Xen and /etc Management

These guys have an interesting looking project called Enomalism Virtualized Management Console which is an open source web based Xen domain management console. After looking at the screen shots, I’m looking forward to seeing how it functions. They have some futher work which seems to leverage this to provide an integrated collaborative content management for business called TYfresco. Combining Zimbra, Sugarcrm and, a new project for me, Alfresco.

I tried to get Zimbra running recently on an Amd64 Debian domU, but ran into 64bit issues. After several attempts at compiling Zimbra, I figure my next try will be with a 32bit chroot.

Anyway I’ve also been thinking along these lines and better Xen management recently. I’ve been considering building my own system based on Cfengine and Layed Subversion. Cfengine is meant to be very powerful, and is some thing I’d like to spend time learning regardless. Laysvn seems easier to use now, however I’m in two minds about its functionality. The balance been easy of use and security is something I have to explore further.

I see a tool like this as being useful for both deploying new and migrating old servers, plus the restoration management in the event of a system failure. However this needs to be balanced against the leakage of system security information from files like /etc/shadow. On one hand it’s important to store this, on the other with a bad implementation it increases the risk that secure information will leaked. Another thing to consider, as indicated by several comments on Tracking, auditing and managing your server configuration with Subversion in 10 minutes, is permissions management.
Finally I saw this cool looking admin tool on freshmeat in my rss reader Great News today. Network wide updates for systems which use APT, or nwu. Maybe this is something I figured I could do with cfengine, or maybe it’s something that can be combined with cfengine. However, very useful work.

As more systems are run on Xen, making it much easier for sysadmins to partition their services on the same hardware and therefore make system maintenance easier on the application. Better tools will have to be produce to assist management on the OS level.

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  1. Kris Buytaert Said,

    April 12, 2006 @ 8:38 pm

    So where stays the code ? I`ve been watching enomalism and tyfresco for some time.. no code whatsoever 🙁

  2. Nicholas Lee Said,

    April 12, 2006 @ 9:36 pm

    Good question. I guess in their own good time.

  3. José Canelas Said,

    January 18, 2007 @ 8:00 am

    Regarding configuration tools, you may want to check out Puppet (http://reductivelabs.com/projects/puppet/). Luke Kanies is smart and experienced and I think he nailed it when he says we need not only a great, powerful and flexible configuration tool but also a cross-platform way to specify configurations. http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=luke+kanies

  4. Somewhere out there! » Puppet Said,

    January 18, 2007 @ 9:02 am

    […] Thanks to José Canelas a link to Puppet which is an interesting new config management system. Plus some videos of the author describing his system. […]

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