Striving for greatness

Thoughts on emerging tech, open source, and life

[Gentoo] Enterprise-wide network/systems management

We had a discussion tonight on the uses of our newly released installer and how it could help increase enterprise use of Gentoo. One of the things that came up was using it as a plugin to some sort of Web-based management framework along the lines of RHN. Immediately we thought no reason existed for such a tool to be distribution-specific; as needed, it could have distro-specific plugins as gnome-system-tools does.

Nobody on #gentoo-installer knew of an open-source project designed to install and administer entire networks of machines along with monitoring and auditing of the network itself, so I went looking for one. The ideal system would have a plugin-based architecture, so the administrator could decide how much power the Web interface had. This would reduce the potential damage from screwups or security holes in the interface. Plugins would be available for installation of systems, installation and update of either specific packages or the entire system, backup/recovery, network monitoring and network auditing.

The goal of such a project is to have a single tool for creating and managing the network holistically, including the individual computers within the network as well as the network itself. This would reduce the work necessary for the network/systems administrator by centralizing and simplifying network maintenance.

What did I find?
m23: A Debian-specific tool for installation and administration of “hundreds of clients.”
LRS — Linbox Rescue Server: Centralizes images, backups, etc. Can restore with PXE, multicast TFTP, or using a bootable medium.
LCM — Linux Cluster Manager: A Beowulf cluster installation/management tool that can run commands, show stats, and do system imaging.

That’s about it. Anyone seen more?

Update: I’m talking primarily about management and configuration tools, not installation tools. Don’t tell me about kickstart etc, I know about it.

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Written by Donnie Berkholz

August 21, 2005 at 1:20 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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