Achieving Fail-Safe Software Deployments at the Edge

The increasing demand for “everything digital” is driving organizations to roll out applications and services for every touchpoint of the user journey. As a result, organizations today are deeply invested in user experience on applications and seamless integration of disparate services with minimum time-to-market. However, organizations also need to safely deploy and manage these applications on devices that are accessible and closer to the users. 

For this to happen, enterprises need seamless visibility and unhindered access to manage these edge devices. They also need to facilitate real-time interaction, data sovereignty and provide localized data management.

The Path to Digitalization is Through the Edge 

Consider the following scenarios where edge management tools can enable various applications:  

  • A manufacturing plant wants to manage all its tools remotely.
  • A hospital needs real-time connectivity to patient records to enhance patient care.
  • An oil and gas outlet are looking to ease congestion through an intelligent service system.
Usage of Edge Management tools

The proliferation of modern applications has deeply influenced every facet of human life. From delivering food, to plumbing and construction and retail shopping, there is no service or product that is not tied to a digital face. On the other hand, services and products on applications are no longer created for the general user; instead, they are personalized and contextual and, most importantly, accessible to the customer at the right time and the right place. 

This growing need for on-demand digital services has led companies to quickly readjust their application strategies, often tailoring them to the needs of vendors and platforms. More importantly, it has given rise to the move toward the edge.

Rise in Edge devices

However, additional layers of complexity are added to business operations on edge by factors such as public and private clouds, regional data security needs, local and wide area networks, internet service providers, and content delivery networks. Nevertheless, the most arduous challenge is that of “deployment.” 

While deploying applications at the edge, operations teams must consider various factors such as network bandwidth, security implementation and scalability. Factors that play a crucial role in managing the deployment of edge devices are:

Deployment of Edge devices

Operations teams face uncomfortable and all-too-common predicaments when they take the above factors into account.

Consider the following scenarios that operations teams across enterprises face:

  • Teams do not have access to the status of diverse edge devices, connectivity, and physical security standards on time. 

  • Unplanned downtimes are known only after significant business impact. 

  • An avoidable infrastructure configuration issue exposes sensitive personal information after a cyber-attack.  
What is common in all three scenarios is the lack of visibility which delays updates and, therefore, only allows teams to pursue remediation actions instead of preventive ones. In an ideal scenario, teams should be proactive in detecting and isolating issues or getting information instantly to take quick action against any disruption.  

Various factors could lead to the above scenarios, including the use of home-grown technologies, inconsistencies in delivery processes that don't scale and are difficult to manage, and the use of automation solutions that need to be more suitable for use in low-bandwidth/high-latency environments. In addition, a lack of collaboration between the teams causes continuous configuration drift between development and production environments. 

Scenarios like these can be avoided if teams implement a fully automated application distribution method on the edge devices.

Solving the Problem 

Businesses want to standardize the distribution of these apps with an end-to-end architecture that ensures their safety and smooth functioning at the network's periphery. In turn, this helps guarantee that their applications run well, are always accessible, are safe, and are prepared to be used by end users in any environment, as seen in the representation below:

Solving the problem with Edge devices

Managing Fail-Safe Deployments with Chef

Development and operations teams must collaborate closely and adopt a standard set of best practices to overcome the above-mentioned obstacles.

Progress Chef Edge Management helps you achieve fail-safe deployments in the following ways: 

  1. Providing operations teams with a single lightweight dynamic agent that manages updates and reports about device health, thereby giving full support to edge devices even while operating in a low bandwidth environment. This reduces the size of the application's bundle while also facilitating upgrades and deployment to unprotected edge computing settings.

  2. Delivering consistent configuration and compliance as code, enabling consistency and reliability across devices.

  3. Providing purpose-built reports and dashboards for audit and security teams, resulting in continuous visibility into security and compliance status with respect to regulations like HIPPA and PCI and other internally defined protocols, irrespective of the success of the deployment or the health of app. 

Benefits of using Chef Edge Management

Benefits of using Chef Edge Management

Progress Chef is a code-based autonomous automation system for configuration management, system hardening, patch management, compliance audits, and application delivery that helps DevOps teams manage edge devices. Chef helps eliminate deployment problems and expedites release timelines. 

If you found this blog interesting, you should register for our upcoming webinar to know more about what you can achieve with Chef Edge Management.  

Join the discussion with Chaithra Mailankody, Associate Product Manager, & Adi Shankar, Product Marketing Specialist at Progress Chef. The webinar will cover:  

  • DevOps for software deployments at the edge 

  • Administration of globally distributed devices with diverse OS and hardware architectures 

  • Achieving operational effectiveness  



Adi Shankar

Adi is a Product Marketing Specialist at Progress Software