Softpanorama

May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Contents Bulletin Scripting in shell and Perl Network troubleshooting History Humor

Provisioning

News  Unix Configuration Management Tools Recommended Links Software Distribution Kickstart  SUSE AutoYaST
Unix System Monitoring Large enterprise Unix administration uranos xCAT Spacewalk FAI
OpenQRM Cobbler m23 Sysadmin Horror Stories Humor Etc

Provisioning is the term that is used as a "superset" of the term "OS installation". They talk about "server provisioning" (which means bare metal installation of OS, like kickstart) , user provisioning (which means creating user account on multiple servers), "patch provisioning" (which simply means patching of multiple servers :-), etc. But in reality "provisioning" is just fancy term with very little substance (aka corporate bullshit ;-) 

It does not bring too much additional clarity into the issues involved and as such have little value. 

Here is how Wikipedia defined the term:

In telecommunication, provisioning is the process of preparing and equipping a network to allow it to provide (new) services to its users. In NS/EP telecommunications services, "provisioning" equates to "initiation" and includes altering the state of an existing priority service or capability.[1]

In a modern signal infrastructure employing information technology at all levels, there is no distinction possible between telecommunications services and "higher level" infrastructure. Accordingly provisioning configures any required systems, provides users with access to data and technology resources, and refers to all enterprise-level information resource management involved.

But while the term is suspect,  the concept of specialized software that help to perform installation and patching in not. Early system like Solaris Jumpstart were extremely helpful for large server farms and created a lot of imitations such as Red Hat Kickstart and Suse Autoyast.

I would like to note, that provisioning often is treated like something really complex, the task that requires buying an expensive software from IBM or other big software vendor.  That's marketing propaganda.

In reality you can get 80% of the benefits using extremely simple tools, such as kickstart for installation, and some simple scripts with yum for patching multiple servers).

Expensive software vendor systems might have some edge if you need to support many different platforms, but even that is not given. Many such systems including one from IBM (old good TCM) are simply crap: complex with proprietary packaging and low reliability of delivery.  Often the presence of a complex provisioning package in corporate IT infrastructure can serve as a warning sign of the complete degeneration of corporate IT brass (aka Dilberalization).

If you are limited to Unix/Linux, then  native OS provisioning tools like AutoYaST, Kickstart, Jumpstart, Ignite and so on can do really good job with much less hassle. You do not need to buy anything and you can good a very return on small investment in learning vendor-supplied provisioning software.

Provisioning of OS, which is 50% of all provisioning business (another 50% is installation of patches and custom applications) is essentially a three step process.

Please note that step two and three can be performed by any good software configuration management packages and some functions are also available from client-server monitoring systems like OpenView and job schedulers. 

For example, Oracle job scheduler is free, programmable and can help. 

But the main help is availability of SSH. With SSH you can perform pretty complex "provisioning" operations with simple scripts and that provides you with the level of flexibility that no proprietary system can match.  Even in Windows environment installation of SSH or dual boot with network boot to Unix partitions can solve many "provisioning problems" better then packages like "Managesoft".

See also Unix Configuration Management Tools


Top Visited
Switchboard
Latest
Past week
Past month

NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

[Jun 23, 2011] (R)ex - A simple framework to simplify systemadministration

Features

Need Help?

Some Examples

This command line example will execute "uptime" on all the given hosts (frontend01, frontend02, ...).

rex -H "frontend[01..15] middleware[01..05] db[01..04]" "say run 'uptime'"

[Jun 14, 2011] Spacewalk Free & Open Source Linux Systems Management

Open version of Red Hat Network.

Spacewalk is an open source (GPLv2) Linux systems management solution that allows you to:

[Dec 15, 2010] uranos 1.1675

uranos is a system to support unattended installation of several varieties of Linux (kickstart, preseed, autoyast) and Windows (W2k, XP, W2k3, Vista, 7, W2k8). It features inventory, software management,... DHCP-LDAP, DNS-LDAP, PHP-SSH, syslog-ng, switch managment, LDAP browser, and PXE management

Changes: Software is now able to handle also other OSes like Linux and Mac OS X. Software versions can now depend on architecture, OS, and OS version. Licence management was added. A free... text parser was added. Quwiki can generate Latex code for pdflatex

6 of the Best Free Linux Server Provisioning Tools - Linux Links - The Linux Portal Site

Server provisioning is a set of actions to prepare a server, taking it from bare metal to a functioning system complete with an operating system, data and software.

It does not take long for users to recognise that setting up more than a couple of machines is extremely time consuming. System administrators realise this extremely early in their career. The ability to deploy additional servers or to replace failed servers without fuss and bother is important if business applications are to keep running, and the pressure falls squarely on the system administrator. Server provisioning tools come to the rescue.

