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Documentation Writing

In 2010 one of Canada's largest enterprises needed a Linux expert to develop plans, procedures, and policies for the addition of the first hundred Linux servers to their otherwise all-Windows network. Having no in-house expertise, they sought a Senior Red Hat Linux Consultant and chose ISP Ltd. and Angelo Babudro.

Throughout the year the focus of work was the definition, analysis, research, reporting, and ultimate implementation in the areas of:

  • Automated method for rapid Linux server deployment
  • Server & network infrastructure monitoring
  • Configuration management
  • Software management at both the server and enterprise level (i.e., how to manage software on servers and how to manage an in-house repository to hold all approved software)
  • Server security (e.g., firewall, intrusion detection, etc.)
  • Central authentication integration with existing Active Directory server

In all of the above areas documentation was a primary product of the effort and was about half of each day's work. Hand-in-hand with writing documentation was the testing of procedures, development of various methods to accomplish goals, and researching industry standards and established best practices.

Software Evaluated and Implemented

This role focused exclusively on the software side of Linux. The hardware (as well as the Linux distribution) were fixed parameters of the work. The software packages installed, configured, tested, and documented to achieve the client's goals included these:

O/S Installation Automation

  • Kickstart
  • ksgen (a Perl script that Mr. Babudro developed for them)
  • Cfengine

Configuration Management

  • Cfengine
  • BCFG2
  • LCFG
  • RHN Satellite
  • Puppet and Chef were researched and compared, but ultimately not installed and evaluated.

Software Management

  • Cfengine
  • RHN Satellite
  • Spacewalk
  • Subversion + WebDAV

Server Monitoring

  • Zabbix1
  • Nagios/Icinga
  • OpManager
  • Zenoss
  • SCOM
  • SNMP
  • IPMI

Software Repository Management

  • Mrepo
  • Reposync
  • RHN Satellite
  • RHN Proxy
  • RHN

Central Authentication

  • OpenLDAP
  • OpenDS
  • 389DS
  • Red Hat DS
  • ApacheDS
  • FreeIPA

Authentication Management

  • Apache Studio
  • OpenDS
  • LAM
  • phpLDAPadmin
  • CLI

Server Virtualisation

  • Xen
  • VMware (VMware work included testing & documentation only)

1 After comparing all the monitoring options and choosing Zabbix as the superior option, Mr. Babudro travelled to Brasil and attended a certification course in implmenting Zabbix in large enterprises.