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User Stories

Rundeck at Andersen Windows

Jul 22, 2019

If you can script it, you can Rundeck it.
Simplifying PeopleSoft Administration with Rundeck.

Charlie Sinks, Sr. Software Engineer and PeopleSoft Admin, Andersen Windows

As a PeopleSoft developer and administrator for more than 15 years, Rundeck Hero Charlie Sinks knows the good, the bad, and the ugly of managing the popular software suite. In his current role at Andersen Windows, that entails keeping PeopleSoft access up and running for the more than 12,000 employees.

Like most admins, Charlie was always looking for ways to save time. One easy target was automating scheduled or ad hoc tasks on remote servers. Several years ago, Charlie discovered Rundeck and since then he has been able to simplify administration tasks and save time in the process. From operations tasks to creating environments to source code maintenance and utilities handling, Rundeck is integrated across the PeopleSoft deployment. As Rundeck use grows, Charlie is able to implement self-service for users for some of the jobs.

Why Rundeck?

Charlie wanted a solution that was flexible enough to run in his cross platform environment, could integrate with all his existing automation tools and scripts, and had security baked in to ensure compliance-approved detailed audit trails. He also wanted to integrate with his chat app, create email notifications confirming job execution success or failure, and to run jobs on multiple nodes.

With Rundeck, he got all of that, plus an extensive plugin library that let him extend jobs and functionality with applications like Puppet, Chef, Ansible and Jenkins. He even worked with the Rundeck team to create the SSL Keystore plugin.

“If it is scriptable, you can do it with Rundeck.”

Rundeck at Work

An enterprise software behemoth, PeopleSoft has numerous components and functions, all of which must be managed by the admin. Charlie uses Rundeck to do the heavy lifting on some of the more onerous and repetitive tasks. 

  • Simplified management 
    To replace one-off domain updates, Charlie configured Rundeck to Start, Stop, or Restart app, web, or batch domains with single Rundeck jobs. There’s also a Rundeck job to Delete domains. The Rundeck dashboard displays a summary of all domain statuses, making it easy for Charlie to click on those he needs to change and then batch process them.
  • Automated updates of PeopleSoft demo environments
    Refreshing a demo environment can be a hassle. PeopleSoft Update Manager was designed to help users stay current, but the update is a multistep process that could take many hours. By automating the steps with Rundeck, the update time was reduced to 1.5 hours from start to fully functional PeopleSoft Image, master source environment.  This manual task is now hands-free, thanks to Rundeck.
  • Automated patching of PeopleSoft
    Imagine the time spent trying to keep up with all the patches associated with a  PeopleSoft deployment. CPU. Versioning. Server. Middleware. Now, imagine running those patches against multiple servers at the same time through a single interface. That’s what Charlie was able to accomplish with Rundeck.

What’s Next?

As Charlie has discovered, Rundeck can help you automate any task. So what does the wishlist look like for his PeopleSoft administration? 

  • Self-service database refreshes: it’s possible to create on-demand, push-button access for users to run these jobs
  • Start to finish PeopleSoft tools patching: automate the whole patching lifecycle with one Rundeck job
  • Auto-renew SSL certs: send upcoming expiration notification, automate renewal

Are you a PeopleSoft admin? Want to do the deep dive? Watch Charlie’s webinar at https://questoraclecommunity.org/learn.

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