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Thread: Centralized management tools

  1. #1
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    Centralized management tools

    I have half a dozen servers between VPS and VM and some Xubuntu / Ubuntu PCs.
    Isn't there a centralized management tools, at least as far as updates are concerned?
    Something similar to the tools for centralized management of Joomla and Wordpress that at a glance allow me to understand what there is to do and where to do it.
    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Re: Centralized management tools

    You can use a tool such as Ansible to apply updates to multiple servers at the same time.

    You will need to write a playbook but that shouldn't be too difficult.
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  3. #3
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    Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa

    Re: Centralized management tools

    Quote Originally Posted by WhiteTigerIT View Post
    Isn't there a centralized management tools, at least as far as updates are concerned?
    Ansible.

    https://www.cyberciti.biz/faq/ansibl...-debian-linux/

  4. #4
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    Re: Centralized management tools

    Cockpit, ansible, or a little ssh script.
    For weekly patching, I use a little ssh script. The simplicity is why.

    Ansible and Cockpit need ssh configured anyway, so a little loop over all the DNS names or IPs in a list works fine. Regardless, you'll probably want to setup a "deployXYZ123" account on each system that allows ssh via ssh-keys and sudo without a password for apt-get update and apt-get full-upgrade, just to make life easy.

    Code:
    #!/bin/sh
    CMD1="apt-get update"
    CMD2="apt-get dist-upgrade"
    ssh server1  "sudo $CMD1; sudo $CMD2;"
    ssh server2  "sudo $CMD1; sudo $CMD2;"
    ....
    ssh server99  "sudo $CMD1; sudo $CMD2;"
    May want to setup a ~/.ssh/config file to fill in what "server32" means - userid, IP/hostname, non-standard port?
    If you need special other things in the command on a box, add those too. I like to remove all excess snap package versions, for example, but only 3 of my systems have snaps loaded.
    I like to force a youtube-dl update on 3 systems as well - not the same. The youtube-dl install isn't in the "deployXYZ123" account, it is in my personal account on those systems ... so I don't use the same "serverX" name, I use the real hostname, but the ssh romulus "youtube-dl -U" command does the right thing.

    "KISS" - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KISS_principle . Only make things as complex as necessary.

    Sure, we can use all sorts of tools - F/LOSS, freeware, or paid for these things. But none are as easy as the simple ssh-script above, IMHO.

  5. #5
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    Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa

    Re: Centralized management tools

    I setup each server to handle his own business and do not let other servers tell it what to do. Example

    I use custom Bash scripts for each server to do its own OS updates and to log the results of those updates. My GitHub Repository

    These scripts will email me if they run into a problem (since I have my own internal mail server)

    However, I do have a centralized monitoring system (Nagios) that keeps tabs on all my servers / services. Each server has standards for reporting health such as CPU/Memory/swap/HD Space/APT Updates. But each server usually serves a specific purpose so I make sure a health check covers that service too. A MariaDB server will have a script that ensures it can connect to a test database, issue an SQL command and get a good result. A PHP server will have a script that retrieves a web page to ensure that the service / website is responding correctly. etc.

    It takes a bit of time to design, install and configure a monitoring system. But once in place, it is fairly quick to add / remove new machines.

    Regarding the time to setup the scripts, it took me a while to code them initially but when I deploy a virtual machine server from a template, all of it is done and the only thing I have to tweak are the service-specific things that are different from server to server.

    The only times I need to manually "mess with" a server are when there are issues such as running out of space (a script has already expanded the partition to the max size available) or when there is a hang-up in an APT update process it cannot resolve by itself or when I need to deploy a new version of the OS and migrate the data to the new platform which happens shortly after each major release (e.g. Ubuntu 20.04.5 LTS --> 22.04.1 LTS) because I never do in-place upgrades between versions.

    LHammonds

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    19

    Re: Centralized management tools

    I thank everyone for the reply.
    Now I will read better the references and the documentation that you have pointed out to me.
    Thanks again.

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