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Old 02-18-2010, 02:45 AM   #1
jsteel
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Large-scale Management?


Hi,

Soon I hope to install Linux on 20+ computers and I would like to manage them from a central location.

This will include running updates, installing and removing software, altering configuration files etc. (everything you would want to do with Linux).

What management systems are there that will do this? After a quick search I have found Spacewalk for RPM-based distributions but it seems it does a little more than I need (and not simple to get up and running quickly); I wondered if there were any others before I spend time with this one. Is there something for Debian-based systems?

Or am I going down the wrong route with this? Is there a simpler way to accomplish these tasks?

Thanks

Last edited by jsteel; 02-18-2010 at 02:46 AM.
 
Old 02-18-2010, 07:24 AM   #2
Simon Bridge
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Debian systems have apt-cache which allows one of your computers to act as a caching apt repository. All the others get their updates from that.

rpm systems have something similar - you just run a local mirror for the packages you have installed.

All the machines can be administered by remote from a terminal.
There is a lot written on linux based network admin, though you should realise that 20 hosts is not "large scale".

Some people set up thin clients or use each fat box for multiple-seats.
 
Old 02-18-2010, 07:37 AM   #3
jsteel
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>All the machines can be administered by remote from a terminal.

Do you mean one at a time? As I'm interested in being able to run the same command(s) on all computers at once.

>There is a lot written on linux based network admin

I've spend some days researching and I've not found much help on managing multiple computers at once.

>you should realise that 20 hosts is not "large scale".

By 20+, I meant just a few to start with and test, and then potentiality bring that figure into the 100s.

>Some people set up thin clients or use each fat box for multiple-seats.

Yes, I was thinking of trying thin clients, but for now am researching the possibility of having the OS locally installed.
 
Old 02-18-2010, 07:42 AM   #4
willl_d
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This month's Linux Journal has a good few pages on "Large Scale" Systems Administration and the tools available to help you (such as spacewalk, nagios, alienvault, etc...). I'm a Red Hat Satellite customer for a midsize implementation (about 120 servers across 2 Satellite servers), and it works very well for my needs. Spacewalk being the open source version for Fedora and other distros. You can remotely manage and execute commands via these platforms.
 
Old 02-18-2010, 11:51 AM   #5
centosboy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsteel View Post
Hi,

Soon I hope to install Linux on 20+ computers and I would like to manage them from a central location.

This will include running updates, installing and removing software, altering configuration files etc. (everything you would want to do with Linux).

What management systems are there that will do this? After a quick search I have found Spacewalk for RPM-based distributions but it seems it does a little more than I need (and not simple to get up and running quickly); I wondered if there were any others before I spend time with this one. Is there something for Debian-based systems?

Or am I going down the wrong route with this? Is there a simpler way to accomplish these tasks?

Thanks
puppet is a good choice, as is cfengine.
how many systems exactly??? spacewalk *might* be a bit overkill depending on the number of systems....you certainly need to install a lot of software to get spacewalk running...
 
Old 02-18-2010, 12:38 PM   #6
jsteel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by centosboy View Post
puppet is a good choice, as is cfengine.
how many systems exactly??? spacewalk *might* be a bit overkill depending on the number of systems....you certainly need to install a lot of software to get spacewalk running...
Thanks, I'll definitely check those two out. Yes I was worried Spacewalk was a little too much. I'm creating a small test environment but eventually I hope to have 100+ computers.
 
Old 02-18-2010, 07:42 PM   #7
chrism01
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For 100+ systems, Spacewalk would be worth a look. No point in changing management systems as the set grows, if you KNOW it's going to get that big.
 
Old 02-19-2010, 03:55 AM   #8
centosboy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrism01 View Post
For 100+ systems, Spacewalk would be worth a look. No point in changing management systems as the set grows, if you KNOW it's going to get that big.
I'd be willing to give spacewalk a trial run if i could find a virtual appliance
 
Old 03-01-2010, 11:10 AM   #9
Longword
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Lightbulb

As a follow-up to Chris's post: if you do plan to go to 100+ systems take a look at Ops Center as well. It handles RHEL/SLES RPM-based distros... but unfortunately doesn't support Debian.
 
  


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