Bare-Metal Provisioning with Razor

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Introducing Razor

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

bare 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

tags applied

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

tags compared to policies

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

policies

The node is provisioned with the designated OS and managed with PE

policy applied

The node is now installed and managed by Puppet Enterprise.

Getting Started With Razor

Provisioning with Razor generally entails these steps:

The Razor documentation also covers these topics:


Next: Set Up a Razor Environment

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