Managing multiple servers can be a headache. One of the most common problems that one can face is keeping server configuration identical from one server to another, especially if you are dealing with frequent deployments of identical services across identical servers. This is also true when you want to mirror server tweaks and configurations you did from one server to all of your servers or selected servers. Therefore, having an ability to automate this process can be of great help.
Good to know that there are tools that will let you do that. They enable you to create and use recipes, playbooks, templates or whatever you call them in order to simplify automation and management, allowing you to provide a standard, consistent deployment across your servers.
Here are some of the tools that can help you simplify and automate server management.
An open source tool that’s used to deploy apps to remote nodes and manage servers in a repeatable manner. It provides a framework for publishing multi-tier applications using the push model setup, though you can also set it on a master-client setup if you want. It uses playbooks that can be applied to a variety of systems for app deployment and configuration.
Ansible is perfect if you are looking for a fast and easy solution for multiple server management. It doesn’t require you to install software or agents on remote nodes and managed servers. This is your choice if you want to focus more on the administration side of things.
Another open source tool, though unlike ansible, is more focused on the development side. This operates on a master-client model setup. It requires a separate workstation for master control. The software is ruby-based and uses pure ruby for most elements you write.
You must be familiar with git as well as ruby to be able to use it well, however. Git is required for configuration. This tool is perfect for development focused team and environment.
This is a free python-based tool for streamlining SSH in application deployment and configuration. It’s mainly used for running tasks across multiple remote systems and includes a plugins feature to extend or provide advanced functionalities.
This tool is perfect for beginners in the world of automated deployment and management space. It will configure the system, then do the system/server administration and automate application deployment. Also note that having a python in your environment can help this tool perform better.
This is probably their grandfather as it has been around for a long time. Deployed in some of the biggest and most demanding environments, puppet is perfect for large enterprises with a heterogeneous environment consisting of DevOps with a different set of skills.