[CentOS] Spacewalk or Puppet?

Christoph Maser cmr at financial.com
Thu Nov 5 07:33:47 UTC 2009

Am Mittwoch, den 04.11.2009, 23:42 +0100 schrieb Les Mikesell:
> Christoph Maser wrote:
> >
> >>>> But will the tool do these changes for me?
> >>> The tool will do anything you tell it to, it's a generic tool.
> >> OK, but if I have to write the script, why wouldn't I just write the
> >> script my way and automate it over ssh which already works instead of
> >> learning some new language and having to install some new agent
> >> everywhere to run it?
> >
> > Just a small real life example. Every now and then we find that some
> > webservers on our farm do not have a specific sysctl config set (tcp fin
> > timeout). If you fix that with an ssh loop or mussh you have it fixed
> > now, just until you add a new server to the farm month later. If you use
> > a management tool it will find that this particular server belongs to
> > the farm and should have it set, does it for you and activates it. How
> > do you do that with manual interaction?
> If I wrote the script I would either have set it up to run regularly
> with a list of targets where it is needed and add new members to the
> list as appropriate

Hey wait, isnt that what the management tools provide a framework for? I
think this is _the_ essential point.

>  or I'd add the setup to our stock images so it
> wouldn't be needed as a special case.  But in my experience, the kinds
> of things that need time consuming configuration aren't that predictable
> ahead of time.  What do you do when they relate to the switch where
> something is connected or something other than the group you've put the
> server in?

Well if you have an automatic way of finding out wich switch it is
connected to you can use that as condition inside the management
solution. If you put the server in the wrong group i'd call that human
error. Btw. machines are not in one group. You can use multiple groups
at the same time, so one for the server-group, one for the OS, one for
the switch its on, one for the rack it is in etc etc. But you propably
know that.

Back to the first part. I really prefer learning puppet/cfengine about
writing an armada of tools myself to have my scripts be run reliable and
secure on _every_ host. Plus i might get some additional cool features
from the framework too.


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