Configuration Management refers to establishing and maintaining standardized system configurations within an organization. This tag encompasses the process of defining the configuration profiles, and the software used to manage and deploy it.

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82
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7answers
18k views

How can the little guys effectively learn and use Puppet?

Six months ago, in our not-for-profit project we decided to start migrating our system management to a Puppet-controlled environment because we are expecting our number of servers to grow ...
64
votes
5answers
4k views

Choosing between meaningful and meaningless hostnames [closed]

Assume an environment with a puppet-managed cluster of different servers - various hardware, software, operating systems, virtual/dedicated, etc. Would you choose meaningful hostnames ...
56
votes
6answers
16k views

Why use Chef/Puppet over shell scripts?

New to Puppet and Chef tools. Seems like the job that they are doing can be done with shell scripting. Maybe it was done in shell scripts until these came along. I would agree they are more readable. ...
54
votes
2answers
12k views

Why is it so difficult to upgrade between major versions of Red Hat and CentOS?

"Can we upgrade our existing production EL5 servers to EL6?" A simple-sounding request from two customers with completely different environments prompted my usual best-practices answer of "yes, but ...
51
votes
6answers
14k views

Puppet vs Chef, pro and contra from users and use cases [closed]

I already googled and read the "to-puppet-or-to-chef-that-is-the-question" article. I'm interested in use cases, real world implementations in which people had choosen one or the other on real ...
51
votes
6answers
7k views

What should NOT be managed by puppet?

I'm learning my way through configuration management in general and using puppet to implement it in particular, and I'm wondering what aspects of a system, if any, should not be managed with puppet? ...
39
votes
1answer
13k views

Chef best Practices/Questions

I use and love Puppet. I moved to a new company and they are adopting Chef. So I'm trying to learn Chef but am having a hard time piecing it all together because I still think in Puppet =) These ...
35
votes
0answers
5k views

What advantages/features does Puppet or Chef offer over Salt (or vice versa)? [closed]

I am looking at rolling out a new configuration management tool to replace our home-grown solution. The defacto standards are Chef and Puppet, both of which are Ruby-centric (though can be used to ...
34
votes
11answers
11k views

How to record server changes?

So we've all probably had this situation: you debug some problem, only to realize it was caused by a config change you made six months ago, and you can't remember why you did it. So you undo it and ...
29
votes
5answers
3k views

How can a Linux Administrator improve their shell scripting and automation skills?

In my organization, I work with a group of NOC staff, budding junior engineers and a handful of senior engineers; all with a focus on Linux. One interesting step in the way the company grows talent is ...
27
votes
9answers
11k views

Are configuration management tools (Puppet, Chef) capable of keeping installed packages up to date?

This is probably a simple question for those of you already running configuration management tools. Are configuration management tools such as Puppet or Chef the right approach for keeping installed ...
24
votes
2answers
2k views

How can I manage hundreds of IPMI BMCs?

I have over 200 computers which can provide IPMI services. The servers are manufactured by several different companies (SuperMicro, Dell, etc.), and there are 6-7 BMC models from about 5 different ...
21
votes
8answers
5k views

automated linux deployment and config management at small scale - is it worth it?

I'm about to deploy ~25 servers running Debian. The machines will have different roles - web servers, Java appservers, proxies, MySQL boxes. The environment will probably not grow much in the future - ...
18
votes
4answers
25k views

puppet: force service restart after configuration file was modified

how can i ensure that if new version of configuration file is downloaded via puppet from master repository to one of managed servers relevant service is restarted. typical scenario - let's say there ...
17
votes
4answers
6k views

Best practice for testing chef recipes?

My team has created a large number of chef cookbooks. I was wondering what methods and frameworks I should look into so we can start creating tests to assure that our nodes are configured properly?
16
votes
5answers
1k views

When is it appropriate to use a configuration manager (eg Puppet / Chef / Ansible)?

