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We have an operations team that looks after our running tenants. They respond to requests and incidents from users by following specific processes, they might for instance restart a container on an instance or undelete a resource a user deleted by accident.

Because these are repeatable actions they should be automated by rolling them into scripts. We want the jobs to be executed centrally so we can be able to track who ran which job and ideally have a central dashboard.

I need to investigate a platform to provide to the Operations team to get this job done.

Being from a dev background Jenkins would be my obvious choice but I feel like this must be a solved problem in the devops/ops world.

I've tried to research this but part of the problem is I don't know the name of the class of tool I'm looking for. When I look for automation platforms I find CI systems but they don't really fit with my problem.

Which tool or type of tool is appropriate to my needs?

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Jenkins can work just fine for this purpose. In my view, Jenkins is a general-purpose automation tool, not necessarily a CI/CD tool specifically.

I'm on an Ops team and we use both Jenkins and Rundeck. We generally prefer Jenkins because we find it difficult to navigate the Rundeck UI and find things like job output, but on the other hand it's often easier to write jobs for Rundeck, because you don't need to know Groovy/Pipeline. Here are some examples of what we use each for:

  • Install package updates on managed systems (yum/dnf packages) - Rundeck
  • Deploy & provision new VMs - Jenkins
  • Run Chef on managed systems - Rundeck
  • Clean up stale Computer objects in Active Directory - Rundeck
  • Clean up stale subscriptions in Red Hat Satellite - Rundeck
  • Create & configure new repositories in Bitbucket from templates - Jenkins
  • Build new vagrant images - Jenkins
  • Backup & upgrade some services that my team manages (AWX, Red Hat Satellite, etc.) - Jenkins or Rundeck depending on the service

I'm not claiming that either of these tools is the best choice for any of these particular examples, just that my team uses them for these purposes and they generally work well. Historically, which tool we use for each job generally has come down to personal preference of the person who created the job.

In terms of the name of this type of tool, we just call them "automation tools" or "automation platforms". I'm not sure if there's a more "industry-standard" term for this type of tool.

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    This is a really helpful answer, thank you Mar 12 at 10:09

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