Welcome to the Mothership

2 min Read Time

In the summer of 2010, our Ops team was tasked with migrating our production systems from one hosting platform to another and immediately began to take stock of the challenges presented by our tools and processes. At Gilt, we make extensive use of both Cobbler and Puppet for our provisioning and configuration management, respectively.

Configuration management software like Puppet is awesome, but manually configuring nodes and maintaining the relationships between nodes and classes can quickly become overwhelming.

System provisioning software like Cobbler, while similarly awesome, doesn’t really know what to do with servers once the OS is installed.

Neither software package helps you track your hardware inventory, manage users, or monitor the health of your systems.

So, here we are, with a handful of software packages and a team of Systems Engineers with one common goal: take a bunch of boxes filled with computer parts and turn them into fully-configured, usable, monitored production servers. Being UNIX/Linux guys, we figured stitching together stable single-purpose programs was preferable to reinventing the wheel and cramming a bunch of disparate functionality into a single software package.

Enter Mothership.

Mothership is a modular, database-driven server provisioning and management system written in python. We’ve currently got modules for interaction with and management of: Puppet, Cobbler, LDAP, SSH, Zabbix, Zenoss, Citrix Xenserver, Dell’s DRACs, user accounts, and DNS.

Mothership is also open source. For more information, to try out the alpha, or to help develop it, check out: http://mothership.sourceforge.net

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