RUDDER 4.3 – focus on the ‘node lifecycle’ feature

Until Rudder 4.3, there wasn’t any notion of node lifecycle in Rudder, and so no native way to differentiate between different states of a node.

That used to cause some troubles, for example when nodes are no longer connected to a Rudder Server (typically for a maintenance period). So far, in such a case, the node would show up as “Not responding” in the compliance details on the Server, even if this is expected by the user.

Also, there was no way to nicely set up special policies when a new node is created, or to remove all policies when a node was to be removed from Rudder – user needed to abuse the “Node property” features to set up Rules to node with specific properties, or exclude from all Rules nodes with another property.

In Rudder 4.3, we introduced a way to manage the Node lifecycle, for both of theses uses cases:

  • Nodes disconnected from Rudder Server can be excluded from policy generation and Compliance with the “Ignored” state,
  • The main states of a system life can be applied with the 4 states “Initializing”, “Enabled”, “Preparing End of Life” and “Empty policies”.

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States “Ignored” and “Empty policies” automatically changes the policy generation and compliance:

  • “Empty policies” generates a minimal set of policies, only to manage the Rudder Agent itself
  • “Ignored” prevents any new policy generation for the Nodes in this states
  • Both states remove the nodes from the compliance

Nodes with non-default state appears with a label next to their name in the nodes list to show their states, and their compliance don’t show up in “Ignored” nor “Empty policies” mode. You can filter by node lifecycle state in that list with the common “filter” input.

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Node with a given lifecycle state can be searched thanks to the quicksearch tool in Rudder status bar. That state can also be used to construct groups (“Node state” attribute of “Node summary”) and they also show up in the API responses concerning node information.

Finally, the default state for a Node can be configured in the Settings page, to define in which mode accepted Nodes use.

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Check it out!

Rudder 4.3 is available now!

Here are a few easy ways to try it out:

  • Online demo: You can see a demo version of Rudder on http://demo.rudder-project.org/
  • Vagrant: Just want to test Rudder without worrying about a full installation, but with real virtual machines so that you can actually configure and test things, unlike the demo? We provide a Vagrant set-up. See Rudder Vagrant for getting started with Rudder on Vagrant.
  • Linux server packages: The easiest way to test and use Rudder for prototyping or production is to install it from the provided Linux packages. For the server, the main current .rpm-based (RedHat, CentOS, SLES) and .deb-based (Debian, Ubuntu) distributions are supported. See https://www.rudder-project.org/site/get-rudder/downloads/ for details about repository and available versions.
  • Come and participate in a one-day discovery workshop; this is called the Rudder Introduction Days, and the next one will take place at Normation’s in Paris on September 20th;
  • Come and discuss and ask any questions you may have directly to the development team and the Rudder community via email, IRC or Twitter.

What’s next?

RUDDER 4.3 brings the last consolidations on the features that version 4.0 brought. Feedbacks received allowed us to enrich and perfect them over 3 versions while working on the big novelties to appear soon in RUDDER 5.

Indeed, the next version is going to be a major release, which will bring many changes both inside and outside Rudder, including :

  • a reporting plugin to extract historical compliance reports
  • numerous integrations with other tools:
    • Centreon
    • Slack
    • iTop
    • and so on

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