Bare-Metal Provisioning with Razor
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Razor is an advanced provisioning application that can deploy bare metal systems. Razor makes it easy to provision a node with no previously installed operating system and bring it under the management of Puppet Enterprise (PE). Because Razor automates the process of provisioning new machines, making it quick and efficient, it’s ideal for big installation jobs, like setting up a new selection of servers in a server farm. But you can also use Razor to regularly wipe and re-provision test machines.
Razor’s policy-based bare-metal provisioning lets you inventory and manage the lifecycle of your physical machines. With Razor, you can automatically discover bare-metal hardware, dynamically configure operating systems and/or hypervisors, and hand nodes off to PE for workload configuration.
Razor policies use discovered characteristics of the underlying hardware and user-provided data to make provisioning decisions.
Note: Be aware that Razor is designed to take over provisioning for your infrastructure, so if you’re planning on deploying it into an existing environment, you should read and understand the caveats first.
How Razor Works
The following steps provide a high-level view of the process for provisioning a node with Razor.
Razor identifies a new node
When a new node appears, Razor discovers its characteristics by booting it with the Razor microkernel and using Facter to inventory its facts.
The node is tagged
The node is tagged based on its characteristics. Tags contain a match condition — a Boolean expression that has access to the node’s facts and determines whether the tag should be applied to the node or not.
The node tags match a Razor policy
Node tags are compared to tags in the policy table. The first policy with tags that match the node’s tags is applied to the node.
Policies pull together all the provisioning elements
The node is provisioned with the designated OS and managed with PE
The node is now installed and managed by Puppet Enterprise.
Getting Started With Razor
Provisioning with Razor generally entails these steps:
- Set up a Razor environment
- Install and set up a Razor server and Razor client
- Learn About Razor Objects
- Create Razor objects and provision a node
The Razor documentation also covers these topics:
- Safety Tips for Provisioning in a Brownfield Environment
- Make Razor API Calls Secure
- Setting Up and Installing Windows on Nodes
- Writing Broker Types
- Razor Command Reference