Interacting with a group of servers in real-time with MCollective



Today we have tools like cfengine, puppet, and chef to help automate server deployment, configuration, and maintenance. However, its been difficult to interact with those same servers in real-time. MCollective is a framework which allows you to interact with small to very large clusters of servers in real-time. This session will cover its features, common uses, and extending its functionality.


While configuration management gives us the ability to define and configure a large set of servers easily, its often hard to interact with them in real time. Also consider the fact that many of the current cloud platforms means the locations and IPs of your machines change quite often. MCollective tries to solve these problems and much more by providing a framework to overcome these limits.

You can almost think of MCollective as a command line extension to your configuration management tool. You can create tools that allow you to think of your infrastructure as a whole unit instead of individual servers. It can be used as for reporting, parallel job execution (i.e. reload apache on all servers matching a condition), collective middleware maintenance, and many other tasks.

I’ll cover the following topics in the session:

  • Design and Features
  • Installation
  • Common tasks
  • Advanced use cases
  • Extending functionality

Speaking experience