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USENIX Technical Program - Abstract - 13th Systems Administration Conference - LISA '99

Enterprise Rollouts with Jumpstart

Jason Heiss, Collective Technologies


JumpStart is Sun's solution for installing the Solaris operating system. The Custom JumpStart feature allows the installation process to be automated. However, configuring boot and NFS servers and the appropriate name services for JumpStart is a time-consuming and error-prone process. The scripts that Sun provides do not help this process much. This paper will talk about how to better automate the configuration steps needed to perform JumpStarts over the network, emphasizing speed and accuracy as well as simplicity from an operator's point of view. The infrastructure needed to perform large numbers of simultaneous JumpStarts is also discussed. By automating the actual rollout process, it is possible to JumpStart several hundred machines at once. Techniques for doing so are presented. The improvements presented in this paper allowed one company to improve the speed of their rollouts to 600 Sun workstations by more than an order of magnitude. This greatly decreased user downtime and saved the company hundreds of thousands of dollars. Lastly, possible future improvements to the process are discussed.
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Last changed: 13 Feb 2002 ml
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