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Hacking NanoBSD for fun and profit - building a manageable hosting platform

Patrick M. Hausen
Author Description:
Patrick has been using, administering and hacking Unix systems for more than 20 years - with his main focus on FreeBSD for the latter half of that period. His main interests revolve around technology below the application layer, e.g. networking, enterprise storage, systems deployment and management ...
Fortunately this fits his current occupation with quite well.
When faced with the growth from a handful of servers running FreeBSD to what might go to a couple of hundred we were seeking a mechanism to reliably update the core OS as well as all installed ports with as little downtime as possible.
Having deployed NanoBSD on a couple of embedded devices in the past I got to like the instantaneous image based update process as well as the ability to always switch back to the last "known to work" version with a simple reboot.
I therefore created - with minor modifications and extensions to the NanoBSD script - a configuration that is tailored to conventional servers with hard disks and the need for immediately persistent storage for customer's application data.
This talk presents the general ideas, the setup in detail and remaining loose ends.
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