OSEHRA VistA Appliances

Hello!  After spinning GNU/Linux appliances for years for other projects, I started the process of sketching out requirements for an Ubuntu-based OSEHRA VistA appliance.  While the initial motive is selfish to give me a software configuration management rich development environment for my MUMPS projects, it occurs to me I should see what folks here are doing and whether there's been a call for any formal development of an OSEHRA VistA appliance model.  Love to hear your thoughts!  Thanks in advance.

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Comments

OSEHRA VistA Appliances

Ignacio Valdes's picture
It has been done a lot over the years. Astronaut http://astronautvista.com was one of them. They are good for development, they are often lacking for production. 


On Thu, Apr 6, 2017 at 10:31 AM, Christian Bryant <cabryant@mednet.ucla.edu> wrote:

Hello!  After spinning GNU/Linux appliances for years for other projects, I started the process of sketching out requirements for an Ubuntu-based OSEHRA VistA appliance.  While the initial motive is selfish to give me a software configuration management rich development environment for my MUMPS projects, it occurs to me I should see what folks here are doing and whether there's been a call for any formal development of an OSEHRA VistA appliance model.  Love to hear your thoughts!  Thanks in advance.

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Opportunity?

Coretta Cobalt's picture

Thanks, Ignacio.  I actually am thinking about this from the development perspective.  Should have noted that.  There are a couple VMs and other code bundles I have accessed from this project and make use of, but a formal change managed appliance with the latest tools, packages and patches for developers to have access to seems like a good idea.  And if, as you note, the appliances out there are often lacking in Prod quality, it would be an excellent model for active developers with the interest to strengthen the requirements for such appliances, build Prod quality features into these so others could use them as a template minus the dev tools, of course).  Security, perfomance, configuration management, etc. are all qualities that shoudl be designed into the appliances.

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OSEHRA VistA Appliances

Christopher Edwards's picture
Christian:

There are vagrant based machines and docker based machines that have been created:


The Vagrant based machine uses a bash script called autoInstaller.sh that is designed to be mostly independent from the base os. The are only a few places where there are dependencies (apt vs yum, and some differences on filesystem layouts that are more traditional RHEL vs Debian differences). I wrote both of these out of my own desire to have a development environment setup quickly from scratch with what I wanted and some production best practices thrown in (That isn't to say that either of these are ready for production).

I'm always looking for more improvements to what is there and more contributors to the above code bases.

Regards

-- 
Christopher Edwards

KRM Associates, Inc.
PO Box 3326
207 S Princess St Suite 204
Shepherdstown, WV 25443
Office: 304.876.6600 x504
Christopher.Edwards@krminc.com



On Thu, Apr 6, 2017 at 11:59 AM, Christian Bryant <cabryant@mednet.ucla.edu> wrote:

Thanks, Ignacio.  I actually am thinking about this from the development perspective.  Should have noted that.  There are a couple VMs and other code bundles I have accessed from this project and make use of, but a formal change managed appliance with the latest tools, packages and patches for developers to have access to seems like a good idea.  And if, as you note, the appliances out there are often lacking in Prod quality, it would be an excellent model for active developers with the interest to strengthen the requirements for such appliances, build Prod quality features into these so others could use them as a template minus the dev tools, of course).  Security, perfomance, configuration management, etc. are all qualities that shoudl be designed into the appliances.




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Thumbs Up for Vagrant

Coretta Cobalt's picture

Christopher, I use Vagrant and love it.  It's actually why I started thinking about an appliance.  Here's where I'm coming from:  1) Build and install scripts are excellent for change managed toolsets, but most don't set the endpoint environment install parameters (OS, libs, services, security, etc).  Even containers like Docker aren't always the best route, depending on your requirements.  2) I tend to feel the best way to test against real-world scenarios from the appserver perspective is to raise a system that is as close to a Prod environment as possible (some folks might use containers in Prod, so Docker would be fine for them).  So, Vagrant would actually be useful in the creation of the template of an appliance, but I want to generate a system that could be raised in a Prod-like setting and tested for stress, security, scalability, etc. with reliable results.  I work with tools like Cfengine, Chef and Puppet and Ubuntu Customization Toolkit, so this is where I'm trying to find a workflow that would intake a user's requirements and spin appliances that would be useful for DEV/POC/TST environments and serve as a model for the final PRD release.  Just thinking aloud at the moment, but the responses are helping me tailor my idea into a document.  Thanks! 

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OSEHRA VistA Appliances

Christopher Edwards's picture
I wrote autoInstaller.sh to only deal with the VistA/M side of the equation. if you have different host setups that can be done as a base box in vagrant/docker. I always intended for the autoInstaller.sh script to be turned into a chef recipe that can be parameterized so that it could be scaled up/down. I don't have the time for that right now, but I suspect that if you wanted to evolve that existing script into a Chef cookbook it could do exactly what you are asking for.

Regards

-- 
Christopher Edwards

KRM Associates, Inc.
PO Box 3326
207 S Princess St Suite 204
Shepherdstown, WV 25443
Office: 304.876.6600 x504
Christopher.Edwards@krminc.com



On Thu, Apr 6, 2017 at 12:27 PM, Christian Bryant <cabryant@mednet.ucla.edu> wrote:

Christopher, I use Vagrant and love it.  It's actually why I started thinking about an appliance.  Here's where I'm coming from:  1) Build and install scripts are excellent for change managed toolsets, but most don't set the endpoint environment install parameters (OS, libs, services, security, etc).  Even containers like Docker aren't always the best route, depending on your requirements.  2) I tend to feel the best way to test against real-world scenarios from the appserver perspective is to raise a system that is as close to a Prod environment as possible (some folks might use containers in Prod, so Docker would be fine for them).  So, Vagrant would actually be useful in the creation of the template of an appliance, but I want to generate a system that could be raised in a Prod-like setting and tested for stress, security, scalability, etc. with reliable results.  I work with tools like Cfengine, Chef and Puppet and Ubuntu Customization Toolkit, so this is where I'm trying to find a workflow that would intake a user's requirements and spin appliances that would be useful for DEV/POC/TST environments and serve as a model for the final PRD release.  Just thinking aloud at the moment, but the responses are helping me tailor my idea into a document.  Thanks! 




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Chef Cookbook

Coretta Cobalt's picture

Christopher, I will look at the idea of turning that script into a Chef Cookbook.  Excellent idea.  Thanks for your input, and also the work you put into these tools.  Vagrant was the "aha" moment for me when I first started experimenting with OSEHRA VistA.  Thanks!

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OSEHRA VistA Appliances

Hadrian Zbarcea's picture
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Cloud Resources

Coretta Cobalt's picture

Hey, Hadrian!  I'm curious what cloud resources you have available?  Do you prefer systems work or coding?  In the meantime, I'm going to get to work on the Chef Cookbook but also plan to pause after that to make sure there is use in the activity, and in the end goal. 

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OSEHRA VistA Appliances

Hadrian Zbarcea's picture
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