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LISA 2001 Abstract

CfAdmin:A User Interface for Cfengine

Charles Beadnall, WR Hambrecht; Andrew Mayhew, Logictier,Inc.


CfAdmin provides a relatively easy-to-use web interface for system administrators to package and deploy software using GNU Cfengine. It conceals the intricacies of cfengine configuration and reduces potential errors by storing all configuration data in a relational database.

The interface is divided into administration, inventory, package and deployment sections to follow an administrator's work-flow. In addition to implementing most of the features of cfengine, CfAdmin provides a configuration file template system to allow customization of packages per deployment. This allows an administrator to readily leverage a single package, such as Apache, across multiple installations by modifying templated areas of the configuration file (i.e., httpd.conf ServerRoot).

CfAdmin was created to streamline the deployment of software for a managed service provider, but could be equally at home in other environments with large numbers of applications and servers. It is an update to an existing cfengine installation supporting over 200 servers in various colocation facilities and has the side-benefit of being a self-documenting system.

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Last changed: 30 Apr 2002 ml
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