In terms of the ability to deploy, update, or remove applications based on the class criteria (probably using IP address range - based on what I have read so far about cfengine, FAI, and puppet), it could be considered to be similar to Active Directory in that one single regard. Active Directory offers much more functionality than just maintaining software deployments.
Falko's excellent howto is a great way to deploy vanilla installs, but I want to be able to do more customization and to use the same system to maintain the software versions on all desktops based on their classification after installation. That's really what I am looking for.
I have seen systems that do just this for web servers and rendering farms. Put in a new box, attach it to the network, fire it up, and in less than 20 minutes, they had a production ready server entering service. But in each case, they were only adding web servers or in a separate system adding rendering servers.
I was hoping to expand on this idea to use the technology to manage a network of Linux desktops. A system where I could designate specific desktop software deployments depending on the role of the user/department.
I have a holiday and a couple of books on the subject coming up in the near future. We'll see what I can learn - and if I learn much, what I can share with the rest of the users at this site.
Last edited by maconulaff; 13th June 2009 at 02:53.