Chapter 1. Overview

Rackspace Cloud Orchestration is the name of the Rackspace orchestration, and application architecture management service.  Cloud Orchestration provides a software API to create and manipulate stacks of resources (for example load balancers, web servers, databases, and so forth) and software that operates as part of those stacks (for example Apache, PHP, MySQL, Wordpress, and so forth). Cloud Orchestration is an engine that understands Cloud topologies, unlike Chef or Puppet, which are concerned with software on servers. Where applicable, Cloud Orchestration leverages software configuration management tools such as Chef. Using simple template syntax, you can define a cloud stack, deploy the stack, scale the stack (for example add/remove resources), delete the stack, clone the stack, and more.

Systems Engineers, DevOps, and Developers who manage application infrastructure in the cloud, want a simple way to deploy and manage the resources of their application. Cloud Orchestration provides the ability to declare resource provisioning and software configuration from a template file to allow you to automate deployment of your applications in a repeatable push-button method in order to spend less time managing infrastructure and more time developing and operating your application. Other solutions overly compartmentalize the work necessary to deploy and manage an application’s cloud infrastructure.  Choosing to use Cloud Orchestration at Rackspace provides for:

  • Portability of stacks between public and private OpenStack clouds

  • A declarative resource specification within a simple template syntax for better flexibility in repeated deployment of an application across varied environments

  • Standardized application stacks based on determined best practices by Rackspace and backed by expertise in Fanatical Support

Cloud Orchestration is not meant to replace software configuration tools such as Chef, Puppet, Ansible, Salt, and so forth. Instead, the orchestration service works with existing tools you are familiar with to accomplish software configuration management. Rackspace Cloud Orchestration, purposely built for any OpenStack cloud, not only eases deployments across multiple environments, but also provides basic configuration verification and eases application scaling. This is possible because template authors can integrate knowledge of the design of an application stack and the scripts that deploy and configure it.

Rackspace Cloud Orchestration Services are available to Rackspace Cloud customers. Interactions with Rackspace Cloud Orchestration occur programmatically via the Rackspace Cloud Orchestration API as described in the Cloud Orchestration Developer Guide.

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