[Beowulf] Configuration management tools/strategy

tegner at renget.se tegner at renget.se
Mon Jan 7 03:10:51 PST 2013

Running a rather small cluster, and just swtched from puppet to salt - mostly because it is written in python, and I'm more comfortable with that. Haven't used neither puppet nor salt much, but both satisfies my rather basic needs.


Tim Cutts <tjrc at sanger.ac.uk> skrev:

>On 6 Jan 2013, at 18:55, Skylar Thompson <skylar.thompson at gmail.com>
>> CFengine probably isn't a bad choice - going with something that's
>> well-tested and -used is helpful because it's a lot easier to get
>> recipes for what you need to do.
>We use cfengine2 and cfengine3 here; still in the middle of migrating
>from one to the other.  We also evaluated puppet, at the time we were
>deciding whether to move to cfengine3.  Puppet vs. cfengine is very
>much another emacs vs. vi religious debate.  There are strengths and
>weaknesses to both, I think.  Puppet's manifest syntax is higher level
>and somewhat easier to get to grips with when you start, but anything
>more sophisticated and you have to start writing extensions in Ruby,
>and that language is one of my pet hates.  One thing some people may
>object to, which may or may not be because it's written in ruby, is the
>amount of RAM puppet uses while running.  Some might consider that to
>be unacceptably disruptive, depending on the size of your nodes and how
>fully utilised the RAM normally is.  CFengine's terminology is
>confusing.  Promisers and promisees; unnecessary terminology which just
>obfuscates things.  And easily typo'd one for the other as well.  But
>it does work, a
>nd it's relatively lightweight.  The commercial pricing, if you want
>the extra features that brings, is extremely expensive.  But I agree
>with Skylar, CFengine is well-established, and there's a lot of
>expertise out there.  Increasingly, that's true of the others as well,
>> The one on the list I can absolutely
>> recommend against is Spacewalk - we use RHN Satellite (the commercial
>> version of Spacewalk) and it is easily the worst configuration
>> management system I have ever seen.
>We use another commercial version of Spacewalk, SuSE Manager, to manage
>patch levels on our SLES boxes.  We don't use it for any other distros,
>and not for configuration management other than patch levels.  It's not
>very pleasant to use, I agree - Fixing bugs in its scripts just to get
>it to install, and then fighting with Novell's hideous licensing model
>for it, took months.  Not pleasant.
>For Debian and Ubuntu we use FAI for deployment, which works pretty
>nicely.  Obviously both cfengine and FAI config setups are under
>version control.

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