to accommodate our growing number of customers and services, our crack team of engineers is constantly looking for the best solutions.  The team recently decided that the Dell™ OpenStack™ Cloud Solution meets our future needs for scalability and integration into DreamHost’s existing private cloud.

Permission to geek out!!!

Dell has combined their PowerEdge™ C servers with the OpenStack cloud operating system to produce a cloud solution that can easily be deployed.  As you probably already know from a previous post, we’re big fans of the OpenStack project.  What especially caught our eyes was Dell’s new open source installer framework, Crowbar.

Crowbar automates OpenStack deployment on bare metal servers.  Its software framework uses a modular approach to express every system capability in what they’re calling barclamps.  The benefit of this approach is that other users may write their own barclamps to add functionality and expand the code base.  Our engineers are actively writing a barclamp to integrate Ceph™, the DreamHost-sponsored open source distributed storage system, into Crowbar so that we can automate the instant provisioning of Ceph storage nodes.

DreamHost, OpenStack, and The Blue One

We’re excited to have Crowbar hanging from our Batman-style automation utility belt!

Read DreamHost’s quotation in Dell’s press release.




Written by: Brent Scotten

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Brent Scotten