Re: Managing large numbers (100+) of Debian-based machines

On Thu, Apr 07, 2011 at 12:21:30PM +0100, Laurence Hurst wrote:
Hi folks,
I am looking at possibly deploying Debian (or a derivative thereof) on a large number of machines (initially 80 but I fully expect the final number to end up being in excess of 100) which are intermittently connected to the network (due to multi-boot setup). I was wondering if anyone else has a large(ish) installation base and what tools they were using to manage the machines (especially when it comes to patching)? On this scale manual ssh methods become unmanageable, even using the likes of pdsh and before I even consider the fact the machines will not all be in Linux at any given time. Unfortunately I have no budget for this project so an Ubuntu/Landscape solution is not workable. Ideally something usable by non-Linux (but technically competent Windows) administrators would be nice (e.g. a "point and shoot" web-interface to mass deploy updates). Does anyone have any suggestions of existing projects which fit this bill or am I going to have to roll my own solution?
Thanks in advance

If you want to check out updates before rolling them out to all
machines, I would set up a local apt repository. Have the machines set
to automatically update, but have sources.list point to your local repo.
That way anything you add to the repo will automatically get rolled out
to all machines.

If you decide not to go with your own apt repo, I highly recommend you
at least use something like apt-cacher-ng. It'll save a lot of download
bandwidth and time.


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