Andrew Latham

A recurring issue in most computer system infrastructure is the System of Record (SOR)[1] which is a source of truth about the desired state or the current state of systems and networks. Many outsiders or senior management are left to believe that the planned state and the current state are the same but that rarely happens. I have written a few SORs and enabled others to be more accurate. Much of the work on modern container image manifests [2] has made great advancements to a more complete language to communicate the details of an endpoint. An issue I would love to resolve is the assumption that a single application is the SOR. The reality is that a data service is the ultimately the SOR and many things might read from or write to it. Today if I was asked to write another SOR I would setup RethinkDB [3] and establish a table named 'help' that pointed to a table named 'standards' and thus became self documenting system.

SORs should also be free to access offline in emergencies and distributed systems like RethinkDB and even Git are perfect for this type of setup. A support person or team can maintain a local copy of the SOR with little to no overhead. Even tools like MediaWiki[4] are great as they can be duplicated or distributed as a side effect of their design. For discovery there are established tools like DNS SRV [5] that are often overlooked. A popular solution for datacentres is NetBox [6] which is a fine step forward from RackTables [7] which served many for years and is still not a horrible solution. In my spare time I hope to integrate a DCIM [8] solution into Odoo [9] to connect the various organizational groups together.

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/System_of_record
  2. https://github.com/opencontainers/image-spec/blob/master/manifest.md
  3. https://www.rethinkdb.com/
  4. https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SRV_record
  6. https://netbox.readthedocs.io/en/latest/
  7. https://www.racktables.org/
  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_center_infrastructure_management
  9. https://www.odoo.com/