I have been using Cfengine since 2007-02 to manage some aspects of our Linux Servers. Cfengine (as any automation tool) has a steep learning curve. It is difficult to climb out of the hole and get things up and running.
In 2008 I came in contact with
||DSH - Distributed Shell / Dancers Shell
Very handy tool if you manage more than a couple of hosts.
My little dsh tidbit: howto dsh with a batch or script file.
You should know that dsh will only be fun if you are using ssh with pulic-key authentication. Otherwise you'll find yourself typing passwords all day. If you don't know what that is, I suggest find out about it and come back once you are familiar with it.
||FAI - Fully Automatic Installation
aptitude install fai-quickstart
* Edit /etc/fai/fai.conf and /etc/fai/make-fai-nfsroot.conf
* Don't forget to adjust FAI_DEBOOTSTRAP to use your preferred (local) Debian mirror.
Monitor your network with nagios
aptitude install nagios2
# to configure a password for your default webinterface
# user nagiosadmin run:
Access your webinterface at <http://localhost/nagios2/>
Verify your configuration:
Puppet is a system for automating system administration tasks.
Home of puppet is <http://puppetlabs.com>
Helpful links regarding puppet:
More in depth pages:
||Setting up a PXE server
A PXE server is very useful if you need to boot your client over network because you don't have a CD-ROM or floppy installed. This allows you to install your OS without the need of an USB-device attached to your PC. All you need is a network card with PXE functionality included.