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Intro to Automating System Administration with Cfengine 3

Jun 08, 2010, 22:37 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Neil H. Watson, Aleksey Tsalolikhin)

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"Cfengine allows system administrators to control servers from a central location. Administrators are able to make a single manual change and have that change automatically deployed to all desired hosts across the network. Cfengine continuously ensures that these changes are applied. This can save an organization time and money.

"Cfengine has been around since 1993. It now on version 3. Cfengine is open source but also has a professional services company. Cfengine also has a commercial version which offers additional features.

"In practice, Cfengine runs at periodic intervals. After each run, we can expect the system to be at the desired configured state or to move closer to it. A single run does not guarantee 100% implementation of policy as there might be dependencies. For example, let's say you have policies that SNMP package needs to be installed and SNMP daemon needs to be up and accepting connections. One the first pass, Cfengine may install the SNMP package, on the next pass, it will start the daemon. Cfengine can report the percentage of its promises that it was able to keep."

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