SaltStack Releases Three New Open-Source Modules
January 15, 2020

SaltStack announced the availability of three new open-source innovation modules: Heist, Umbra, and Idem.

These modules were developed using Salt Plugin Oriented Programming (POP), a simple and efficient system to build pluggable projects and applications, offering developers flexibility to ideate at scale and focus on innovation rather than project maintenance.

"It has been almost nine years since I created the Salt open-source project. With its success came the shared burden of trying to balance project maintenance with new innovation. Within the Salt project we needed a better way so I created POP for plugin oriented programming," said Thomas Hatch, SaltStack CTO. "POP creates modularity for developers while allowing them to efficiently maintain code while adding innovative and creative new capabilities. We're working to liberate software development and open source innovation traditionally bogged down by tedious maintenance demands."

The Salt open-source project has created one of the most widely adopted open-source technologies of the last decade with a dynamic and friendly support community. The Salt infrastructure automation and configuration management engine is known for being the most powerful and scalable automation platform in the world and serves as the foundation for SaltStack commercial products. Salt is also used by companies like Juniper, Cloudflare, Nutanix, SUSE, Tieto, LinkedIn, eBay, and thousands more to automate the management and security of diverse infrastructure at scale.

POP has already been used for the development of three new open-source projects named Heist, Umbra, and Idem, all of which will drive efficiency and new innovation into the Salt open-source project.

Heist: The Heist plug-in system is a completely new alternative to infrastructure change automation that combines the best of both agent and agentless architectures. Heist enables the development and distribution of dissolvable agents allowing users to open an SSH tunnel, send a portable agent to a target system, automate the work of system change and configuration, then remove every trace of the agent including the tunnel.

Umbra: The Umbra plug-in system attaches infrastructure data streams to artificial intelligence / machine learning (AI/ML) programs for fully autonomous infrastructure automation and configuration management. Umbra guides users through the IT and security operations decisions too often made in the dark. After Umbra attaches to a data stream it prepares the data for machine learning, achieving visibility and efficiency that was previously impossible within AI/ML models.

Idem: The Idem plug-in system is an idempotent, imperatively executed, declarative programming language. It exposes stateful programming constructs to make tasks such as the enforcement of the state of an application very simple. Idem can also be used for data processing and complex rule engines for the processing of files or workflows. Idem is unique in that it is built purely as a language and as such can be added to any type of infrastructure automation or systems management tool and easily applied across platforms.

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