[Maintain] Importing Host Information

Dawn Keenan dkeenan at uwaterloo.ca
Mon Oct 15 17:20:38 UTC 2007

Fox, Sam P wrote:
> I've read through the FAQ and installation directions but I haven't
> found any mention of a good way to import data from our BIND DNS servers
> into Maintain.  Is there a simple way to do this?  We have far too many
> hosts to enter by hand so I'm curious how other people have automated
> the data entry portion of their initial configuration process.

I got comfortable with the database schema, set up the domain and zones 
by hand, and created scripts to populate the database from BIND zone 
dumps and a file of users and anticipated zones/privilege levels.  After 
testing Maintain (including DNS data file generation, which I locally 
customized to use BIND) with the data from our BIND DNS, I cleared the 
appropriate tables and set up for a live conversion with a scheduled "no 
DNS updates" window. Training staff who had formerly only made DNS 
requests to hostmaster to use the system was handled with a couple of 
one-hour demonstrations.

At UW we wound up using some of the fields in the host table for 
nefarious purposes, the most egregious being turning the warranty_date 
field into a blob where we could put TXT records whose function didn't 
fit any other field.  We keep TXT and HINFO data from leaving our campus 
but make regular use of those field types for information computer 
support staff sometimes need to know (e.g. the physical location of a 
server).  It helped the conversion considerably that at the time we'd 
still been using /24 subnets assigned wholly to specific Faculties or 
departments and had a convention for entering the network address of a 
subnet in the campus DNS.

Dawn Keenan
University of Waterloo, Waterloo ON

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