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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

FACT
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?

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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

2 Answers 2

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?

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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.

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