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Puppet – server management made easy

Aug 03, 2010, 01:33 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Koen Vervloesem)


Desktop-as-a-Service Designed for Any Cloud ? Nutanix Frame

[ Thanks to Linux User & Developer magazine for this link. ]

"If you have more than a handful of servers, maintaining them by hand becomes a tedious task. Of course, you can automate this with shell scripts, but this is an ad hoc solution. Puppet can help you to reach a more consistent way of managing your servers. All your configuration changes are made in a central repository and pushed to your various servers, which can be Linux, BSD or Solaris. There are lot of ready-made Puppet modules to configure various system components, and everyone can write their own Puppet modules.

"When you install an operating system on a server, you know more or less the exact configuration of the system: you have entered it manually during the installation or you have initialised it with an automated installation system such as Kickstart (Red Hat) or Jumpstart (Solaris). But from the moment the server starts running, the uncertainty about the configuration begins. For instance, let's say you have tweaked a configuration file without documenting it. When problems arise later, you decide to reinstall the system, but you have forgotten about the configuration change and you have to re-learn it the hard way. The result: you are losing time and making too many errors.

"The alternative to this trial-and-error method is using a configuration management system. This way, you enter your configuration changes in a central repository and push them to your various servers."

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