Remote Server Management Tool

The Open source movement has greatly aided Remote server management. It has thrown open many a tools that allow system administrator and technicians to manage their servers remotely. The prerequisite of having the machine powered On has also been removed due to these tools. Though there are many tools available online, few of the more popular Linux system administration tools are: The Caldera Open Administration System (COAS), Linuxconf, Webmin, Integrated Lights Out Manager (ILOM), KVM and Yet Another System Tool (YaST).

1. Webmin:-

As the name suggests it is a Web Based tool for configuring and tweaking your Linux box remotely via a LAN/WAN or even accessing a server hosted at some server farm or data center on a broadband network with your service provider. Using any browser that supports tables and forms (and Java for the File Manager module), you can setup user accounts,
Apache, DNS, file sharing and so on. Webmin consists of a simple web server, and a number of CGI programs which directly update system files like /etc/inetd.conf and /etc/passwd.

Install webmin –

Download webmin rpm. Then login into your system as root.
Now change into the directory where you have downloaded the Webmin RPM and issue the following command.
rpm -ivh webmin-0.82.rpm

2. Linuxconf:-

Linuxconf is a sophisticated administration system for the Linux operating system.

3. Yet Another System Tool (YaST) :-

YaST(Yet another Setup Tool[1]), is an RPM-based operating system setup and configuration tool that is featured in the openSUSE Linux distribution, as well as Novell’s derived
commercial distributions. YaST2 is a tool for administering and maintaining a SUSE Linux installation. It allows administrators to install software, configure hardware, set up networks and
servers, and more. YAST also can document existing system configuration and check at least the following items.

Network card
NTP configuration
System services
Local security
Data and time
Graphic card and monitor

Purposes in Yast are very similar to Windows Control Panel:

a. Installation of SUSE on a system
b. Configuration of the installed system
c. Administration of the installed system
d. Reinstallation of the system or new system using pre-existing specification (AutoYast).
e. Recovery

The unique feature of YaST is that it has two modes of operation: Text mode and graphics mode. System access.

YaST provides the following features:

a. System access
b. Reasonable Suggestions.
c. Workflows.
d. User interface
e. YaST provides support for various languages and various platforms.

4. The Caldera Open Administration System (COAS) :-

COAS will be incorporated as the main configuration tool in future versions of the OpenLinux distribution. The source code to COAS is released under the GNU General Public License.

5. Integrated Lights Out Manager (ILOM) :-

ILOM is the system management firmware that allow system administrtor to monitor and manage servers and other network equipment remotely. ILOM is accessible directly from mainstream host operating environments including Sun Solaris, Linux and Microsoft Windows.

To setup the ilom you can select Use Defaults from front panel and then add an admin user with – ssh setup@ipaddress
Connect to the ilom with ssh then to start the console – platform console

ILOM includes the following components:

a. Service Processor (SP):- This is the hardware consists of a dedicated processor board that communicates through the system serial port and a dedicated Ethernet port.
b.Command Line Interface (CLI) :- This is a dedicated software application that allows you to operate the ILOM using keyboard commands.
c.WebGUI: – The WebGUI provides a powerful, yet easy-to-use browser interface that allows you to log in to the SP and perform system management, monitoring, and IPMI tasks.
d.Remote Console/Java Client: – The Java Client supports the Remote Console functionality, which allows you to access your servers console remotely. It redirects the keyboard, mouse, and video screen, and can redirect input and output from the local machines CD and diskette drives.

6. KVM

A device that allows Keyboard-Video-Mouse swapping for a series of server consoles, especially in a rack configuration.