Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am working on a project that would require the following :
- Central administration of multiple servers over multiple locations
- Secure connections between multiple locations
- Manage multiple servers configurations

There will be from 6 to around 30 hosts.
All OS are going to be 64bit Ubuntu 9.10.
Hosts are going to be in North America, Europe and India.

What software(s) could I use to manage all hosts?

What software(s) could I use to manage and deploy configurations?
I've looked at Chef, Puppet and Bcfg2. Puppet and Chef look complex to deploy, considering the small number of hosts, is there a better way or best suited application to do this?

For securing connections, should I look for a SSH or VPN solution?

share|improve this question
6-30 hosts is not small! It's too large to sensibly manage without puppet. As far as configuring configuration goes, Puppet is by far one of the easiest. – Tom O'Connor Mar 1 '10 at 2:43
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Puppet for deploying and management. Securing - vpn + SeLinux (ssh as a de-facto).

To manage all hosts - what you mean? Read logs? Rebooting? Full remote control?

May be RADIUS+LDAP as AAA? Please, be concrete.

And what is "cluster" do you mean?

share|improve this answer
Sorry for the confusion. <br> I guess I will have to take a decision on the configuration management so I can define my needs better. After thinking about it, If I find a way to get all server on a private network (over WAN), this will lower my configuration needs and I could use bash/perl scripts to configure a new server (setup interfaces, private network, base packages) so it gets on the networks easily. <br> I will continue reading on this, thank you for your answer. – Embreau Feb 28 '10 at 23:51
I see. So, I have about 20 servers over all world. All what I need to do, I just do with VPN. I have RADIUS+LDAP for authentication, authorization and accounting. Its very easy for me as system administrator - I have only two servers (main and backup) with FreeRadius and OpenLDAP. So, any new configuration or upgrading old is very simple with Puppet. Example: new server in Germany-over IP KVM I set interface and ssh. After all I start Puppet scripts here, from my home. After ~30 minutes I have new server with anything, what I need. – Nadz Goldman Mar 1 '10 at 2:07

To manage and deploy configurations, I suggest you look at Cfengine 3, which is a configuration management solution that you didn't mention. It is extremely lightweight, and won't put too much overhead on a small-ish infrastructure of up to 30 servers.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.