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conserver extras

Andras.Horvath Andras.Horvath@cern.ch
Mon, 17 Nov 2008 12:47:41 GMT

Dear Conserver users/devs,

I manage a largish (about 9k nodes, constantly growing) remote console
installation here at CERN. Clients are, for the smaller part, disk
arrays and such (with serial console) but mostly Linux PCs (serial
and/or IPMI SOL consoles).  We have one "headnode" (a Linux PC with
optional multiport serial cards) every 40..200 clients where server code
gathers console logs and allows user access to consoles.

Our current software has its limitations and I'm looking for an
alternative. I came accross conserver which seems to be a nice fit for
us, with a small set of addons and packaging. This is where I'd like
your input and comments.

Please find a patch at http://cern.ch/ahorvath/rpms/conserver/ which
does the following:
- run conserver as user 'uucp', not as root (modified RedHat init
  script -- we run Scientific Linux aka recompiled RHEL)
- also, 'service conserver restart' will work even if conserver wasn't
- a wrapper script around ipmitool, with its own config file, so that
  IPMI passwords are not exposed to users and special options (e.g. "-o
  intelplus" can be passed on where needed. The same script can, and
  will, be eventually used to use ssh as a transport (e.g. for SUN
  machines without IPMI SOL)
- cleanup :) of the default config files 
- a logrotate plug-in
- provide a 'console.cf' that connects to localhost by default
There's also a SPEC file there which is a modified version of what the
DAG RPM repository carried. (In fact the patch is against the DAG
version, if it's any different from the original. The source RPM is also
there for your convenience.)

I plan on configuring this all via a component of the Quattor system
(http://quattor.org) that we use for all node configuration.

I'd be happy to have your criticism on the changes :-) and also to
contribute these back to upstream if the developers accept them.
The Quattor component is also available.

Please note that this is not widely-tested code yet, I'm merely
preparing for more tests by packaging everything.



Systems engineer, CERN IT FIO
Tel: +41 22 767 4290
Fax: +41 22 766 9154