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Infrastructure Thinking

The basic idea of thinking about infrastructures is that it is the entire system which is considered, not just a single user, or a single machine as used to be the case in the pre-networked days.

You naturally end up asking a set of questions about how everything works separately and together:

  1. How well does it work by itself
  2. How well does it work with another one like it
  3. How well does it work with another one not like it
  4. How well does it share authentication with others (ie single sign-on)
  5. How well does it share files between machines
  6. If the least important machine in the network fails, how does the system recover, and how long does it take
  7. If the most important machine in the network fails, how does the system recover, and how long does it take

With each of these questions, there is another which naturally goes along with it. What can we do to make it work better.

The following page http://www.infrastructures.org/bootstrap/ALL.shtml gives a good overview of how to centrally manage networks of thousands of machines.