Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Server configuration

Server configuration is a pain, especially for distributed systems. My problem? I want n A processes running on m boxes talking to p B processes on q boxes, where a m-box can also be a q-box. One issue is each process needs to use its own ports and other processes need to know those ports.

There are so many ways to have one level of indirection, but all require a central bootstrap/lookup.

I suppose something like zeroconf would help, as each process would broadcast its info to the others, but is that too heavyweight?

I looked briefly at Puppet since I'm on a Ruby kick, but it seems too abstract. Why should I have to define a class/object system inside a domain-specific language inside Ruby, when I have Ruby itself? What I mean is, I don't think systems configuration engineers think in terms of inheritance, they think in terms of processes and ports and configuration strings and policies. I get a bad feeling whenever there is a keyword 'class' intended for downstream users.

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