Kansas City Finance

Sep 8 2017

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Linux Enterprise Distribution and Central Patch Management

We’re in the process of evaluating candidates for a new Linux OS and patch management system for our corporate environment. Up until now, we were unable to do this due to internal opposition by developers. Our previous solution was Gentoo, which has become nearly impossible to administer. Our environment necessitates high availability and thorough testing. We have several application environments; each consists of at least 1 dev, 1 staging, and 1 production environment. Staged rollouts are the norm. Admin resources are spread thin.

We’ve identified the following requirements:

Centralized Patch Management
-tracking of applied/unapplied patches
-phased rollout to a large # of server groups (business, dev, staging, production, etc.)
-patch success auditing/reporting
-central console for managing patches
-ability to provision a server and bring it to a group’s current patch level

Versioned Releases
-Specific versioned releases
-Long-term support of releases for security fixes (3+ years)

Strong User-Base/Industry Support

We’ve been looking at RHEL 5.1, CentOS 5.1, and Debian 4.0 so far. We think that SLES 10 and Ubuntu Server may also be viable options, but haven’t had time to look at them yet. We’ve looked at both vendor- and third party-based solutions for patch management. CentOS doesn’t appear to have any support for centralized patch management. We’re wondering if we’ll run into this problem with Ubuntu as well.

What solutions are out there to accomplish this?

What do you use in your environments for a Linux OS? Patch Management?

UNIX isn’t an option, since we already have a lot of code developed specifically for Linux that can’t be easily ported.

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