Less Known Solaris features: Jumpstart Enterprise Toolkit - Part 1: Introduction

As I wrote at several occassions in my tutorials, Solaris was designed with the enterprise customer in mind. It´s quite common, that a company has dozens of servers and you have to put your customized operating system on all of them. A special managment tool, some special admin tools, a certain configuration of the volume manager.
The problem: Let’s assume, you have 50 system, all of them will have a slightly different configuration. This is normal, when you install your systems manually. Humans aren’t machines, and human work introduces variances in every instance of work. While this is nice for furniture or apparel, this can lead to long searches for needles in haystacks. On some occasions i had strange problems with systems: One system worked just fine, another made problems. Both were installed with a cookbook. At the end we’ve used something similar to BART. We´ve compared both system and found slight differences. On the problematic system, the admin made an typo. I was curious and looked after the working system. Even this system wasn’t exactly like demanded by the cookbook. So: How can you prevent the subtle variances between your systems? The most obvious way is the automatisation of the installation. Let do the computer, what a computer can do at best: Repetitive tasks with the same quality over and over again. Jumpstart and Jet have several ways and means to do an automatic installation, thus making the live of the admin much easier after you´ve done the initial setup. And in this tutorial I want to show you that this setup is really easy.