As a systems integrator, designer & part-time system administrator, some of my capital lies in configuration files I have created and tweaked to get one or the other package of software up and running. Be it OpenLDAP’s slapd.conf for the LDAP directory servers, Exim’s or whatever I named it, or some magic with Apache httpd.conf, these files and any scripts or programs that I developed to tweak something on the fly, are very important to me, as your configuration files are important to you as a system administrator. Quite apart from the fact that all this stuff is of course regularly backed up to off-site tape, what I often need when I’m on the road or sitting in a hotel room, is to look at something I’ve previously done. No problem, you say: take a copy of the files along with you! Sure, but how often & where do I put them safely? When have they changed? How often should I rsync or scp them? This afternoon I put together a pearl of a wee program (in Perl) which is scheduled to run nightly. Given a list of files to check (and commands to run!), it slurps up the files’ content (or the command output), checks an MD5 hash to see if it has been modified, and if so, sends them off via XML-RPC to a service running on a Lotus Domino server, which drops some meta data about the file or command together with their content as attachment into a Lotus Notes database. Here they are neatly cataloged by source host, base-name and modification time. The service on Domino is a custom made C program which uses the Lotus Notes C API to create a new document in an NSF(Notes Storage Facility) database. And then? Well, I simply take a replica of the database along with me! :-)

LDAP, Mail, DomiNotes, Software, and Apache :: 27 Feb 2006 :: e-mail