One of the daily tasks faced by Storage Platform administrators is the provisioning of new groups and their required licences for newly-signed or trial customers. A number of steps must be completed to ensure that Agents can be deployed after provisioning. This requires configuring the correct licence and space settings as per the request, gathering any additional download links, and passing this information to the end user. Since completing these steps can be tedious and prone to human error, we have created a web application that can be used to automate the provisioning process instead.
The Automated Provisioning application:
- Creates the groups and collections on the Storage Platform if they do not exist
- Creates the Console access user using the customer’s email address, if the user does not exist
- Creates a customer email containing:
- Details of how to access the Storage Platform
- A download URL for the Storage Platform Console
- Download URLs for ESE and SE Agents locked to the specified groups
- Sends a summary email to the administrator for record-keeping purposes
- Sends an email directly to the customer (optional)
As the application is PHP-based, it can be incorporated into an existing LAMP web server. The application is small and can be easily extended to add extra functionality for further integration, or modified to change branding.
Disclaimer: The Automated Provisioning application is a proof of concept (PoC) application intended for customer feedback, and has not been stress-tested or subjected to any security testing. Whilst we do not anticipate any issues if run on a public web server, we recommended running the application only on private web servers for the PoC phase of application development. In no event will Redstor accept liability or be held responsible for any damage, disruption and/or loss of data as a result of using the Automated Provisioning application.
How provisioning works
The provisioning interface is displayed in a web browser.
After clicking the Provision button, a confirmation will be displayed on the screen.
The customer automatically receives the following email. The user can click on the download links to download Console, and the required Agent installers. The Agent installers are generated on-demand once the customer clicks on the link, and the installers are set to use the customer's Group.
The following email is also sent to the Orders office, or Pre-Sales office, to be kept on record for future reference.
- A Storage Platform
- Access user with at least collection admin level access
- A Linux machine with an Apache web server which can serve PHP
- Apache PHP modules:
Option 1: Installation with a pre-built VMware .ova virtual machine image
The application can be deployed directly to VMware via an .ova image. This image provides a pre-built Linux Debian virtual machine with the application and the necessary prerequisites installed. Once the machine is deployed in vSphere, the application needs to be configured to be able to connect to the AccountServer.
Note: This image already has VMware tools installed on the guest.
1. Deploy .ova and boot the machine (ESX/ESXi 4.0 or later required). The .ova is available via https://downloads.redstor.com/tools/BackupPro/SPProvisioning.ova
2. Log in with the following default credentials:
- User: provision
- Password: Password123
3. Change the default password with the following command:
4. Obtain the userHash with the following command:
php ~/RedstorProvision/util/getUserHash.php (this will prompt for Console credentials)
5. Edit the config file, entering the userHash obtained in the previous step:
sudo nano /opt/RedstorProvision/provisioningApp/config/config.ini
6. The application is now ready to be accessed via the browser using the following address:
Option 2: Installation on Linux web server
1. Log in as a user with write (and sudo) permissions to the folder from which Apache serves its pages (usually the folder /var/www/html/).
2. Download the app package to a temporary location (e.g. /tmp, /home, or your desktop) and unpack it with the with the following commands:
wget --no-check-certificate https://downloads.redstor.com/tools/BackupPro/RedstorProvision.tar.gz
tar –xvf RedstorProvision.tar.gz
Note: In this example, when prompted by the installer, we arbitrarily chose 'provisioningApp' as the application name.
3. Navigate to the resulting folder and install the application by running the install.sh script and following the prompts.
cd RedstorProvision sudo ./install.sh
4. Run the provided utility to obtain the userHash (a base64-encoded authentication string). This hash code is to be used for authentication in the next step to avoid storing the collection admin credentials in plaintext.
5. Edit the config file, pasting the userHash from the previous step. Adjust the AccountServer address and any required email addresses.
sudo nano /opt/RedstorProvision/provisioningApp/conf/config.ini
6. You can now use the application via the web browser by navigating to http://hostname/provisioningApp.
- VMware virtual machine image: https://downloads.redstor.com/tools/BackupPro/SPProvisioning.ova
- PHP files (tar.gz): https://downloads.redstor.com/tools/BackupPro/RedstorProvision.tar.gz
- PHP files (zip): https://downloads.redstor.com/tools/BackupPro/RedstorProvision.zip
- Automated Provisioning manual (this article) as PDF: https://downloads.redstor.com/tools/BackupPro/AutomatedProvisioningManual.pdf