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Re: Quick cfengine poll...

From: Denis GERMA
Subject: Re: Quick cfengine poll...
Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2001 16:51:32 +0200


I appreciate cfengine as a tool to distribute files to sets of machines.
I presently manage a set of around 80 machines.

There are some concepts I did not understand in your conversation :

a- What do you mean exactly with "e.g. by distributing everything as master

Do you mean there should not exist one set of  "master files" ?
Do you mean that the distribution should be done from a central server,
relayed by
intermediary servers which get there files from the central server ?

---In other term are you speaking of performance, or configuration files
structures ?

b- I do not understand what you mean by "They're still thinking shell or
perl, and don't understand agent based control systems."

Could you explain ?
Is there a document or  book explaining the good way of thinking with
cfengine ?

Thanks for all.

address@hidden a écrit :

> On  1 Mar, Andrew Mayhew wrote:
> > Internal to the company that I work for we have been going over a
> > process of evaluation the direction our system management is going to
> > take.  Currently we use cfengine, but there seems to be a large push,
> > primarily from our Software Engineering group to develop something
> > from scratch ourselves.  Seems to me to be a big wheel reinventing
> > project and will take a lot longer than they anticipate. Their major
> > contention is that cfengine is not a valid enterprise management
> > system and that it was never designed as such.  Or in their words:
> >
> >      Overall general design of Cfengine followed an evolutionary
> >       process that did not initially target large-scale enterprise
> >       architectures. Any eventual support for large-scale enterprise
> >       functionality was added over time without a fundamental redesign
> >       of Cfengine.  In order to effectively guarantee use in a
> >       distributed enterprise environment, it may very well be necessary
> >       to make deep fundamental design and implementation changes to
> >       Cfengine to address the technical and business requirements for
> >       Provisioning 2.0.
> >
> > They also seem to have problems with cfengine's ability (or in their
> > view lack of ability) to scale to very large scale systems.  Could any
> > of you out there give me some numbers in terms of systems which you
> > are managing with cfengine.  Something like a cfengine client to cfd
> > server ratio would be greate.  Anyone with systems spread over a wide
> > area would also be a plus since in our situation we have host systems
> > in various places around the US and Europe.
> >
> > I really believe that thier arguments are invalid and any support that
> > I can get would be appreciated.
> >
> > Thanks-
> > Andrew Mayhew
> I think they are talking utter bull. The cfengine model is the *only*
> model which scales. That doesn't make cfengine unique, but it makes
> it right. There are folks using it on upto 5000 hosts that I know of.
> That doesn't mean that you can't write a stupid configuration which
> incorporates a serious bottleneck, e.g. by distributing everything
> as master files from a single server...but that's an error in thinking,
> not in cfengine.
> As for large scale enterprise management, I have no idea what they mean,
> since they don't actually specify (sounds like they misunderstood
> something) but if 5000 systems isn't enough, I suspect that they're
> going to be out of luck. Usually when people talk about revinventing,
> it's  because they haven't really understood how to think in cfengine.
> They're still thinking shell or perl, and don't understand agent based
> control systems. 500-2000 hosts is quite common, from the messages
> I get.
> I don't know of explicit experience over very wide areas, i.e. different
> domains off hand, but how hard could it be? Over that kind of distance,
> it sunds unlikely that you would want the same configuration everywhere.
> Mark
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