System administrators are being asked to deploy more services with less help these days. With turnover also happening more quickly with the economy decline, its crucial that the IT staff has a well documented server configuration environment. The OSU Open Source Lab has utilized cfengine with an SCM for several years and was key to its growth and success. You should attend if you’re having trouble keeping track of configuration changes on all your servers, trouble keeping the team on the same page with those changes, or if you want to have a history of the changes you make.
The key to creating such an environment is a two fold process:
While there are several SCM’s to choose from out there, this session will focus primarily on using git in conjunction with cfengine. Any material and ideas from this session can easily be adapted to other systems such as puppet with subversion, etc. This also session assumes the attendee has experience with some form of SCM (preferably git), and cfengine. I will go over small details of each but the primary goal is to describe the work flow.
Integrating revision control into a system like cfengine makes managing hundreds or thousands of machines a lot easier. Emails act like a self policing mechanism inside the group where each person and see the change in real time and suggest alternatives. As a whole in creates an environment where you have an excellent idea of how your servers are setup and everyone in your group also knows.
Lance is the Lead Systems Administrator/Architect for the Oregon State University Open Source Lab (OSL) and a Gentoo Linux Developer. He joined the Gentoo Linux project in 2003 and have been involved in managing their infrastructure and maintaining about a dozen or so packages in portage. Lance manages all of the hosting activities that the OSL provides for the open source community including projects such as Kernel.org, Drupal, Apache Software Foundation, and many many more. Lance has been at the OSL since 2007.
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