[Beowulf] how are people doing this?

Mike Eggleston mikee at mikee.ath.cx
Wed Feb 11 15:00:15 EST 2004


On Wed, 11 Feb 2004, Robert G. Brown wrote:

> On Wed, 11 Feb 2004, Mike Eggleston wrote:
> 
> > I feel that in a proper cluster that the nodes are all (basically)
> > identical. I 'own' a server environment of 20+ servers that  are
> > all dedicated to specific applications and this is not a cluster.
> > However, I would like to manage config files (/etc/resolv.conf, etc),
> > user accounts, patches, etc., as I would in a clustered environment.
> > I have read the papers at infrastructures.org and agree with the
> > principles mentioned there. I have looked extensively at cfengine,
> > though I prefer the solution be in PERL as all my servers have
> > PERL already (the manufacturer installs PERL as default on the boxes).
> > 
> > How is everyone managing their cluster or what are suggestions
> > on how I can manage my server environment.
> 
> Mike, this is nearly a FAQ -- the list archives should have a discussion
> (one of many) only a few weeks old on this very subject.
> 
> There are NIS, LDAP, rsync, cfengine, and even yum/rpm-based solutions
> possible, and more.  Oh, and dhcp actually pushes lots of stuff out all
> by itself these days -- it should handle the stuff in resolv.conf for
> example, and you should be using dhcp anyway for scalability reasons.

I know it's been discussed and I apologize for asking it again. I've
just not found the way that seems to fit with the picture I'm trying
to reach. What I'm thinking of doing is writing a perl script that
can be placed into CVS. On each server a cron process checks out the
current CVS repository of server (AIX) config data and script. Then
the perl script starts to check permissions, update resolv.conf, hosts,
login, passwd, etc., and to check that specific packages are installed
or that the packages need updating. I like a lot of what cfengine
did, but I really want a script that can be maintained in CVS.

For installing packages I plan for the script to mount an NFS export
for pulling the packages.

# mkdir /tmp/nfs.$$
# mount admin:/opt/packages /tmp/nfs.$$
# installp -d /tmp/nfs.$$ package
# umount /tmp/nfs.$$
# rmdir /tmp/nfs.$$

For the account management I'm thinking of something on my admin
server that pulls LDAP (M$ ADS) at some frequency (30-60 min) updating
a local file with new users and their passwords. Then this file
is checked into CVS for distribution to other nodes/servers. Using
another file to list the users that are authorized access to the
local node/server keeps my user-space to a minimum.

Is that any more clear what I'm trying to do? I don't have a cluster,
but I want to manage all nodes as identically as I can.

Mike
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