Archive for June, 2008

System administration assistance

Do you know Nagios? It is a service and resource monitor helping the admin to keep an eye on the hosts. I have been working with the 2.x (now legacy) series for a while, haven’t worked with the 3.x series by now. I am going to install 3.0.2 on some new machines today and migrate the servers with the anterior 2.x to stable 3.x as soon as everything is working fine.

Another chunk of software that recently caught my attention is called puppet. It is “an automated administrative engine for your *nix systems, performs administrative tasks (such as adding users, installing packages, and updating server configurations) based on a centralized specification.” Sounds pretty interesting, but it is getting better. “Puppet can let you focus more on how things should be done and less on doing them.” Puppet is open source and is released under the GNU Public License.

And I came across cfengine, a project that was started in 1993 and is similar to the operational area of puppet and released under the GPL, too. Like puppet it is used in both large and small companies, as well as in many universities and governmental institutions.

When I took a closer look at their sites to check who is using which software, both projects state that sites of several thousand hosts are common. That are dimensions where I have to admit I am obviously impressed. And the absence of proper tools for system administration and assistance software is really unthinkable.

Once again the quintessence is that there is a lot of great software available for your needs if you just dig for it. Keep you shovels steady!