[u-u] Asset tracking...

Eric Siegerman pub08-uu at davor.org
Wed Jan 14 09:49:47 EST 2015

On 01/13/2015 02:53 PM, Alan J Rosenthal wrote:
 > Those items which can't be derived automatically get added to
 > the inventory files described at the beginning of this message.

I take you to mean that the static data lives only in the central
(text) database on the hub box.

One could put that static data on the machine it pertains to (in
a file in /usr/local/etc, say), and have the cron job include it
in the hourly email along with the dynamically generated stuff.
That would make each machine the authoritative source for all of
the asset data about it, rather than splitting the "source of
truth" between the machine itself and the central database.

As well, it would make it easier to maintain that info -- when
you make change something about a box, just edit a local file on
the box itself.  That's a huge win if there are firewall issues
in ssh'ing from the individual boxes into the hub; but even
absent such issues, it might be psychologically easier (or at
least, it would be for me, though your brain might work
differently from mine :-) )

Besides homebrew scripts for automating the data collection,
there are also tools like cfengine, puppet, chef, pikt.  They all
have the advantage that once you've set one up, I'm sure you'll
find other uses for it.  So probably more effort up front before
you get to the point of automating your first task (asset
tracking in this case), but the second automated task becomes a
lot easier; and once you have a whole suite of such tasks, the
fact that they're all run under one tool should make life
easier/saner.  (I haven't used any of these tools, so can't offer
any advice on choosing among them.)

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