Capistrano

This is yet another tool in the armoury of a DevOps engineer. In simple terms, Capistrano is a remote server automation tool.

Capistrano Beach and Beach Road photo D Ramey Logan.jpg from Wikimedia Commons by D Ramey LoganCC-BY-SA 3.0

Developed on Ruby, Rake, and SSH, this tool allows the DevOps team to deploy web applications to several machines simultaneously. Additionally, it also allows the engineer to script arbitrary workflows over SSH and automate common tasks in software teams.

The tool has a scripting approach, and hence it is very easy to tie it up with other scripting tools and form a part of larger toolset.

Some key features of Capistrano are:

  • Strong Convention: It has a standard deployment process that all Capistrano-enabled projects follow by default. Capistrano has a well defined structure which is easy to follow across the projects.
  • Multiple Stages: Once a flow is developed, you can simply parameterise the script for different stages/environments (QA, staging, UAT, and production)
  • Parallel Execution
  • Community driver

Many-a-times simple bash script can also do the job for a DevOps engineer. However, it always helps to have a structured way of automated deployment. Tools like this one allow the agile teams to achieve their goals in shorter timespan by automating simple tasks. Other similar tools include Ansible, Chef/Puppet etc. Even Docker can address some of the automation tasks if they are as simple as creating a new image and using it across the server farm.

Alternative DevOps Tools for Capistrano

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PPA

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Logstash

These days a typical deployment consists of at least a couple of servers, behind a load balancer and a database. As your application complexity grows, you continue to add more components. Then you start collecting tons of messages from logs of all these applications. And the problem starts there! It is not easy to keep track of logs from all these components and detect patterns or anomalies which could trigger further action. Logstash helps solve this problem.

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Prometheus

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Webpack

With the rise of Javascript only applications, the tools needed for developers have been evolving. Angularjs / Reactjs applications may involve use of multiple sources including third-party JS libraries. When a developer uses multiple such bundles, she also needs to ensure that all dependent modules are tracked correctly and made available for the production use. This task is facilitated by something called module bundler. Webpack is one such bundler, which will learn more about today.

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