Thursday, May 22, 2014

Introducing Brewmaster Template SDK

I am excited to announce the release of the Brewmaster Template SDK.  With our new SDK, you can author your own Brewmaster templates that can deploy almost anything into Microsoft Azure.  Over the next few weeks, I will be updating my blog with more background on how Brewmaster templates work and how to easily author them.

First, a bit of backstory:  when we first built Brewmaster 6 months ago, we released with 5 supported templates.  The templates were for popular workloads that users had difficulty deploying easily (e.g.  SQL Server Always On).  The idea was that we would allow the user to get something bootstrapped into Azure quickly and then allow the user to simply RDP into the machine to update settings that were not exactly to their liking.  Even then, we knew that it would simply not be possible to offer enough combinations of options to satisfy every possible user and desired configuration.

The situation with static templates was that they were close(ish) for everyone, but perfect for no one.  We wanted to change that and to support arbitrarily complex deployment topologies.  With the release of our Template SDK, we have done just that.  With our new Template SDK you can:

  • Define and deploy any Windows IaaS topology in Azure.  You tell us what you want and we manage the creation in Azure.  We support any number of cloud services, VMs, networking, or storage account configurations.
  • Configure any set(s) of VMs that you deploy.  Install any software, configure any roles, manage firewalls, etc.  You name it.  We support Microsoft's Desired State Configuration (DSC) technology and we support it completely.  This means you can use any of Microsoft's many DSC configurations or author your own.  Don't have DSC resources for what you want yet?  We also support arbitrary Powershell scripts, so don't worry.
  • Clone, fork, or build any template.  We are open-sourcing all of our templates that were previously released as static templates.  We support public Git deployment from both GitHub and Bitbucket, so this means you can version any template you choose or deploy any revision.  This also means you can branch a template (e.g. DevTest, Production, Feature-AB) and deploy any or all of them at runtime.
  • Easily author your templates.  While the template itself is JSON-based, we are also shipping C# fluent syntax builders that give you the Intellisense you need to build out any configuration.  For more advanced configurations, we also support the Liquid template syntax.  This means you can put complex if/then, looping, filtering, and other control logic directly in your templates should you desire.

Brewmaster itself was built API first.  What this means is that you can script out any interaction with Brewmaster.  Want to deploy daily/weekly/hourly as part of your CI build?  With Brewmaster, you can do this as well.

One other thing:  Did I mention this was free?  Everything we are talking about here is being released for free.  Deploy for free, build for free,  and share your templates for free.

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