[olug] Question: package / system for administrating multiple very similar systems ?

Will Langford unfies at gmail.com
Sat Apr 21 00:59:11 UTC 2007


Got a question that you guys have experience with.  I work for a company
that has a few dozen linux servers running in the field across several
states.  All of these systems share a common parent (ghost image).  Whenever
there's a network wide change to be made that is applicable to all of the
systems, it currently requires us to log into each system and perform the
update.  With an ever growing number of systems to manage, the time it takes
to do a global update can be several hours.

Is there a pre-built 'update' system that will fetch new updates from a
central source and apply them as they're discovered (at some set interval
from cron or something) ?  The updates will all be custom built by us.

Our remote systems are running RH 9.0 with many modifications to suit our
needs... so an rpm based solution would be fine.  Yes, RH9 - they've been in
service for that long... and I believe one of our systems has a 400+ day
uptime currently :).

The ideal solution would be something that's fairly simple and not overly
complex.  Packages themselves can be configured to self-determine if they're
required to be run on the server they find themselves on.

I've been a command line dweller for about 10 years, so I should have
adequate experience to set anything up, but if it requires more than 2 hours
of my time to get a skeleton up, it's out of the question.

A few of the automatic systems I only gave a passing throught to would be
up2date and yast... both of which seem like they might be a bear to
configure... or well beyond our needs.  I could be wrong though ?


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