However, the difficulty is that operating systems have thousands of components with different interfaces for different components. This means that an automated provisioning tool is a complex beast especially if you consider the tasks that are involved in provisioning a server. These include the installation of an operating system, kernel modules, middleware and applications. Further, the organisation will want the system customized to their requirements such as deploying machines with specific roles such as web servers, email servers, with appropriate partitioning and packages. The server will also need to be appropriately configured for the network.

Fortunately, there are a number of sophisticated tools available for Linux that are adept in provisioning servers, offering the ability to simultaneously set up thousands of machine unattended.

Kickstart was created to enable system administrations a way of automating a Red Hat Enterprise Linux installation. Cobbler is a project from Red Hat that offers turnkey support for provisioning Kickstart files, and setting up the services on the system.

To provide an insight into the quality of software available for Linux, we have compiled a list of 6 desirable server provisioning tools. We have ranked them in our order of preference, with FAI and xCAT carrying our highest recommendation. Hopefully, there will be something of interest here for any system administrator that needs to set up many servers as quickly as possible.

Now, let's explore the 6 server provisioning tools at hand. For each title we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, screenshots, together with links to relevant resources and reviews.

Server Provisioning
FAI High quality tool for fully automatic installation of Linux systems
xCAT Extreme Cluster Administration Toolkit
Spacewalk Systems management software developed by Red Hat
Cobbler OS provisioning and profile management (kickstart based)
m23 Software distribution and management system
OpenQRM Systems management platform

FAI

High quality tool for fully automatic installation of Linux systems. FAI can also be used for configuration management of a running system.

Support Sites:
FAI Guide, Man Pages, Mailing List, Wiki, Interview with Thomas Lange, DataCenter Deployment Control

Features include:

xCAT Extreme Cluster Administration Toolkit

Clients can run on any Perl compliant system.
Features include:

Spacewalk Systems management software developed by Red Hat

Spacewalk provides provisioning and monitoring capabilities. It enables you to kickstart systems, as well as to manage and deploy configuration files. Spacewalk's monitoring feature allows you to view monitoring status for your systems alongside their software update status. Spacewalk also has virtualization capabilities to enable you to provision, control, manage, and monitor virtual Xen guests.

Spacewalk works with RHEL, Fedora, and other RHEL derivative distributions like CentOS, Scientific Linux, etc.

Support Sites: Documentation, FAQ, Wiki, Mailing List, Red Hat Network Satellite

Features include:

Cobbler OS provisioning and profile management

m23 Software distribution and management system

m23 is controlled via the web browser. The installation of a new m23 client is performed in three simple steps and the integration of existing clients is possible, too. Group functions and mass tools make managing a vast number of clients simple.

m23 is composed of a large number of open source components such as Etherboot, Apache, PHP, BusyBox, MySQL, DHCP, ATFTP and many more.

Features include:

OpenQRM Systems management platform

openQRM is a single-management console for the complete IT-infra structure and provides a well defined API which can be used to integrate third-party tools as additional plugins.System RequirementsGNU GPL v2
Java Runtime Environment

Support Sites: Documentation, Forums, Demo, SourceForge Project Page, Mailing Lists Features include:


Recommended Links

Softpanorama hot topic of the month

Softpanorama Recommended

Top articles

Sites

Provisioning - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Extensible Provisioning Protocol - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



Etc

FAIR USE NOTICE This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit exclusivly for research and educational purposes.   If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. 

ABUSE: IPs or network segments from which we detect a stream of probes might be blocked for no less then 90 days. Multiple types of probes increase this period.  

Society

Groupthink : Two Party System as Polyarchy : Corruption of Regulators : Bureaucracies : Understanding Micromanagers and Control Freaks : Toxic Managers :   Harvard Mafia : Diplomatic Communication : Surviving a Bad Performance Review : Insufficient Retirement Funds as Immanent Problem of Neoliberal Regime : PseudoScience : Who Rules America : Neoliberalism  : The Iron Law of Oligarchy : Libertarian Philosophy

Quotes

War and Peace : Skeptical Finance : John Kenneth Galbraith :Talleyrand : Oscar Wilde : Otto Von Bismarck : Keynes : George Carlin : Skeptics : Propaganda  : SE quotes : Language Design and Programming Quotes : Random IT-related quotesSomerset Maugham : Marcus Aurelius : Kurt Vonnegut : Eric Hoffer : Winston Churchill : Napoleon Bonaparte : Ambrose BierceBernard Shaw : Mark Twain Quotes

Bulletin:

