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Writing this answer, I realized I do not know anything about Orchestra. There's no link to any website or documentation on their Launchpad page.

Can anyone familiar with it explain how it works and how to use it? I read Orchestra is going to be integrated into juju for easily setting up bare metal systems, so I'm assuming Orchestra works in a similar manner.

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up vote 14 down vote accepted

Here is some basic information and a more detailed introduction by Dustin Kirkland.

Basically, the Ubuntu orchestra server consist of the following components:

  1. Provisioning Server -> Cobbler
  2. Monitoring Server -> Nagios
  3. Management Server -> Juju
  4. Logging Server -> Rsyslog

Cobbler is a Linux installation server that allows for rapid setup of network installation environments.

Nagios monitors large deployments to ensure systems, applications, services and business processes are functioning properly.

Juju was previously codenamed Ensemble. Through the use of charms, which describe services and their dependencies and interfaces, juju provides shareable, re-usable and repeatable expressions of DevOps best practices. Check out this Ubuntu Open Week Session for an intro to Juju.

Rsyslog is an enhanced syslogd supporting, among others, MySQL, PostgreSQL, failover log destinations, syslog/tcp, fine grain output format control, high precision timestamps, queued operations and the ability to filter on any message part.

Quoting from the Ubuntu Wiki page about Orchestra:

A collection of what we think are the best free software services for provisioning, deploying, hosting, managing, and orchestrating enterprise data center infrastructure services, by, with, and for the Ubuntu Server. Orchestra, enables users to quickly deploy a solution in the datacentre. Instead of manually setting up a complex network installation environment, users can leverage Orchestra to rapidly deploy new servers in production using the best open-source tools. The process is standardised and fully automated, minimising manual intervention and ensuring consistency.

If you scroll down on the above mentioned Ubuntu Wiki page, you will find two links for a tutorial on setting up an Ubuntu-based Orchestra server in the safe confines of Virtualbox. For convenience, here are the links:

Deploy Orchestra server fleets part 1

Deploy Orchestra server fleets part 2

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Excellent, thank you! –  Oxwivi Oct 27 '11 at 15:58
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This blog post by Dustin Kirkland may be interesting, too. –  Florian Diesch Oct 27 '11 at 18:43
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