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Tool for Automated Configuration and Validation of Computer Systems and Infrastructure

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000244102D
Publication Date: 2015-Nov-09
Document File: 4 page(s) / 42K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a tool for automated configuration and validation of computer systems and infrastructure.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 27% of the total text.

Page 01 of 4

Tool for Automated Configuration and Validation of Computer Systems and Infrastructure

To be usable and to integrate properly, a computer system and its related infrastructure must be configured and validated. Common cases include accomplishing configuration and validation:

In the context of a client environment where new equipment is installed and connected to some other existing infrastructure (esp., networking).

In a factory setting where a system is preconfigured to a reference configuration and validated before being shipped to a client.

In an intermediate setting where components are received from the factory and assembled into a system which is then partially or fully configured and validated prior to being shipped to the client.

In a services setting to repair or restore a system after being previously configured.

    The configuration and validation process can be complex and error-prone. Even modest-sized systems can required hundreds of configuration steps. These processes often require highly-trained personnel to accomplish and/or relatively expensive services are often required for a successful result. Current techniques to do the above typically utilize some combination of the following:

A command line interface to apply the configuration steps and view the configuration. This method is common with ethernet and fibre channel switches.

A management application with a richer UI (e.g., GUI) which allows a user to apply specific configuration steps and view the state of the elements within the system. This method is common for some element managers and for some system-level configuration applications.

    The above are very manual and error-prone and typically demand the user have a deep understanding of the current state of the system and what configuration steps are allowed and appropriate and how to accomplish them. The user must also submit each individual step through the management interface. Configuration wizards provide some efficiency and assistance, but these are typically very limited in scope and sophistication. Predefined configurations and scripts (including parameterized scripts) also provide some improvement, but these are often much too rigid and inflexible for many more general situations.

    In summary, current techniques are either flexible but complex -- demanding much from the user in terms of knowledge and time -- or they are easy to use but inflexible, restricting their applicability to fairly narrow situations. This invention allows a computer system and its related infrastructure to be configured and validated with a tool which automates much of the process. It does so in a manner that is both flexible and easy-to-use. The configuration to be applied to a system which can be in a wide variety of initial states, and it can transform the system into a variety of final states (e.g., a reference configuration or a specific custom configuration).

    To do the above, the user does not require deep knowledge of the...