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Why .NET Deployment Automation Is Vital for Agility

As your .NET code base and your number of applications grow, .NET deployment automation becomes a bigger challenge

Why .NET Deployment Automation Is Vital for Agility
By Ron Gidron

Developing and deploying large-scale .NET-based applications can quickly become a time-consuming and error-prone process, as you waste resources and expose yourself to the risk of failure and diminished employee satisfaction. It may seem a trivial task at first, but as .NET development is scaled to hundreds of applications and thousands of servers, its deployment must be automated like any other process if you are to achieve enterprise-wide agility. It's time to take action.

Use Cases
As your .NET code base and your number of applications grow, .NET deployment automation becomes a bigger challenge and many aspects need to be considered. Here are two examples of what may be required for a .NET deployment automation scenario:

Scenario 1

Windows Services

  • Workflow deploys application, creates Windows service and automatically starts it

  • Stops and starts service correctly for subsequent deployments

Applications

  • Deploy .NET application to IIS

  • Stop / restart as required

  • Configuration changes

Web Configuration - IIS Configuration and Configuration File

  • Web apps - down/no down

  • Configure deployment workflow to stop IIS before deploying application, or deploy application without stopping IIS

  • Unregister/register DLLs as required

  • Automatically start IIS if required

  • IIS config changes (creating new websites/app pools)

  • Workflow creates new web site, application pool

Scenario 2

  • Install .NET framework 4.5.2

  • Install IIS 7.5 with custom settings (unattended.xml)

  • Configure website

- IP/port binding

- Authentication

  • Configure app pool

- .NET version

- Pipeline mode

- Recycling

  • Stop CCS app pool, copy web code, start app pool

Many enterprises use Automic Release Automation (ARA) to handle all their .NET deployment automation needs, and so are able to make 300% more changes to their production environment over manual processes in any given time window.

How .NET Deployment Automation Works
ARA for Microsoft .NET-based applications integrates with your .NET application environments and non-Microsoft applications. It automates even the most complex multi-tiered .NET applications, so they run unattended at lightning speed as part of both your CI, QA and production environments.

You model your deployment workflows once, then they run anywhere, across any environment without modification. These automated deployments run hundreds of times faster than your manual, semi-scripted deployments and are reliable, easy to audit and maintain.

This model-based approach is proven to scale to the largest, most complex environments. It is also ideally suited to teams spearheading agile and continuous delivery projects, as well as those working on large cross-company transformations.

Benefits of ARA for.NET: Developers

  • Integrates into the entire Microsoft stack including, Windows Registry, Windows Services, Global Assembly Cache, IIS, BizTalk and MS-SQL

  • Integrates with many non-Microsoft technologies

  • Delivers end-to-end deployment that runs unchanged in any environment - no need to maintain complex workflows

  • Deployment workflows include orchestrating backend database updates, message queues and front-end web servers. Solution even provisions new machines

  • Provides unrivalled flexibility through strong integrations with Puppet, Chef and Docker

  • Saves time and resources by automating your deployments and lowering manual work

Benefits of ARA for .NET: Operations

  • Deploys up to 300% more changes to your production environment in any given time window

  • Provides full access controls as well as enforcing environment reservations, promotion paths, simple and complex approvals and a full audit trail

  • Decreases mean time to resolve (MTTR) issues through a single source of truth (all logs and console outputs are kept with each execution)

  • Lowers risk through built-in rollback

Read the original blog entry...

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