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Comment: Re:Yes (Score 1) 136 136

You want infrastructure as code: when you shell into a machine, you've already lost the battle because you are going to be doing things by hand which is slow and fraught with human error.

Your general approach is correct: scrap the servers + packages, instead code them into a provisioning system such as Chef, Puppet, Ansible, Salt, etc. and handle all of the variables and corner cases for a fleet of servers with different OSs using these systems.

Model them for local development using Vagrant and eventually Docker.

Comment: Re:Disk cloning (Score 1) 136 136

Disk cloning is one easy way to solve this problem, but then you must customize the new clone, and that represents a different set of problems.
Eventually you learn that you don't want to copy the docroots or other data between each clone. In fact, your application or data or configuration up to date at the time of the snapshot, but may not represent the current application data or configuration.

This leads many to synthesize infrastructure via provisioning tools like Salt/Puppet/Chef/etc. following infrastructure as code principle and then to publish the application onto the server from revision control or even better, from a build system, because that is up to date.

Comment: Re:1 to 2 hours? (Score 1) 136 136

The problem is that doing anything by hand is slow and introduces human error.

We all start to solve this by documenting your work procedures (i.e. a run book) to make our knowledge reproducible the next time we set up a server. The next solution is to code those procedures in a shell script to speed up things. However, you quickly find out that you'll need variables and you want to address corner cases because you need the script to work on more than one server. So your shell script needs to be tested in multiple places and you've now begun to code infrastructure.

Today there are many provisioning tools (and run book modules provided by the community) which solve this problem elegantly and allow you to provision a fleet: Chef, Puppet, Ansible, Salt, and many others. They allow you to scale your efforts so that you'll never need a full day to provision a server again.

Comment: Vagrant + Docker (Score 1) 136 136

We don't do things by hand anymore today: it does not scale and it is not repeatable.

Vagrant changed my life! Learn about Vagrant, use shell and evolve towards Chef/Puppet provisioning, then optimize toward application containers to go even faster. You'll gain the benefit of keeping your customer development environment on your Windows/Mac/Linux desktop or laptop while being able to test multiple different projects for different business clients reflecting their production environment.

I had a lengthier example, but I lost the post. Anyhow, this is the beginning of your journey to immutable infrastructure as code: a lot of buzzwords that won't mean anything until you complete the journey..

Vagrant is part of a free toolset ecosystem (Packer, Terraform, Consul, etc.) which solve modern infrastructure issues that the OP is expressing: the Vagrant creators are smart and approachable in the forums and I've had the chance to meet some in person to confirm they are humble and generous souls.

Comment: Pertino client (shameless promotion) (Score 1) 116 116

Check out Pertino.com, a network as a service startup. You can set up a free account for three devices forever. If you need to expand past three devices at the same time, then Pertino has become valuable to you.

At a minimum, you get a very easy to use (and administer) private, secure network between you and whomever you invite onto your network, so you can do Remote Desktop, VNC, X, or whatever else you choose for you and your family to use without resorting to GotoMyPC, WebEx, etc. (mind you, all of those solutions are valid Desktop Sharing services, too) . But you can also do NFS, SMB, FTP, etc. for file sharing. Or anything: you finally have a virtual private network where you and your remote clients/family get a LAN-like experience in the cloud.

Full disclosure: I work there, so I am hopelessly biased. The value I see in this solution is that it is easy and secure for everyone, covers mobile and desktop, and allows you to try almost any solution out there to solve your needs because you have a peer to peer network with remote devices.

Upgrades

+ - OpenLDAP 2.4.6 Released->

markjl writes: "OpenLDAP 2.4.6 has been released, the first official release in the 2.4 branch, preliminary benchmarks are underway to compare performance with Microsoft ActiveDirectory/ADAM. This new branch announcement represents many performance and feature enhancements to the client, server, and libraries as well as improved documentation (one of my peeves with the project). The server support multi-master replication with dynamic configuration and monitoring, improving it's robust feature set."
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