[CentOS-virt] virtual sprawl - managing password changes

Fri May 16 19:12:08 UTC 2008
Eli Stair <estair at ilm.com>

Theres nothing unique about VM's vs. standard machine deployments, you're 
looking at a standard UNIX admin practice.  I personally run cfengine for 
maintaining everything configuration-related across all *NIX'es, and 
LDAP/kerberos (via AD) for all non-root logins, across our entire enterprise. 
There are numerous ways to achieve "it" with varying levels of security, work, 
and knowledge required, but at the _simplest_ you could just maintain 
passwd/shadow/group/etc users via cfengine, or set up a basic NIS deployment 
for users (more trivial and easy to pick up than LDAP/.

The topic is more general than Centos/Xen, and you have an entire world of 
options in reality.  Pick one that you're comfortable with and meets your needs 
after asking (which you are).  If you ask a wide enough audience, you'll 
inevitably get pros/cons for each and every method, thus the requirement for 
you to do the research into them after.

So to answer as it sounds you want, I've been immensely happy with cfengine for 
handling anything you can conceive of as an administrator.  If you can do 
something from a shell, you can do it with cfengine in a very complex manner. 
For authentication, I actually recommend Active Directory, the ONLY microsoft 
product I recommend.  Unfortunately they don't have a Linux package :)



Jeff Larsen wrote:
> We are using the free VMware Server on CentOS 4. Almost all of our VMs
> are CentOS 4 as well. We have 7 VMware hosts with about 40 total
> virtual machines. It's been a very successful architecture for us.
> I'm wondering how the rest of the community is managing updates of
> root (and other local account) passwords in a virtual sprawl
> environment (or a physical environment with lots of hosts).
> I have read about things like expect, puttycs, centralize with kerberos, 
> etc.
> But I'm not looking for "options" here, I want to hear actual
> experiences! What has worked for you, what hasn't worked? Or do you
> feel that the chance for failure is to great and the results too
> catastrophic?
> Thanks,
> --
> Jeff
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