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Re: Automatic deployment and maintenance

On Fri, Jul 13, 2007 at 09:03:26AM +0200, Sebastien JUST wrote:
> Hello
> I'm looking for software that could help me deploying, and keep track of 
> installed software on my machines. We have more 10 Debian servers and 40 
> end-user machines.

I think you can probably use existing tools to do this without much
difficulty. I have no great experience in this, so ignore the obvious
failures on my part.

First off, can you run these end-user machines as net boot machines?
set up a terminal server and then you only have to update images for
these machines to pull at boot time. 

> I dream of a software solution like this :
> - web based,
> - that could keep track of installed Debian machines,
> - that owns its own repositories ( depending on groups of machines, say 
> Office, Server, Development, Advanced Users... )

you can run your own apt repositories and name then accordingly so
that the sources.list files on appropriate machines point to
appropriate targets.

or if running a terminal server, run multiple images for the different roles.

> - that can update its own repositories depending on available upgrades on 
> Debian Mirrors

again, running your own apt repositories would do this. there are
several ways to do it, so do some searching.

> - that can push updates to installed machines,

I think pushing is a bad idea, better to pull.

> - keep track of OS versions, and packages diff

apt sort of does this automatically. What do you want to know?

> - manually push specific debian packages on machines, and ask machines for 
> updates

again pushing is probably not good. But you could set up something to
automate the pulling so that when you've tested updates on your
testing machines, you can set a flag somewhere to force the pulling
machines to automatically upgrade. cron-apt and others can do
automated, unattended upgrades, but you'd want to configure it so that
it only did so in certain circumstances. Maybe a tiered approach to
your own apt repositories. PUll upgrades into the first tier and
deploy on test machines. WHen you're satisfied, push those upgrades
into the next tier where all your machines can pull them automatically.

> - show diffs between local installed packages and repositories

again, apt can do this easily, depending on what you need. 

So, nothing real helpful I know, but maybe there's some helpful ideas
in there.


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