Centralized administration with Openvenus

The Face of Venus

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The beautifully named Openvenus platform aims to simplify an administrator's life; it runs commands against groups of servers and distributes files or software from a central location.

An administrator's daily work comprises many tasks, some of which are quite tedious: It involves installing patches, setting up new servers, or even making changes to all the computers in the enterprise. Virtualization and cloud computing don't improve this situation because setting up a new virtual server based on a master image is done quickly, and the inclination is thus to do so more often than needed. However, maintaining and managing the current crop of images requires the same effort as with a dedicated device.

To streamline tasks, admins tend to write their own toolsets or customize existing management solutions to manage their computer pools efficiently. scVenus [1] by Science+Computing is one such commercial management software.

Munich-based, open source developer Albert Flügel was quite impressed by scVenus when he was subcontracting as a system administrator in a large environment. The customer used scVenus to manage a four-digit number of clients. When the license for the framework expired, however, the team of administrators faced the problem of continuing to manage what, in some cases, were old operating system versions.

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