Jet Mariscal

Author Archives: Jet Mariscal

Automating data center expansions with Airflow

Automating data center expansions with Airflow

Cloudflare’s network keeps growing, and that growth doesn’t just come from building new data centers in new cities. We’re also upgrading the capacity of existing data centers by adding newer generations of servers — a process that makes our network safer, faster, and more reliable for our users.

Connecting new Cloudflare servers to our network has always been complex, in large part because of the amount of manual effort that used to be required. Members of our Data Center and Infrastructure Operations, Network Operations, and Site Reliability Engineering teams had to carefully follow steps in an extremely detailed standard operating procedure (SOP) document, often copying command-line snippets directly from the document and pasting them into terminal windows.

But such a manual process can only scale so far, and we knew must be a way to automate the installation of new servers.

Here’s how we tackled that challenge by building our own Provisioning-as-a-Service (PraaS) platform and cut by 90% the amount of time our team spent on mundane operational tasks.

Choosing and using an automation framework

When we began our automation efforts, we quickly realized it made sense to replace each of these manual SOP steps with an API-call equivalent and Continue reading