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architecting your data center (version 2)

sometime around 2007 or 2008 i suddenly had about 200 physical servers dumped in my lap and i had to come up with a complete software infrastructure for these servers. i had to design, implement and maintain them by myself with minimal aid from others.

in this article i wrote down the applications i used back then.

and now with the success of another article of mine talking about building a nested esx lab at home, i decided to see what i could do for a full fledged openstack environment and to document it.

currently my thoughts on the applications required are as follows



openstack virtualisation; the installer will be rdo-manager
FreeIPA dns and directory server
spacewalk package repository and patch management
zenoss monitoring
smstools3 alerting
gitlab ce ticketing, documentation and code repository
jenkins continuous integration to push code to servers
elk remote logging
ansible configuration management and self healing scripts
team pass password management
bareos + rear backup and full system recovery
cachet status page



i intend to document each component's build out and integration with the other components as i go along.


also, just a reminder that i intend to use only open source software where available. note that initially I will be going for standalone servers, and hopefully circle back to reimplement these servers with HA


as for hardware, i want to minimise the budget which means for applications like alerting i am still up in the air on purchasing the necessary hardware and gsm sim card or subscribing to a service on the internet which will do it for me. it might come down to spending $40 or $50 for the hardware vs $5 for a single month's subscription.

fyi, i already own several desktops that could be repurposed for this endeavour. i certainly do not intend to purchase any more. the rdo-manager documentation talks about needing a minimum of 3 physical servers so that should be doable.


as to the order of the installation, i havent quite decided yet. obviously openstack will be first. a question that i need to answer will be how much of this infrastructure will be physical and how much will be virtual. i dont want to fall into a chicken and egg situation and find out that its actually yogurt that i have to look at. yogurt requires that you import a culture from a previous batch. you'd be surprised at what some entreprises have done to bootstrap their environment and i don't want to fall into the same trap.

going forward

so keep watching, keep coming back, give me ideas, and help me build this virtual datacenter


Table of Contents

1  Introduction
2  The KVM server
3  The VM template
4  spacewalk