New Projects - Fresh from the Labs
Born out of dissatisfaction with expensive commercial tools and the direction taken by most network admin projects, OpenNetAdmin (ONA) takes a different approach to network administration while making the task of administration a little bit nicer in the process. Project founder Matt Pascoe found commercial tools, such as Lucent QIP, Infoblox and Bluecat, to be okay, but they're expensive and clunky for certain tasks, and they don't follow the *nix principal of modular functionality. All of the open-source tools he found, such as IP-Plan/IP-Track, had big usability issues, and the Java interfaces always annoyed him, so a Web-based AJAX interface made more sense. After coming up with a bunch of cool ideas and methods with his former coworkers, Matt couldn't let all of them go to waste, so he re-created his own variant that would work in a general sense for the Open Source community.
ONA is meant to play a more authoritative role in your environment. Many tools want to go into a discovery mode and tell you what is in your network, while all the time adjusting your data. In contrast, ONA tells the network what it should have in it. This way, you can (hopefully) trust your own data to help you configure your environment the way you want it, but still utilize things like DHCP and its dynamic nature. ONA also is designed to help with auditing your network, and it's geared toward helping configure your routers/switches/firewalls/nagios/cacti or pretty much anything for which you want to create an output template. The GUI also is an important element of ONA, designed to flow easily with familiar elements, such as pop-ups, search as you go and so on.
First, you need a basic LAMP installation of Apache, MySQL and PHP, or you'll be going nowhere fast. Matt recommends installing the following packages:
Once you've got the LAMP side of things sorted out, head to the ONA Web site, grab the latest tarball and save it somewhere locally. Once the download has finished, open a terminal in the directory where you saved the tarball, and enter the following commands as root or using sudo:
# tar -C /opt -zxvf ona-v00.00.00.tar.gz # ln -s /opt/ona/www /var/www/ona # touch /var/log/ona.log # chmod 666 /var/log/ona.log # chown www-data /opt/ona/www/local/config
(If you know what you're doing here and use a different Web server user, feel free to replace the user name.)
These steps should cover most circumstances, but alternative steps can be taken if you prefer more customization or if it simply doesn't work on your system. Check the installation documentation under docs/install in ONA's tarball for more information.
ONA is a browser-based program, so open up your favorite browser and head to http://<servername>/ona. If you don't know your server name, localhost should work in most cases. This should take you to a License Agreement screen, but if you get a request to save a PHTML file instead, try another browser and check that PHP is installed properly (on my Ubuntu machine, for some reason it didn't work on Firefox, but it worked straightaway in Konqueror).
After the License Agreement, you'll go to a screen where you need to assign passwords to the default users and user names (which you can change if you prefer). There also will be a number of prerequisite checks—ensure that they are set to Yes. After that, you now should be on the main ONA screen. When you start out in the main screen, you will be acting as a Guest by default, so you need to log in as admin. Click in the field near the top right where it says Guest, and enter admin in that field. After you've done that, a password box appears; enter admin there as well.
Now that you're all set up, it's time to explore. In the middle of the screen is a group of the main tasks you will be performing, such as Add a DNS domain, Add a new host and so on. If you look at the top left of the screen, there's a button called Tools. This contains a menu of all the tasks just mentioned as well as a host of other options. However, the most important option is Admin Tools (which also happens to be in the top center of the screen). This has some powerful options, such as managing DHCP, device models and roles, subnet types, users, groups and more. Information on pretty much every ONA networking task is available in some form or another, and some kinds of information seem to be available in lovely pie-chart form—perfect for boardroom types.
Unfortunately, I just don't have the space in this column to give this program justice, so hopefully we can cover it in a more detailed form some time in the future. ONA is chock-full of options; the GUI is pretty nice to use, and the aesthetics are pleasant—all of which will hopefully draw some new users into the world of Net administration. Nevertheless, some potential users may run away in fear of the command line, so hopefully, the installation process will benefit from distro-specific packages in the future (and in turn, hopefully, ONA will make its way into major distributions soon as a great admin tool). And, for those who want to jump in and try it without going through all the nasty installation stuff, check out the on-line demo (demo.opennetadmin.com).
John Knight is the New Projects columnist for Linux Journal.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
Free to Linux Journal readers.Register Now!
- SUSE LLC's SUSE Manager
- Murat Yener and Onur Dundar's Expert Android Studio (Wrox)
- My +1 Sword of Productivity
- Tech Tip: Really Simple HTTP Server with Python
- Non-Linux FOSS: Caffeine!
- Returning Values from Bash Functions
- Managing Linux Using Puppet
- Doing for User Space What We Did for Kernel Space
- Rogue Wave Software's Zend Server
- Parsing an RSS News Feed with a Bash Script
With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide