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Old 10-07-2006, 03:22 PM   #1
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* Enterprise Network Install, over 100 pc's *

Hey guys

this is kind of a question/opinion

Im trying to build a scalable website in which i will have all the servers network boot and install their operating system based on what i tell it

Right now, i will be using rpath linux ( to build my own distro(actually 4 distros)

1. Mysql
2. Apache
3. Pop3/Smtp
4. Dns

Ive looked at some options like for a remote install for linux

but im just looking for some general direction

I know ill end up editing/hacking the living daylight out of the base program but eventually i want a scenario like the following:

for example, I have 10 servers,server 1 already has this "magical" program on it.

The rest of the servers will boot off the network, and download and install their operating system based on what server 1 has in its database

for example
it see's that we already have 4 mysql servers, and 1 apache, we need to add 2 more apache servers

So the server sends out and uploads the apache distro to 2 of the servers, and they can install and run the operating system...

Unattended has something, sort of similar, im wondering if there are any other availible methods

All opinions are welcomed, Thank you very much, this is a great community

Old 10-07-2006, 03:44 PM   #2
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Location: In the DC 'burbs
Distribution: Arch, Scientific Linux, Debian, Ubuntu
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If I were to do this, I'd probably use PXELinux to care of the "download and install the OS" part of it. I think if you work at it a bit, you could probably put together a series of shell scripts that keep track of what systems PXELinux has booted, what images it told them to get, and do some sort of balancing (so it automatically makes the next server boot MySQL if, say, you need another MySQL server). I've never actually gone through and done it, though.

You will probably want to combine this with Kickstart or similar for the OS installs, or just have the slaves NFS mount their root filesystems and have an image of all the diffeent root filesystems for all the various servers. Then you can reprovision servers just by rebooting them.
Old 10-07-2006, 03:53 PM   #3
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Thank you SO much for the advice!!

this is great, im going to get on it right away, I am pretty experienced in bash ( of course that doesnt say much, its bash, its easy )

But this is great advice, I have messed with PXE linux myself a little in the past, but you think I can acomplish all this with those 2 programs and a couple of well put together bash scripts??

And on restart they will not boot off the network
they will boot off the network, see they already have everything installed, and continue to the OS

This seems like a great way of going about things, do you see me running into any problems with DNS things? and or bandwith restrains?

I suppose I will test and see, i would love if the server was Mysql, or similar, it could recieve an internal dns name that i could probably also do with a bash script... dynamic dns rather, based on mac adress

Thank you so much btmiller, I will keep you updated on my progress, any other great advice?
Old 10-07-2006, 04:03 PM   #4
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also btmill, or anyone, do you have a recommendation for a particular pxe implementation? program?

err should i research this myself :]


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