So we use Rackspace for 90% of our client hosting. I typically build out the various servers and on the Linux side we use Ubuntu 14.04 LTS as our primary distro. I have a well documented note that details all the steps needed to setup and configure the server so that our devs can then deploy to it and get things going.

Is there a better way then going in by hand and line-by-line doing all the configuration post-build? Could Vagrant or Chef be used for something like this? I have not used Vagrant or Chef enough to see if it could solve my server builds.

Here's an example of what is done.

  1. Build server off Rackspace control panel
  2. Once server built I SSH in and then do updates, create users, create groups, install Apache, PHP, MySQL, configure time zone, update server software, set up custom alerts, etc.
  3. Once done in step 2 I test and hand off credentials to developers to deploy their apps.

So looking for a way to help automate my builds easily (without building a master image and reusing that.)

  • Sure it can. In our case, we use puppet, and I have a configuration package which sets up the puppet client, so that all I have to do is SSH in and check if puppet started correctly. – muru Apr 15 '15 at 19:51

There are many tools such as Salt, Ansibel, Chef, and Puppet that can be used for this purpose. We are currently using salt to automate all of our server builds. We evaluated other tools and decided to use salt for various reasons. I would suggest that you give salt, ansible, puppet, or chef a try to see which one you like best.

Overall they all pretty much do the same thing :)

To answer your question, these tools are specifically designed for your use case and switching to salt has saved us hundreds of hours of manual work.

  • 2
    Awesome! I figured that Salt, Chef, Puppet, etc would do the trick. I have not dug into them deep enough but will do so now! thanks. – Valien Apr 15 '15 at 19:54

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