Neflix announced it was open sourcing yet another of its IT management tools. This time it’s Asgard, a web-based cloud management tool designed for deploying massive cloud code projects on Amazon Web Services.
Netflix released the project this week to GitHub and offered it under the Apache 2.0 open source license. They invited anyone to fork the project and make improvements to it. As an IT pro, you have to love the Netflix largess.
Joe Sondow, and engineer at Netflix, explained the company’s rationale in open sourcing these tools:
“Asgard has been one of the primary tools for application deployment and cloud management at Netflix for years. By releasing Asgard to the open source community we hope more people will find the Amazon cloud and Auto Scaling easier to work with, even at large scale like Netflix. More Asgard features will be released regularly, and we welcome participation by users on GitHub,” Sondow wrote on the company tech blog.
It’s a sophisticated tool with an advanced graphical front end that lets you deploy code to the cloud quickly, then manage those deployments. Among its many features are allowing an Auto Scaling Group (ASG) to attach zero or more Elastic Load Balancers (ELBs) to new instances and then letting an ELB send user traffic to instances. I suggest reading the entire Netflix blog post to get a more complete overview of this tool.
It’s just a part of Netflix’s continuing effort to develop and contribute sophisticated tools to open source including:
- On June 5th I wrote an article called Netflix launches Content Delivery Network; Open sources software and design. This gives ISPs an open source design to provide help in delivering Netflix content at very little cost. Meanwhile because the whole approach is open source, anybody can use the designs and software Netflix created.
- In April, I wrote about how Netflix was open-sourcing its ‘Monkey’ website fault-testing tools. Much like the Asgard tool, these tools provide a way to test cloud implementations using a variety of tools to help test against catastrophic failures in the cloud and clean up junk files, test the health of the system and much more.
For the most part, these tools are not just Netflix-centric. They can help anyone who is looking to deploy large-scale projects in the cloud. While this is generous of Netflix, it also cements the company’s place as a technology leader and puts Netflix tools at the center of cloud standardization. As you use these tools, it will make Netflix tools the defacto standard (or so it hopes).
From your perspective as an IT pro, it gives you access to highly sophisticated, mature tools that you can adapt for the needs of your organization, making it a huge win for you.
Photo by opensourceway on Flickr. Used under Creative Commons License.