Organizations are adopting DevOps practices to reduce risk while providing quicker time-to-value for the services that they provide to their business and customers. Examples of such practices that are central to DevOps include automation and Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC). Organizations that combine these principles can manage the following infrastructure and service operations in the same manner as preparing application code for general release:

  • Appropriate versioning
  • Continuous integration
  • Quality control
  • Release cycles

Server profiles enable organizations to adopt these DevOps practices more easily.

Administrators can also track changes to server profile text files in a version-control system, like Git, and can install new instances of PingAuthorize Server, or update existing instances from a server profile.

The scripts and other files in the server-profile directory are declarative of the desired state of the environment. Consequently, the definitions in the server-profile directory directly influence the servers. No one needs to identify a server's current configuration and compute the differences that must be applied to attain the appropriate end state.

The primary goal of a server profile is to simplify the deployment of PingAuthorize Server by using deployment automation frameworks. By using server profiles, the amount of scripting that is required across automation frameworks, such as Docker, Kubernetes, and Ansible, is reduced considerably.

As a declarative form of a full server configuration, a server profile provides the following advantages:

  • Provides a more complete and easily comparable method of defining the configuration of an individual server. Changes between different servers are easier to review and understand, and incremental changes to a server's configuration are easier to track.
  • Ensures that each server instance is configured identically to its peers.
  • Applies to installing new instances as well as to updating the configuration of previously installed instances.
  • Shares a common configuration across a deployment environment of development, test, and production without unnecessary duplication and error-prone, environment-specific modifications. For more information about substituting variables that differ by environment, see Variable substitution.
  • Reduces the number of additional configuration steps that are required to place a server into production.
  • Makes the execution of various configuration changes more consistent and repeatable. The strategy of using a server profile to represent the final state of a server is less error-prone than recording a step-by-step process to attain that state.
  • Can be managed easily in a version-control system.
  • Simplifies the management of servers outside deployment-automation frameworks.