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Re: Cluster Administration

> Previously Rainer Dorsch wrote:
> > Currently, Debian package management is sufficient for a single workstation, 
> > but insufficient for a cluster. This problem has to be addresses sooner or 
> > later, if you want to run Debian on a workstation cluster.
> Indeed. This is not limited to clusters, the same problems occur with
> labrooms. There are a couple of methods to solve this. The most
> popular at the moment is probably using rdist or rsync to keep the
> workstation in sync with a central repository. I used that succesfully for
> about 30 machines, using a perl-script that only runs rdist on outdated
> trees (rdist is reaaalll slow in comparing).


This is very important for us.  Our network is nearly 20 machines in 
various x86 flavors, powerpc and alpha.  In addition we maintain a number 
of gateway machines at client facilities connected to other ISP's -
some on leased/static or dialup connections and others on cable 
modems with DHCP.

We have a perl/mysql version of tripwire that tracks and compares 
directories, files, permissions and can make simple fixes if a file
differs relative to the `master' machine.  It has the rudiments
for setting up different boot scripts (rc.local, rc.routes) depending
on the services and routing for any particular host.

Beside the fact I could not get mysql to run on alpha or powerpc,
it was useful with our older tarball distribution maintaining sync
between various machines.  There are all sorts of conceptual 
difficulties with it in a `package' environment since it works at
a file level, but I don't see why it could not be abstracted to
work at a `package' level as well.

I'd be happy to send that to anyone who wanted it.

> I think we need to setup a debian-cluster or debian-largesite list to
> address these issues. Debian-devel traffic is already high enough.




Christopher F. Miller, Publisher                            cfm@maine.com
MaineStreet Communications, Inc        208 Portland Road, Gray, ME  04039
1.207.657.5078  (MTRF 3-5pm)                        http://www.maine.com/

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