18th Large Installation System Administration Conference Abstract
Pp. 105112 of the Proceedings
AIS: A Fast, Disk Space Efficient ``Adaptable Installation System'' Supporting Multitudes of Diverse Software Configurations
Sergei Mikhailov and Jonathan Stanton, George Washington University
Efficiently installing and configuring large sets of computer systems is an important concern for system and cluster administrators. Current solutions usually follow one of the two approaches: an image- based install or a metadata-based custom install. Both approaches limit the opportunities for optimizing the installation time by coupling the system specification with the installation technique and ignoring the relationships between configurations over time (as they evolve with patches and new packages).
The Adaptable Installation System (AIS) is a new model and implementation that attempts to address these shortcomings by taking a hybrid approach to client system installation. As in the metadata- based approach, it uses descriptors to express what the final system should look like in terms of composition and configuration. At the same time, it uses imaging for part of the client re-installation to achieve speed. In this paper we present the design and implementation of AIS along with details on the algorithm that builds images and performance results of running the prototype system on a set of RedHat based machines.
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