If you are going to be at the USENIX/SAGE LISA conference in San Diego in early December, I've scheduled a Network Automation BoF (Birds of a Feather session, where folks interested in a particular topic get together to chat about it) for Thursday night, 8 December 2005, 8:00-9:00pm (right after the conference reception). Right now, they've got us scheduled in Garden Salon 1, but that's subject to change, so check the scheduling board at the conference. I hope to see you there!
Automating Network Configuration & Management
Organizer/Moderator: Brent Chapman, Great Circle Associates
Thursday, 8 December 2005, 8:00 pm-9:00 pm, Garden Salon 1
What's the state of the art for automated network configuration and management? What systems and tools are available, either freely or commercially? Where are these issues being considered and discussed?
Over the last 15 years or so, much of the research in the system administration field has focused on automation. It's now well accepted that a well-run operation doesn't manage 10,000 servers individually, but rather uses tools like cfengine to manage definitions of those servers and then create instances of those servers as needed. In the networking world, though, most of us seem to be still manually configuring (and reconfiguring) every device.