Automating security with GNU cfengine

Thursday, 5 February 2004, 1:46 PM EST

Many years ago, I had a small revelation that I'm sure many of you have experienced yourselves. I realized that maintaining 10 systems requires a good bit more work than administering a single computer. But, it doesn't have to take that much more work--assuming the proper tools and methodologies are used.

When you want to make a change to a single system, you simply decide what to change and poke around until everything works properly. Three months later, you may not even remember what it was you did or why you did it. Does that matter? Not usually.

But when you have to make those changes to several systems, do you really want to perform manually the same task numerous times? If you had 10 systems but now have 11, will you remember to make all of the same changes to the new arrival? Maybe the new system is slightly different--or maybe none of your systems are the same. Wouldn't it be nice to know exactly what you did and why you did it?

By Kirk Bauer at Linux Journal.

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