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2.3. Details of the Standard

The standard is written in 3 sections. Deployment, maintenance and decommission. Generally the deployment and decommission sections are only going to be used once during a hosts life. The maintenance section, however, is written to be cyclical and contains tasks that are to be regularly performed. Most organizations rely on specific services (like email, or calendar). These services all run on hosts. The host lifecycle focuses on keeping a clean and stable environment on which to run the critical services but it does not cover the services themselves. The services lifecycle (not yet written) focuses on proper deployment and preparation of specific services.

2.3.1. Deployment

The first sections of deployment include how to purchase, rack and cable a physical host. It involves verifying the shipping manifest to ensure what was shipped is what you got as well as matching the individual specs of a machine to what was ordered. Admins are then directed to document serial numbers, model numbers, sizes, etc of a host prior to it's actual use. Remotely managed machines can make it difficult to get this information without someone on site.
Once a host is racked and a power on start up test (POST) has completed successfully, the admin is then directed to install an operating system on the host. The standard is aware of virtualized and non-virtualized environments and treats installing a physical machine the same as a virtual one. The pre installation checklist is a quick provides a quick sanity check of what is about to be done. The kickstart section provides the basic steps to actually install the operating system and includes a sample kickstart file. Wherever possible automation is preferred to manual steps.
Once an operating system has been started, the post kickstart checklist has a basic task list to verify the host is ready to be used. Again, focus on automation is important. This standard calls for a very simple kickstart script that then uses puppet for configuration management. Once the installer has verified everything is working they call on a certifier to certify the install is as it should be. This is a quality check in the chain but also ensures that multiple people are involved with the installation process keeping more people in the loop then just letting one person go off and do as they wish.