Extreme Networks Contributes Advanced Functionality to the Linux Foundation's StackStorm Project

Today, new code was submitted to StackStorm that will improve user experience, enable LDAP integration, SSO (single sign-on), RBAC (role-based access control), and graphical workflow designer for the open-source cross-domain workflow automation platform

I’ve written in the past about the importance of cross-domain workflow automation and how it is a critical enabler of automation in the enterprise.

Today, I’m pleased to share that Extreme Networks is making significant contributions to the Linux Foundation by adding Extreme Workflow Composer code to the StackStorm Project. The newly contributed code improves the user experience and enables tighter security controls within the popular, StackStorm open-source event-driven automation and remediation platform. The contributions include:

  • Graphical Workflow Designer to author workflows for automation and remediation
  • LDAP backend plugin for integration with directory services such as Microsoft’s Active Directory
  • RBAC backend plugin to enable role-based access control on StackStorm contents and operations
  • SSO backend plugin to enable single sign on in the web UI

The graphical workflow designer provides a user-friendly interface for IT Ops Personnel. (Figure 1). The IT Operations personnel can mimic their existing manual or semi-manual processes by utilizing the workflow designer’s drag and drop feature to visually create a workflow on the canvas. Developers will have the ability to switch back and forth to the underlying YAML definition generated by the UI and edit the YAML directly.

Role-based access control (RBAC) is a security feature for controlling user access to contents and tasks that would normally be restricted to administrators. Administrators can define user roles and map contents and tasks to those roles. Users are then assigned to one or more roles. The LDAP backend plugin enables StackStorm administrators to integrate with existing user directories such as Microsoft’s Active Directory and maps new and existing user groups defined in the LDAP directory for RBAC roles.

Finally, the SSO backend lets StackStorm administrators configure the web UI to integrate with an organization’s identity provider for authentication.

These features were contributed today by Extreme Networks to augment the core StackStorm platform which Extreme Networks contributed in October 2019.

Figure 1: StackStorm Graphical Workflow Designer

Extreme Networks has long recognized the value of automation in improving the productivity and creativity of network engineering and cross-domain automation teams. Extreme is a long-standing member of The Linux Foundation and a founding member of the OpenSwitch Project.

Before transitioning to the Linux Foundation in October 2019, StackStorm’s development was driven exclusively by Extreme Networks and the Extreme Workflow Composer team. As part of Extreme Network embracing open source projects, we will continue to contribute to the StackStorm project.

StackStorm allows end-users to connect their apps, services, and workflows to automate and streamline critical IT-driven business processes. The platform offers event-driven workflow-centric automation, with infrastructure as code, built-to-scale microservice architecture, and rich extensibility. Common applications include automated remediation, continuous deployment, ChatOps, and automated security response. Its passionate user base includes tier-one service providers, retailers, media and entertainment companies, and technology providers.

There are many user success stories. A fantastic customer use case was written up by the team from Verizon and can be found here. More references can be found on the StackStorm website.

StackStorm continues to make strides and recently released Version 3.2 on May 1st, 2020.

You can also become an active member and discuss the latest requirements from your experience in working in the cross-domain automation field, by joining the Open Source Community on Slack.

Since October 2019, StackStorm is a project under the Linux Foundation. Others are invited to actively contribute use cases, code, passing ideas, and requests to the project’s Technical Steering Committee. More details can be found here in the Technical Charter.

We look forward in actively continuing our contribution to the StackStorm activities. We encourage and invite interested parties to participate in this exciting project.

About the Author
Joerg Bonarius
Senior Manager, Product Marketing

Joerg Bonarius is Product Marketing Manager working on the messaging and execution plans for networking solutions in the data centers of enterprise and service provider customers. His technology focus includes cloud, switching, routing, visibility, automation and network fabrics. Joerg began his career as a communications engineer.

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