when to automate deployments and when not to

We recently had Hydra Camp in Dublin in Trinity College Dublin which went pretty well. I even got to talk a little about what we’re doing with Shibboleth and how we’re deploying our systems.

We’re deploy with ansible either by someone running the playbook by hand or via buildbot which pushes out a build when tests pass successfully on the master branch.

Someone in the camp asked at what complexity should you begin to automate at, which I thought was a strange question since at DRI/TCD we thought of deploying as automatically as possible from day 1.

My response to the question of when to automate was to automate it if you know that you need documentation or know that there might be a second time in setting up the system. Which pretty meant that we automate as much as we can.

Automating means you at least have a script as documentation and as people leave/join the project you have a chance of figuring out whats going on. This is especially useful when you have a CI or CD styled system.

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