Strategies for automated deployment

How to deploy a large fleet of Linux devices into production

At one point in time a strategy is necessary to determine how to onboard large number of devices in production. Through its possibility to create multiple bootstrap keys and associate to the devices to specific groups by bootstrap key this works fairly well. Then a master image or mechanism to run the qbee agent during provisioning needs to be implemented. We will show two ways of doing this below. Please note:

  • custom bootstrap keys allow automated association of devices to groups (with different configuration)
  • many bootstrap keys can be created and deleted. This allows to use new keys for each production badge allowing very good control of the devices

Most of our customers use one of the following ways of onboarding fleets of edge devices into production:

  • use a qbee-agent configuration file that contains a bootstrap key. Read more about it here
  • use a script with the bootstrap key
  • use a master image in which the bootstrap key can be defined. Then execute a script to bootstrap with that key. An example for a Raspberry Pi image is given here
  • use chroot to mount an SD and insert a defined bootstrap key as shown here

If you need help for mass production please reach out to us.

Saving bandwidth and bootstrap time under deployment

If you have large files that should be deployed you can solve this by using a state directory in your image which is prepopulated. The idea here is that you download all the initial large files and make them part of your image. This helps to speed up initial bootstrap since these files do not need to be downloaded and it also saves the bandwidth. Click here to learn how to create a state directory for time/bandwidth conservation when manufacturing an appliance.