What is RUDDER?

RUDDER is a professional, open source, multi-platform solution for managing configurations of mission-critical systems. Based on the Continuous Configuration concept, RUDDER embodies the fusion of configuration management and continuous audit.

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RUDDER - the Continuous Configuration solution

IT production issues have one thing in common; they are expressed in an uninterrupted and chronic way. In a word, they are continuous:

Continuous growth

The amount of machines is constantly increasing, and their growth is faster than ever.

Continuous availability

Services require constant access and reliability by globalized, demanding and versatile users.

Continuous  threat

With the permanent availability required by users, risk exposure also becomes continuous.

With RUDDER: production changes can be simulated individually before being validated, then verified after being applied and, finally, traced and maintained over time through a continuous IT audit. Operations are thus carried out in a controlled and secure manner, giving IT teams the keys to permanently reduce the risk of incidents.

Practically speaking

Manage the system
base

Distribute SSH keys, set up DNS, manage users, set permissions on folders and files, launch tasks, manage certificates, etc.

Install, update and configure middleware and applications

Application server, web server, hypervisor, container orchestrator, database, internal application, etc.

Continuously apply and verify security policies

Including for external standards (ISO 27001, PCI-DSS, ANSSI PSSI, etc.).

RUDDER is not designed for:

monitoring – even though continuously auditing configurations can complete a monitoring solution, RUDDER is not intended to replace your supervision system. It can help to deploy it quickly and ensure its proper functioning though.

deployment / integration – RUDDER focuses on system and middleware layers. This foundation has more of a vocation for continuous stability than the higher application layers with different constraints and purposes. Plugins allow RUDDER to interact with these deployment solutions.

network management – due to the proprietary closed OSs specific to each manufacturer, RUDDER cannot control the network equipment.

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Who is RUDDER intended for?

In production, the main constraint and cause of complexity are:

technical heterogeneity
  • of machines (physical machines, VM, cloud, embedded)
  • of systems (Linux, Windows, UNIX…)
human heterogeneity
  • between IT actors responsibility scope (system administrator, CISO, system engineer, architect…)
  • of preferred areas and levels of expertise of members of the same team

It is to overcome these constraints that RUDDER is:

  • multi-device (physical machines, VM, cloud, embedded)
  • multi-platform (Linux, Windows, AIX) with abstraction of implementation differences (the agent is responsible for correctly applying the configurations according to the OS)
  • multi-interface (web UI, CLI, API)

Thus, each IT professionnal will find in RUDDER an answer to its needs, whether they are:

  • for the Managers who wants to visualize the actual state of their machines on clear and concise graphs, to ensure that the safety policy is properly applied throughout the fleet,
  • for the Engineers who must build a chain of tools capable of interacting with each other using the API.
  • for the Administrators who configures the machines on a daily basis via the web management interface which never requires writing code, even for the most specific business needs, thanks to a drag & drop configuration editor.

Technical architecture

Technically, RUDDER works on a target state model that you want to reach or maintain: the agent deployed on each machine works in pull mode and recovers its configuration from the central server and then applies it continuously in an autonomous way.

technical architecture rudder

This continuous verification is possible because the agent is light (10 to 20 MB of RAM) and very fast (written in C, it can apply a hundred rules on a machine in less than 10 seconds). Thanks to this model, RUDDER is secure, resilient to network issues, and capable of managing more than 10,000 machines with a single installation.

Continuous configuration schema

It is of course possible to set RUDDER in “audit only” mode in order to visualize compliance deviations without making any changes. Users particularly appreciate this feature when first installing RUDDER on a new park or when setting up a new type of configuration.

The interface is a thin client developed in Scala, a language also chosen for its robustness and speed.

ROI: why invest in Continuous Configuration with RUDDER?

For 3 main reasons:

1. Economy

First of all, there is a time saving effect related to the automation of tasks and their autonomous compliance. The larger the fleet, the greater the benefits, and yet, from a few dozen machines, the results are already significant. Here is a real example from one of our customers with a small fleet of only 36 servers:
ROI board RUDDER

2. Reliability

The homogenization of configurations, their automatic and continuous application, and the visualization of compliance via RUDDER dashboards allow a real control of the IT, as a whole and with the greatest finesse. Better reliability means better control of risks, and thus fewer incidents and fewer resources mobilized to resolve them.

3. Value creation

On the one hand, the resources saved can be invested in projects with higher added value than the repetitive recurrent one; on the other hand, the reliability gain linked to automation improves the quality of service and with it project deliverability, brand image, and time to market.

References

Since its release in 2012, RUDDER has found its place in large and/or critical productions such as those of:

FM Logistic logo
BPCE logo
Caisse des Dépôts logo
BMW logo
eutelsat logo
Jaguar Network logo
Sagemcom logo

Use cases

Reliability of a heterogeneous park with high criticality.

Automation of a high-volume industrial server park.

Compliance control of a fleet subject to ISO 27001 standard.

Fleet: 4,000 VM on AIX and Linux systems.
Use: RUDDER is used daily by the entire production IT team, which continuously deploys and verifies all system configurations.

Fleet: +10,000 Linux servers (physical and cloud).

Use: Management of system configurations both in datacenters and in factories of various sites around the world.

Fleet: 800 Linux and Windows servers.

Use: Management of the system for generating and distributing firmware and industrial software.

What now?

By videoconference or directly on site (Paris region only), we offer you a 15-minute live demonstration so that you can quickly evaluate if RUDDER is the right tool to solve your current issues.
While we are responding to your message, take this opportunity to review the list of RUDDER features.
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