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Re: speculations to characterize issues for Debian Enterprise

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On Thu, Aug 12, 2010 at 00:04, CJ Fearnley <cjf@cjfearnley.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Aug 12, 2010 at 11:28:26AM +1000, Geoff Crompton wrote:
>> CJ Fearnley wrote:
>>> 4. Configuration management.
>>>    * I mean at the Debian packaging level primarily.  But unless puppet
>>>      solves the problem for everyone (and I'm not yet convinced), there
>>>      is broader design work needed too.
>>>    * Another hard problem.  More than "just work", as it requires
>>>      creative new ideas too!
>> Russ description of this server class packages made me immediately
>> wonder why he wasn't using puppet for that. Perhaps that is what
>> Standford were doing before they started using puppet, and have
>> continued their practice.
>> Can you mention why you don't think puppet is the right solution?
>> Clearly the defaults on any package will not suit every enterprise, and
>> some customisation is required. Puppet can do that just as well as a vi
>> session, or a local configuration package.
> In my operation every client has 1-10 servers (so none are big enough to
> benefit from many common configuration patterns).  That is, each server
> is unique in hardware, domain name and in most other configuration details
> (every client seems to have different requirements and so needs different
> software with different integration behavior).  Plus due to organizational
> boundaries, we are hyper-concerned about security (each system is behind
> network firewalls plus host-based firewalls plus several extra layers
> to protect ssh).
> For example, several clients want a web-based user management tool and
> some of their networks are LDAP (each with a different schema, of course),
> AD (also with different schemas), or traditional unix passwd.  So ideally,
> we need a configuration management tool that can flexibly work with
> databases, LDAP _and_ files (and that doesn't need to be refactored with
> every major upgrade of Debian).  So I remain very skeptical of centralized
> approaches that provide leverage primarily for homogeneous use cases.
> I'm overwhelmed by excessive heterogeneity.  The only thing in common
> to all of our systems is Debian policy which is the baseline for all of
> our customizations!
> At Debconf10, I came to learn that puppet is possibly light-weight
> enough that it might help even for our situation.  So it is now on the
> TODO list.  But I remain very skeptical that another level of abstraction
> can do anything but increase complexity.
> --
> We are on a spaceship; a beautiful one.  It took billions of years to develop.
> We're not going to get another.  Now, how do we make this spaceship work?
>  -- Buckminster Fuller
> CJ Fearnley                |  Explorer in Universe
> cjf@CJFearnley.com         |  "Dare to be Naive" -- Bucky Fuller
> http://www.CJFearnley.com  |  http://blog.remoteresponder.net/
> --
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