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Linux Management and Monitoring Lacking

Reinventing the Sysadmin Wheel

  • March 1, 2010
  • By Charlie Schluting
Charlie Schluting

I admit it: I'm slightly jealous of Microsoft server administrators. You see, in the Linux world, we have the power to create crazily robust and creative systems, but we're often reinventing the wheel.

Specifically, in Microsoft land, it takes very little time to set up Active Directory and a boot server. New Windows machines can be deployed and group policies get created to define what software and configurations exist on a group of servers. Then, if they buy Microsoft Systems Center Operations Manager, all the deployed servers can be automatically monitored. It's all point and click, and it's very easy.

In the Linux/Unix world, it takes a lot of planning and learning new tools to get the same functionality. You might run Puppet or Chef for configuration management, and then write special scripts in your deployment system (Cobbler or a home-grown system) to automatically add servers to your monitoring systems, such as Nagios or Zenoss. Once you've done this, however, everything else that gets added to the configuration management system is far more powerful and useful than can be done with Microsoft servers. After many weeks are spent designing, learning, and implementing the fundamental systems, sysadmins are finally able to get real work done.

The time spent is surely worth it, but what if it didn't take a top 10 percent type of sysadmin to recognize the payoff associated with a fully automated infrastructure, and with the focus and determination to make it all work? What would the Linux and Unix server world look like if that was the easy part? Why?

I am not advocating for a feature-limited and GUI-based infrastructure-in-a-box type of solution....

Read the rest of this Linux management and monitoring story at Enterprise Networking Planet.

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