RFC: Centrilized managment console

Jonathan Jesse jjesse at gmail.com
Thu Jun 5 01:22:16 UTC 2008

On Wed, Jun 4, 2008 at 9:10 PM, Jonathan Jesse <jjesse at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Wed, Jun 4, 2008 at 7:24 AM, Dan Shearer <dan at shearer.org> wrote:
>> On Tue, Jun 03, 2008 at 08:00:31PM -0500, Nicolas Valcarcel wrote:
>> > I have been working on the blueprint of a centralized managment console
>>   :
>> >
>> https://blueprints.edge.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+spec/ubuntu-centralized-services-administrator
>> I'm not sure how best to contribute, so I'll start with a few comments
>> here first.
>> Rationale
>> ---------
>> I wonder if the Rationale section is maybe looking at the right things
>> from the wrong starting point.  To me the deeper analysis is:
>>    Ubuntu Server has no awareness of itself as a product.
>> Yast, webmin and the rest don't address this either.  Personally I'd be
>> delighted to stick with existing Ubuntu Server tools for managing
>> services (thanks, Debian, upstreams!) and just overlay a higher order of
>> understanding and control. Which, at our later option, we can make as
>> GUI as we like, or as is required.
>> There's a subtle point here that was only hinted at before, I can't
>> remember who made it. The good thing a lot of us see in the Microsoft
>> admin tools is that they have this higher order of understanding to some
>> degree. Not so much just that there is a GUI. And that is where I think
>> some of the debate on this list has been like ships passing in the
>> night, people not realising that the others are talking about different
>> things. I despite a mandatory GUI as much as the next Unix person. But I
>> recognise value in a network-centric management view, such as delivered
>> nicely by some GUI tools.
>> Outline Sketch Implementation
>> -----------------------------
>> Following is a sketch of a commandline tool ubuntu-server-admin.py that,
>> if it existed, would give me confidence that a useful admin tool could
>> be built on top of it. My tool would be interacting with existing Linux
>> and Debian management facilities, and would use a database. I have a
>> clear idea for how the database would work but that's detail.
>> u-s-admin --report --overview returns an XML summary file that says:
>>   name = X, otherwise known as Z
>>   services I'm running that matter to users are A,B,C
>>   the locations of my vital data are D, E, F
>>   the network services I depend on are G, H I
>>   the network servers I depend on are J, K, L
>>   the machines to which I log messages are M and N
>>   the machines monitoring me are O and P
>> (where I say 'machine' above it is likely 'CNAME' in reality to avoid
>> hard coding)
>> u-s-admin --report --depend-network-services would return:
>>   DNS server details, and their current status
>>   KDC server details and status
>>    :
>> u-s-admin --report --depend-network-servers would return:
>>   Server J: rsync for backup, on port X; and current status
>>   Server K: SQL server for webapp we're running; and current status
>>   Server L: web proxy for accellerator for Apache we're running; and
>> current status
>> Given this level of awareness, next we need to configure these things.
>> The fact of this configuration would not be kept in the database, the
>> database would only be for the higher-level understanding. This would be
>> making calls to debconf or apachectl or whatever makes sense, and these
>> tools just manage state the same way they always did.
>> --
>> Dan Shearer
>> dan at shearer.org
>> --
>>  ubuntu-server mailing list
>> ubuntu-server at lists.ubuntu.com
>> https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-server
>> More info: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/ServerTeam
> Dan,
> I agree that I don't want to see a nice GUI environment, but I do want to
> be able policies against a group of computers that will report information
> back to me.
> So what happens after I do a u-s-admin -report?  How does the data get
> displayed?  How can i report against u-s-admin?  I would like a list of
> computers that are my DNS servers in my environment or a list of my SQL
> servers in the environment?
> XML is great that once you define that information it can be
> transmitted/delt with however you want to.
> Let me think more on this

Replying to my own post:

I think we should mandate a GUI environment.  Something that can be schedued
to run over and over again
Just wonder if this is something that should be targeted to Intrepid +1?
That way we can run it and test it for intrepid and move forward as we work
towards the next ZLTS
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