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Miles Fidelman 12-24-2012 01:12 PM

management tools?
 
Hi Folks,

I'm getting ready to rebuild a small hosting cluster, and this time
around add more automation to my management approach. Which leads me to
wonder: Those of you who provide hosting services using Debian, what are
you using for:

- initial o/s install and configuration (e.g., FAI, other things?)
- software install/update/configuration (chef, puppet, ?)
- virtual machine management
- user management (control panels, ...)
- overall management (nagios, webmin, ...)

Sort of trying to get sense of what people actually use, and in what
combinations, rather than what's got the buzz this week.


Thanks for anything you might share.

Miles Fidelman

--
In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
In practice, there is. .... Yogi Berra


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Keith Edmunds 12-25-2012 11:03 AM

management tools?
 
On Mon, 24 Dec 2012 09:12:11 -0500, mfidelman@meetinghouse.net said:

> - software install/update/configuration (chef, puppet, ?)

Puppet currently, but not liking the huge memory footprint or the glacial
RoR dashboard. Very taken with Salt, and evaluating it with a view to
migrating to it (http://saltstack.org/).
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Mark Suter 01-04-2013 11:34 AM

management tools?
 
> - initial o/s install and configuration (e.g., FAI, other things?)
> - virtual machine management

Ganeti - http://code.google.com/p/ganeti/

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Thomas Goirand 01-04-2013 03:39 PM

management tools?
 
On 12/24/2012 10:12 PM, Miles Fidelman wrote:
> Hi Folks,
>
> I'm getting ready to rebuild a small hosting cluster, and this time
> around add more automation to my management approach. Which leads me to
> wonder: Those of you who provide hosting services using Debian, what are
> you using for:
> - initial o/s install and configuration (e.g., FAI, other things?)
> - software install/update/configuration (chef, puppet, ?)
> - virtual machine management
> - user management (control panels, ...)
> - overall management (nagios, webmin, ...)
>
> Sort of trying to get sense of what people actually use, and in what
> combinations, rather than what's got the buzz this week.
>
> Thanks for anything you might share.
>
> Miles Fidelman

Hi,

It all depends what you want to do. If you want to host domain names,
email accounts, etc., then probably you will want to try DTC, available
from Debian experimental. It has support for Xen VMs too, and
accounting, invoicing, billing, etc.:
http://dtcsupport.gplhost.com/PmWiki/DebianExpressSetup

If you are searching for cloud, then probably you should have a look here:
https://wiki.debian.org/OpenStackHowto/Folsom

Unfortunately, it doesn't look nice, after the Debian wiki hack, and I
can't edit it, but hopefully, this will change in the near future.

I'm involved in both projects, so I'd be happy to help / get feedback.

Cheers,

Thomas


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Miles Fidelman 01-05-2013 04:37 PM

management tools?
 
Thomas,

Thomas Goirand wrote:

On 12/24/2012 10:12 PM, Miles Fidelman wrote:

I'm getting ready to rebuild a small hosting cluster, and this time
around add more automation to my management approach. Which leads me to
wonder: Those of you who provide hosting services using Debian, what are
you using for:
- initial o/s install and configuration (e.g., FAI, other things?)
- software install/update/configuration (chef, puppet, ?)
- virtual machine management
- user management (control panels, ...)
- overall management (nagios, webmin, ...)

Sort of trying to get sense of what people actually use, and in what
combinations, rather than what's got the buzz this week.


Hi,

It all depends what you want to do. If you want to host domain names,
email accounts, etc., then probably you will want to try DTC, available
from Debian experimental. It has support for Xen VMs too, and
accounting, invoicing, billing, etc.:
http://dtcsupport.gplhost.com/PmWiki/DebianExpressSetup

If you are searching for cloud, then probably you should have a look here:
https://wiki.debian.org/OpenStackHowto/Folsom

Unfortunately, it doesn't look nice, after the Debian wiki hack, and I
can't edit it, but hopefully, this will change in the near future.
I'm involved in both projects, so I'd be happy to help / get feedback.



First off, thanks!

