The SpecialOps team is currently investigating some method for configuration management. We've ended up managing more DebianLinux boxes then we'd originally expected and the membership of the SpecialOps team is a bit more dynamic then we'd expected so if nothing else we need a good way to manage users on each system. It was started with [http://lists.personaltelco.net/pipermail/ptp/2002q3/014225.html this thread] posted by AdamShand to the MailingList.

If you have any knowledge on how to manage config files using tools like CVS or cfengine we'd love to hear from you. In addition SteveBeattie and WilCooley recommended the Infrastructure site as great reference material and that a pull approach was better then a push approach.

Here are some of the options were are currently investigating:

CFengine

It has been recommended by several people as a good solution but none of the SpecialOps team has actually used it. MichaelRasmussen is checking it out.

CVS

The main problem with CVS is that it's hard to manage when you want some files to be identical across all machines (passwd/shadow) and other files to be different for every machine (resolv.conf/hosts). There was a good post on a DebianLinux MailingList referencing one way of doing it. SteveBeattie had another suggestion of using CVS brances to control which versions of files go out to given servers.

CVSup

Another possibility might be CVSup which I know even less about then CVS :-).


There is an annotated list of software that's mentioned on the infrastuture.org site that's pretty useful.


Configuration management is actually one of the core disciplines within ITIL, ITIL being a methodology which is becoming an increasingly common currency, and is already used widely across the world. It might be worth cross-referencing your method against this to ensure greater portability, or at least aligning your solution within the bounds of a international protocol. For more information on ITIL, perhaps the best place to start is the ITIL User Community

This may seem esoteric, but I think sometimes it helps to look 'top down'.


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