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I'm interested in setting up a generic system image that can be deployed to machines through a netboot. I'm wondering if there is a relatively painless (and if there's not, that's fine too!) way to getting this accomplished.

Overall, I'm interested in getting tips on:

  • Creating a generic OS image that all machines will utilize.
  • Maintaining a list of static IPs, machine names and OS images mapped to MAC addresses.
  • Configuring a machine to deliver the assigned boot images to the correct machines.
  • Later on, updating boot images with the latest versions of software (security patches, etc).

Thanks for any help and advice!

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Will the OS being built be Ubuntu Linux? – Warner Jun 19 '10 at 16:08
Yeah, Ubuntu. Hopefully in such a way that I can update the image easily as well. – Omega Jun 19 '10 at 21:52

Netboot implies cheap. Cluster implies expensive (relatively speaking). If you're doing a small installation I'd just use DAS. If you're doing a medium install, go SAN (iSCSI HBAs aren't very expensive, and FC HBAs are justifiable when performance demands them). If you're rolling out a large installation you'd have the expertise to make netboot work, if that fulfilled you're needs, and costs were a primary concern and the size of the installation justified the higher expertise costs.

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