I'm somewhat in between the two. Our cluster supports a mix of our own
production services (email lists and a web site, mostly) in one VM, and
a bunch of VMs used for various development projects and test services.
The production VM is set up for high-availability failover (DRBD +
Pacemaker). The other VMs get built up, torn down, and reconfigured all
the time. Right now, we have two nodes in the cluster, and two
additional stand-alone boxes - and I'm getting ready to combine
everything into a 4-node cluster.


A full cloud installation is overkill, and most of the stacks are
oriented toward having separate storage and compute nodes (our boxes are
each server + 4 large drives). Ganetti is close to what I'm looking for
managing nodes and VMs - but it doesn't handle automatic failover, and
is just a bit too monolithic for me to feel comfortable overlaying
pacemaker (looks like the control code would work at cross purposes).


So, I've been looking at alternatives for basic provisioning,
configuration, and monitoring. One approach is to find building blocks
and combine them myself (hence my query). The other is to start with
something like Webmin or DTC, and DTC keeps popping up.


Can you say a little more about DTC as to:
- general maturity, stability, community support
- how helpful is it in keeping track of IP addresses and DNS records
(I've found keeping track of them to be the most annoying part of
provisioning VMs)
- how helpful is it in terms of configuring, managing, and monitoring
disks & filesystems (the other pain in the rear when setting up and
tearing down VMs)

- does it know anything about pacemaker?

Thanks again,

Miles Fidelman


--
In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
In practice, there is. .... Yogi Berra


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Thomas Goirand 01-05-2013 06:05 PM

management tools?
 
On 01/06/2013 01:37 AM, Miles Fidelman wrote:
> A full cloud installation is overkill, and most of the stacks are
> oriented toward having separate storage and compute nodes (our boxes are
> each server + 4 large drives).

With Openstack, you can have each box to serve as multiple roles, like
compute + storage (eg: nova-compute + cinder). I guess that Cinder could
work with DRDB as well, since what it does is only serving some LVM
partitions as iSCSI devices.

> Can you say a little more about DTC as to:
> - general maturity, stability, community support

It's a 10 years old project, which I've been running in production for
as long as the project exists. Therefor, I can't afford to have it just
crash.

There's currently 3 or 4 regular contributors sending patches to the
development list regularly, but they are mostly working on the shared
hosting side. The only problem is that I've been quite busy working on
Openstack over the last months, but I really hope to get back to work on
DTC soon.

> - how helpful is it in keeping track of IP addresses and DNS records
> (I've found keeping track of them to be the most annoying part of
> provisioning VMs)

I think this part is quite ok. There's an IP address manager, on which
you add IP address pools, then for each VM server, you add IPs for new
VMs, and when you add one VM, that IP is marked as used. It isn't
possible to do a mistake, eg an IP cannot be used twice. Finally,
there's a screen which shows the overall IP usage of an IP pool. There
is no new functionality that I wish to add there, I'm satisfied with it.
DTC also does reverse DNS.

> - how helpful is it in terms of configuring, managing, and monitoring
> disks & filesystems (the other pain in the rear when setting up and
> tearing down VMs)

DTC uses Xen, so it will create a new LVM partition for each new VM. It
also has graphs of I/O usage in near real time (eg: max 2 minutes delay
on the RRD graphs), so you can tell if a VM is using too much I/O. It
does that as well for CPU and network usage. There's also an overall
screen which will show a view of all servers at once.

> - does it know anything about pacemaker?

Simple: there's absolutely nothing for HA currently. This would have to
be added. I'd be very happy to receive and review patches though.

I hope that helps,
Cheers,

Thomas

P.S: Please don't CC me, I'm registered to the list.


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Sander 01-08-2013 08:23 AM

management tools?
 
Miles Fidelman wrote (ao):
> I'm getting ready to rebuild a small hosting cluster, and this time
> around add more automation to my management approach. Which leads
> me to wonder: Those of you who provide hosting services using
> Debian, what are you using for:
> - initial o/s install and configuration (e.g., FAI, other things?)

PXE boot and Debian preseed.

> - software install/update/configuration (chef, puppet, ?)

Puppet.

Sander


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