Embotics® Commander® manages both your private infrastructure and public clouds, acting as a hub for these and other systems that comprise your entire Commander ecosystem. This article examines the Commander ecosystem using a high level, layered view that helps new and experienced administrators think about the interconnections between the systems.
Commander supports popular public clouds providers, and we add support for new platforms in each major release. Commander is focused on providing business value on any cloud without locking you into a particular vendor’s technology.
As of this writing, you can use Commander to manage and provision workloads in Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure.
For more information on how to manage public clouds, and the differences between public and private clouds, refer to the following sections in Commander’s Online Help or User Guide:
- Managing Amazon Web Services with Commander
- Managing Microsoft Azure with Commander
- Commander Capability Matrix
Depending on your installation requirements, you may need to publish various services, such as Commander, the Service Portal, and the Console Proxy to the Internet or other networks.
The number of servers you use to deploy Commander depends on many factors, including your expected occupancy, or how many hypervisors, public clouds and VMs you expect to manage. At a minimum, you can deploy Commander as a single application server including a local PostgreSQL database, although most customers are better suited to installing against Microsoft SQL Server on another server. Refer to Scaling Commander Hardware Requirements for assistance in determining appropriately sized resources and server counts for your needs.
In addition to the Commander application server and database server, the Commander VM Access Proxy is available as a virtual appliance for VMWare and Hyper-V. The VM Access Proxy allows users outside your firewall to establish console and RDP connections to VMs on the inside, without exposing any sensitive infrastructure to the Internet.
Self-signed security certificates are installed on Commander and the VM Access Proxy by default, but Embotics recommends purchasing certificates from a Certificate Authority so that web browsers outside your firewall will trust the connections.
Commander supports management of vCenter and Hyper-V (via SCVMM) as local hypervisors. Additional hypervisor support is expected to be added in the future, depending on market and customer demand.
Commander integrates with many systems to introduce new or compliment existing features:
- Directory Services
You can integrate Commander with Active Directory or LDAP so that your users can use existing credentials to login to either the admin console or the service portal.
- SMTP Server
Commander uses an SMTP server, such as Microsoft Exchange, to deliver outbound email notifications.
Splunk integration provides complimentary performance data from within the Guest OS which is reviewed alongside information from the hypervisor when Commander makes rightsizing recommendations.
Commander’s Configure Networking workflow step is able to create host records or DHCP reservations in the BlueCat IP Address Management system.
Integrating with Puppet offers you greater flexibility for how and when VMs are customized, and allow you to reduce the number of services in your catalog while multiplying the kinds of VMs deployed from them.
Integrating with CHEF means requested VMs can be deployed as Chef nodes and receive customized roles and recipes from your Chef servers.
Commander workflow steps introduce the opportunity to execute any script or program. Pre-deployment scripts are run directly on the Commander application server, and support any scripting language for which an interpreter has been installed (by default powershell, vbscript and batch are supported by Windows). You can also execute scripts or programs on the VMs themselves once they have been deployed. The workflow steps and Commander API expose an enormous amount of information to the integrated scripts or programs, and mechanisms allow you to use any output to feed subsequent steps. Professional services are available if you have custom needs and lack development resources.