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My shop virtualizes a few hundred SuSE 11.1 servers through IBM's zVM hypervisor. (If you've never heard of zVM, it runs on a mainframe and virtualizes Linux in the s390x architecture. It's a different beast than most of you are used to. The guys who wrote zVM left IBM to form VMWare Inc.)

Currently, we manage our servers manually. We clone new virtual servers from a golden master in zVM, bring the server online, then configure as needed. We rollout maintenance with SMT, but coming from RedHat Satellite Server, SMT features don't compare up to RedHat. (ie run remote commands) If there is a problem with out server, we SSH into the box and fix. If we need to run remote commands on several servers, we either do it manually or use something like PuTTYCS.

My question is what do you recommend as a good provisioning / management tool for my servers and environment?

Some requirements or wishes:

  • Open Source and Free
  • Does not rely on interfacing with a hypervisor like ESXi
  • Unless of course, it interfaces with the zVM hypervisor (I am unaware of any that exist)
  • Some sort of Client-Server / Web Interface

That can accomplish sysadmin things like:

  • Running multiple commands to multiple servers
  • Server Monitoring
  • Server Statistics
  • Other common sysadmin tasks, etc

I know it's a long shot. But I wanted use my "poll the audience lifeline" and what your input is. I've searched around, but most of my efforts have lead to dead ends or incompatibilities.

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closed as not constructive by Wesley, voretaq7 May 4 '12 at 3:00

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Why was this downvoted? This is a valid and ontopic question – aus May 3 '12 at 19:20
Oh boy... I'll try to answer. – ewwhite May 3 '12 at 20:27
I downvoted it because, as a shopping question, it's off topic. – Wesley May 3 '12 at 20:34
It sure sounds to me like you are looking for configuration management (puppet) plus some like mcollective, and then a monitoring system. I am a bit curious why the tools would be different then the common solutions other then you need something that would zVM provisioning. Are you expecting to find a single cure-all tool that solves all of that at once? – Zoredache May 3 '12 at 20:38
Automating your tasks is certainly a worthy goal, but if we give you a list of tools today that list will be obsolete tomorrow. You need to investigate the available tools to determine which meets your needs (or which come closest - your requirements are very broad and will probably require a combination of several tools to achieve). @ewwhite's answer gives you a good starting point - If you have specific questions on the tools as you research them definitely ask us those questions, we'll probably be able to help you out. – voretaq7 May 4 '12 at 2:59
up vote 2 down vote accepted

You're asking for a large number of characteristics that you won't find in one tool. Many systems engineers end up using multiple tools to manage an environment. This is no different.

Server provisioning can be accomplished with Cobbler. It's a good provisioning tool with zVM support.
Cobbler can handle the system build, PXE boot and has CLI and web interfaces to manage and netboot systems.

Configuration management is done best with a dedicated framework like Puppet, CFEngine, Bcfg2, etc.

Monitoring of systems and applications can be covered with any number of solutions. OpenNMS, Nagios, M/Monit are popular. Many of these have been covered on this site.

Graphs and statistics are usually split into their own solution... Cacti, Munin, Observium, Orca... There are many more out there...

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Thanks for the input. This will get me going for a while. – aus May 5 '12 at 18:03

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