At my current workplace, I look after two VMware host machines, an OpenBSD physical machine, three Debian VM's, and six Windows Server VM's (2008/2012). I'm considering implementing a configuration ...
16
votes
7answers
2k views

What are the right questions to ask when deciding whether to use Chef or Puppet?

I am about to start a new project which will, in part, require deploying many identical nodes of approximately three different classes: Data nodes, which will run sharded instances of MongoDB. ...
16
votes
5answers
4k views

What's the strengths and weaknesses of existing configuration management systems? [closed]

I was looking up here for some comparisons between CFEngine, Puppet, Chef, bcfg2, AutomateIt and whatever other configuration management systems might be out there, and was very surprised I could find ...
15
votes
2answers
5k views

How to handle SSH port changes with Ansible?

I'm trying to use Ansible for automating the setup process of new server instances. One of the setup tasks changes the default SSH port, therefore requiring me to update the hosts list. Is it ...
14
votes
15answers
2k views

What features would you add to Firefox to get it into the enterprise?

Firefox adoption in the home/personal user base seems to be growing fine, but adoption in the enterprise is not going anywhere quickly. My view on this is because SysAdmins are not promoting it ...
13
votes
2answers
5k views

Configuration management: push versus pull based topology

The more established configuration management (CM) systems like Puppet and Chef use a pull-based approach: clients poll a centralized master periodically for updates. Some of them offer a masterless ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

How do you keep up with Nagios/Capistrano configs when using EC2?

I use Amazon EC2 for my mobile app. Depending on load of the application at a given time, I might spawn new instances and then take them down when load is lower to save costs. How does one keep up ...
10
votes
2answers
771 views

Configuration Management overkill for 3 node clusters?

I have 2-3 node clusters for our load balancers and various web applications. I'm having to make the change in QA first, then in staging (on 2-3 servers), then in production (on 2-3) servers. Is a ...
10
votes
3answers
9k views

Set sysctl.conf parameters with Puppet

This was a breeze in CFEngine... But I'm in a Puppet environment now, and need to be able to assign/ensure/check certain sysctl.conf variables. In the CFEngine world, I could simply check for specific ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

What tool can I use to manage the configuration of my Windows Server environments

I help manage environments for an application that uses cloud-based Windows server VMs. The application stack consists of Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2012, SQL Server 2008, IIS, and ...
9
votes
1answer
3k views

Puppet: managing (lots of) Apache VirtualHosts

I'm learning my way through configuration management in general and using puppet to implement it in particular. I have already done some generic research (also on SF) and right now I'm considering ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

HP ProLiant system preparation/deployment techniques (Array, BIOS, firmware, etc.)

I spend a lot of my time with HP ProLiant systems and Linux installations. Due to the nature of the business I work in, I don't have the luxury of being able to deploy large numbers of identical ...
7
votes
2answers
815 views

How can I use the output of a command in cfengine3

I want to list a directory content and use the result somewhere else: bundle agent test { commands: "ls /tmp/test/"; reports: ubuntu:: "print output here for example"; # ...
7
votes
2answers
7k views

How do I enable additional debugging output from Ansible and Vagrant?

I'm investigating Ansible for server and application provisioning. My application is currently provisioned with shell scripts in Vagrant. Rather than rewrite my scripts I've taken a sample and ...
7
votes
8answers
3k views

What configuration items do you track for proper configuration management? [closed]

As a professional system administrator, what configuration items do you consider it essential to track to perform proper configuration or change management? For example, in Windows, do you track ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Puppet configuration using augeas fails if combined with notify

I'm having a problem with the following Puppet manifest, which is meant to enable the passwdqc pam module on a RHEL-6 system (this is using Puppet 0.25.5 and augeas 0.7.2): augeas { 'authconfig': ...
7
votes
2answers
367 views

Is there a recommended automated production environment setup for Microsoft stack?

We are looking at rebuilding our small production running redundant servers with IIS, .Net 4, MSSqlServer 2003 setup. The previous tri-server configuration evolved organically and has a lot of ...
6
votes
8answers
23k views

ConfigMgr 2012 - How to automatically make updates available to computers without forcing them to be installed?

