Linux Operating System Configuration Management Framework: A Scalable and Efficient Approach Using Open Source Utilities

by Kalidindi, Srinivas R.

Abstract (Summary)
With the steady growth in Information Technology sector, managing complex infrastructure has proven to be a challenge for organizations, both big and small, in terms of maintaining a consistent environment across the board. In a product development industry, this consistency in the environment plays a key role in maintaining the overall productivity of the organization. Current Information Technology administrators have access to a wide array of open source and commercial tools for infrastructure management in terms of hardware as well as software configuration changes. As hardware support is provided by the appliance vendor, the complexity in managing the underlying operating system configuration changes poses a challenge. Although there is a wide array of open source tools available to achieve this objective, they may be far more complex than required, and may not be entirely portable within an existing environment. In many cases, the commercial solutions are not affordable depending on the size of the organization. This thesis investigates the currently available configuration management tools, and presents Linux operating system configuration management framework (LOSCMF) developed using open source tools and utilities. Linux operating system configuration management framework (LOSCMF) solution has been designed to perform complex operating system configuration changes by addressing the following three drawbacks found in the current configuration management solutions; usage of additional agents (system daemons), usage of complex configuration language, and usage of special scripting and programming languages. Each of the computer systems installed with the LOSCMF are grouped based on their current configuration level. A system administrator defines the necessary configuration changes that need to be applied either for a particular group or a logical combination of groups. These configuration changes are applied until a computer system confirms to a defined configuration state. The LOSCMF has both command line as well as web based reporting interfaces that can be used by the administrators to generate reports as per the requirement. The LOSCMF has been written using object oriented Perl, PHP and Bourne shell, and the underlying architecture is independent of the actual command or the scripting language, which would be performing the configuration change. The system administrators can choose to use any scripting or programming language of their choice to perform the configuration change. The LOSCMF solution can be used as a prototype within medium to large sized organizations for maintaining Linux operating system configuration changes. This thesis presents some of the benefits achieved using the LOSCMF approach such as a decrease in the administrative time, decrease in the support call volume, as well as a simple and effective mechanism for administrators to extract useful information on the fly.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Ohio University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:linux operating system open source utilities


Date of Publication:01/01/2007

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