Back in the glory days of Sun Microsystem, they were visionary at that time when the Ethernet and TCP/IP was emerging as the universal network topology and protocol standard.  Sun adopted the marketing slogan "the network is the computer" and wisely so.  That is the way I have viewed computing from the time I started architecting holistic networks.  It isn't about a standalone machine performing a specific purpose, rather it is a cooperative service that ultimately satisfies a human need. 

Through the years, I have been successful in tailoring an architecture that required few administrators to administrate hundreds of computers running multiple hardware and OS platforms serving both high-end technical and business end user.

Configuration design and definition is at the core of good network architecture.  I have experimented with what configuration elements are important, which should be shared and which should be maintained locally on each host.  Whether an instance is virtual, physical or a container, these concepts apply universally.  This article talks about my thoughts on the overall management of the cohesive network of both UNIX and UNIX-like servers and desktops administrated by minimal staff.

What is a Federated Name Service?  In a nutshell, it is a service that is organized by types of reference information such as in a library.  There are books in the library of all different types.  You select the book off the shelf that best suits your needs.  As well, the information is different that data that would be stored in a database, though the data in a Federated Name Service is stored in a database on the back end.  This data is generally written once and read many times. There are many guides over what and how to implement LDAP directory services.  This article talks mainly about how to leverage LDAP in access control in a network of open system hosts with multiple user and admin groups in the enterprise.

There are different aspects to consider in tailoring the user environment to operate holistically in an open systems network.  One major architectural difference between open systems and MS Windows is that applications, for the most part are dependent on a local registry database that a packaged application plants its configuration.  Historically with traditional UNIX environments, there is only a text file that contains it's configuration information, whether a set of key/value pairs or a simple shell file assigning values to variables.  

This article is complimentary to the previous article "User Profile and Environment".  Broad topics include: Which Shell?, Utilities, Managing Open Source.


Friday 6th of December 2019 -  Copyright 2016 Allan Wolfe