I'm using System Center Configuration Manager 2012 with the Software Update Point feature; however, in this environment patching has to be strictly manual, because server reboots need to be approved ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

Why Puppet can require each package just once?

When defining dependencies in a class each Package can be globally defined just once. I have hierarchy of configuration and some packages should be installed on all machines (that goes to default ...
6
votes
1answer
97 views

Easily recreate a server's “state” [closed]

I want the ability to setup new servers for dev/testing/prod very easily. The reasons for being able to setup a new dev VM is obvious, but for prod my concern is adding a new production ...
6
votes
4answers
3k views

Suggestions for making sysfs parameters persist across reboots

I'm experimenting with large changes to Linux system runtime parameters exposed through the sysfs virtual file system. What is the most efficient way to maintain these parameters so that they persist ...
6
votes
2answers
587 views

Managing many entries in Route53

We use Amazon Route53 as my company's primary DNS. As we grow into using multiple services from different providers, each of them requested some kind of DNS entry to verify our domain and/or use their ...
6
votes
2answers
8k views

How to comment out / uncomment a line in a configuration file with Augeas?

Assumming that I have the following in the /etc/syslog.conf file: # Log all kernel messages to the console. # Logging much else clutters up the screen. #kern.* /dev/console ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Puppet package “ensure => latest” doesn't always work

I have a unique situation where the Puppet package ensure => latest directive only worked on some of my systems. Out of 30 servers, the packages updated properly on all but 4. I'm trying to get ...
6
votes
6answers
795 views

Version Controlling Foreman & Puppet

I have just setup Foreman for the first time & am not sure how to go about putting all of my configurations under version control. I know I can use Git for each module I install on my Puppet ...
5
votes
5answers
4k views

How do I (robustly) remotely execute tasks on Windows workstations in a domain?

I'm not even sure if "robustly" is a word. Anyway. Context: We have a few hundred Windows 7 workstations on a LAN. We use AD/GPO management pretty heavily, but there are a lot of periodic and/or ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

dead man's switch for remote networking interventions on Linux

As I'm going to change the network configuration of a remote server, I was thinking of some security mechanisms to protect me from accidentally losing control on the server. The level-0 protection ...
5
votes
1answer
675 views

Automatic management of SSL certificate on multiple servers…good or bad

We're using puppet to manage a group of Ubuntu boxes and will shortly require each of these servers to share a common SSL certificate, in order to serve a site over HTTPS. Naturally, we'd like to use ...
5
votes
3answers
635 views

“Shutdown” in a show running configuration

When you see the word 'shutdown' in the output of a 'show running-config' command on a Cisco router... what does that exactly indicate? My basic assumption would be that it means that interface is ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Tips for optimizing RHEL/CentOS kickstart workflow

I'm working in an environment that consists of CentOS systems located in multiple data centers and office locations. I've been using a reasonable kickstart with a solid post-install script, but want ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

How to manage linux workstations with policies

I am going to be administering a small network of linux based workstations for a charity institution (not all have the same distro- some are ubuntu and some are fedora). Is there something in Linux ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there any strong, well tested and general purpose puppet recipes-base to be used as starting point for customization?

I have configured a working cobbler system that successfully handles my bare metal server deployment and I'm going to start the configuration management issues using puppet (integrating it as much as ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Patching with Puppet

I am new to Puppet, and I am wondering if it is an effective solution for patch/pkg management on Solaris as well as Linux. I am more interested on the Solaris side. So far am unable to locate any ...
5
votes
3answers
599 views

How to manage configuration & automatic rollout of 20 virtual machines

I have a TeamCity build server, with about 20 "build agents", both Windows and MacOS machines. Often, I need to install a newer version of XCode or VisualStudio or some other tool. Having to do this ...
5
votes
4answers
7k views

Puppet : How to override / redefine outside child class (usecase and example detailled)

The use case i try to illustrate is when to declare some item (eq mysqld service) with a default configuration that could be included on every node (class stripdown in the example, for basenode), and ...