[Beowulf] Configuration management tools/strategy

Gregory Matthews greg.matthews at diamond.ac.uk
Mon Jan 7 02:31:19 PST 2013

On 06/01/13 13:38, Walid wrote:
> At work we are starting to evaluate Configuration management to be used
> to manage several diverse hpc clusters, and their diverse node types. I
> wanted to see what are other admins, and HPC users experience like, the
> ones that we will start evaluating are CFEngine3, Puppet, Chef,
> Saltstack, ansible, and blueprint. there might other products that we
> need to evluate in partnership such as Foreman, spacewalk, ..etc.
> I would like to hear from you if you did evaluate such tools, or using
> one, or have a different strategy in keeping and maintaining
> configurations.

We use cfengine across all of our Linux infrastructure including HPC. We 
have two basic kickstart configurations (servers and workstations) and 
everything else is configured via cfengine.

we are in the long process of converting our stock from cf2 to cf3. 
Community support is pretty good and the mailing list works well. We 
haven't made use of the relatively new "design centre" but we're pretty 
pleased with its performance and structure.

One caveat, doing anything with very large hashes/arrays can chew up a 
lot of memory. This is the one stain (that affects us) on what is 
otherwise a remarkably light-weight suite of software.


> Thank you,
> Walid
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Greg Matthews        01235 778658
Scientific Computing Group Leader
Diamond Light Source Ltd. OXON UK

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