[CentOS] managing a rack full of centos servers

Les Mikesell lesmikesell at gmail.com
Wed Jul 20 01:06:46 UTC 2011

On 7/19/11 6:43 PM, John R Pierce wrote:
> to date, I've done all my administration on a manual 1 at a time basis,
> as each system has been pretty much unique.
> its looking like I might need to setup a deployment of a dozen or 2
> basically identical machines, all running pretty much the same sorts of
> stuff.  I have zero experience with the sorts of management tools folks
> use to automate this type of configuration, both initial setup, and
> ongoing management (system updates, user application updates,
> configuration changes, etc).
> anyone care to suggest any such tools, maybe some real-world pros and
> cons?   of course, being centos, I prefer FOSS tools.   for various
> reasons, this environment likely will NOT be virtualized (although I may
> emulate a test setup with vmware).

It doesn't take that much time to manage a server.  For a dozen or two you 
probably can't save enough time to be worth setting up anything more than ssh 
keys on one that you use for management and a couple of scripts that loop over 
them to do things like 'ssh  $host "yum -y update" that you might do frequently. 
  For more ad-hoc things you can just open a bunch of terminal windows ssh'd to 
each and paste in the commands.

For the install you can copy the kickstart file that the first install creates 
to a web server and use it to duplicate the setup on the others.  You might want 
something like backuppc to keep a history of recent copies of at least /etc and 
anywhere else you have modified files.  If you do any complicated programming or 
scripting, you'll probably want subversion or some other version control system 
to manage the revisions.

   Les Mikesell
    lesmikesell at gmail.com

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