Vol 25, No.12 (December, 2013) Rational Fools vs. Efficient Crooks The efficient markets hypothesis : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2013 : Unemployment Bulletin, 2010 :  Vol 23, No.10 (October, 2011) An observation about corporate security departments : Slightly Skeptical Euromaydan Chronicles, June 2014 : Greenspan legacy bulletin, 2008 : Vol 25, No.10 (October, 2013) Cryptolocker Trojan (Win32/Crilock.A) : Vol 25, No.08 (August, 2013) Cloud providers as intelligence collection hubs : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : Inequality Bulletin, 2009 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Copyleft Problems Bulletin, 2004 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Energy Bulletin, 2010 : Malware Protection Bulletin, 2010 : Vol 26, No.1 (January, 2013) Object-Oriented Cult : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2011 : Vol 23, No.11 (November, 2011) Softpanorama classification of sysadmin horror stories : Vol 25, No.05 (May, 2013) Corporate bullshit as a communication method  : Vol 25, No.06 (June, 2013) A Note on the Relationship of Brooks Law and Conway Law

History:

Fifty glorious years (1950-2000): the triumph of the US computer engineering : Donald Knuth : TAoCP and its Influence of Computer Science : Richard Stallman : Linus Torvalds  : Larry Wall  : John K. Ousterhout : CTSS : Multix OS Unix History : Unix shell history : VI editor : History of pipes concept : Solaris : MS DOSProgramming Languages History : PL/1 : Simula 67 : C : History of GCC developmentScripting Languages : Perl history   : OS History : Mail : DNS : SSH : CPU Instruction Sets : SPARC systems 1987-2006 : Norton Commander : Norton Utilities : Norton Ghost : Frontpage history : Malware Defense History : GNU Screen : OSS early history

Classic books:

The Peter Principle : Parkinson Law : 1984 : The Mythical Man-MonthHow to Solve It by George Polya : The Art of Computer Programming : The Elements of Programming Style : The Unix Haterís Handbook : The Jargon file : The True Believer : Programming Pearls : The Good Soldier Svejk : The Power Elite

Most popular humor pages:

Manifest of the Softpanorama IT Slacker Society : Ten Commandments of the IT Slackers Society : Computer Humor Collection : BSD Logo Story : The Cuckoo's Egg : IT Slang : C++ Humor : ARE YOU A BBS ADDICT? : The Perl Purity Test : Object oriented programmers of all nations : Financial Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : The Most Comprehensive Collection of Editor-related Humor : Programming Language Humor : Goldman Sachs related humor : Greenspan humor : C Humor : Scripting Humor : Real Programmers Humor : Web Humor : GPL-related Humor : OFM Humor : Politically Incorrect Humor : IDS Humor : "Linux Sucks" Humor : Russian Musical Humor : Best Russian Programmer Humor : Microsoft plans to buy Catholic Church : Richard Stallman Related Humor : Admin Humor : Perl-related Humor : Linus Torvalds Related humor : PseudoScience Related Humor : Networking Humor : Shell Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2012 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2013 : Java Humor : Software Engineering Humor : Sun Solaris Related Humor : Education Humor : IBM Humor : Assembler-related Humor : VIM Humor : Computer Viruses Humor : Bright tomorrow is rescheduled to a day after tomorrow : Classic Computer Humor

The Last but not Least


Copyright © 1996-2016 by Dr. Nikolai Bezroukov. www.softpanorama.org was created as a service to the UN Sustainable Development Networking Programme (SDNP) in the author free time. This document is an industrial compilation designed and created exclusively for educational use and is distributed under the Softpanorama Content License.

The site uses AdSense so you need to be aware of Google privacy policy. You you do not want to be tracked by Google please disable Javascript for this site. This site is perfectly usable without Javascript.

Original materials copyright belong to respective owners. Quotes are made for educational purposes only in compliance with the fair use doctrine.

FAIR USE NOTICE This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to advance understanding of computer science, IT technology, economic, scientific, and social issues. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided by section 107 of the US Copyright Law according to which such material can be distributed without profit exclusively for research and educational purposes.

This is a Spartan WHYFF (We Help You For Free) site written by people for whom English is not a native language. Grammar and spelling errors should be expected. The site contain some broken links as it develops like a living tree...

You can use PayPal to make a contribution, supporting development of this site and speed up access. In case softpanorama.org is down you can use the at softpanorama.info

Disclaimer:

The statements, views and opinions presented on this web page are those of the author (or referenced source) and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of the author present and former employers, SDNP or any other organization the author may be associated with. We do not warrant the correctness of the information provided or its fitness for any purpose.

Last modified: September 12, 2017