The Laboratory for Computer Science is a research group located in the Centre for Information Technology of University of West Bohemia in Pilsen, Czech Republic. There are a number of linux servers, desktops and public stations. We administrate all base IT systems such as OpenAFS, Kerberos, mail, network, databases and aplications servers, etc.
In 2002, we searched system for automatic installation linux servers and public stations. We found FAI and testing it for our IT infrastructure. In the middle of this year we used FAI for installing of first production server.
We have to resolve several problems such as installing MS Windows to dual boot stations, store FAI space to AFS, sending logs to administrators, supporting a software raids, generating a documentation about installation, making NFS gateway to AFS or booting installation from PEREX network card (later we used PXE). All of these problems we resolved successfully. Now we are working on resolving installation to XEN virtual servers and preparing configuration for AMD64 platform.
We using three servers for installing difficult servers on difficult hardware. First server is NFS root and running on XEN, second server supporting NFS-AFS gateway to own debian mirror and third server is for testing. This infrastructure supported installation for 100 servers (20 are virtual servers) and 230 desktops in public school rooms with dual booting.
The FAI is very robust solution for middle organization. It is fully configurable, has healthy development and is easy to maintain.