Installing Enterprise for Production
These instructions describe how to install the latest version of CFEngine Enterprise in a production environment using pre-compiled rpm and deb packages for Ubuntu, Debian, Redhat, CentOS, and SUSE.
CFEngine recommends the following:
During normal operation the CFEngine processes consume about 30 MB of resident memory (RSS) on hosts with the agent only (not acting as Policy Server).
However there might be spikes due to e.g. commands executed from the CFEngine policy so it is generally recommended to have at least 256 MB available memory in order to run the CFEngine agent software.
So that the agent is not affected by full disks it is recommended that
/var/cfengine be on its own partition.
On Unix-like systems, a 500 MB partition for
/var/cfengine should give you
some breathing room, typical user reported sizes are in the 100-250 MB range. On
Windows systems, CFEngine consumes more space because Windows lacks support for
sparse files (which are used opportunistically by lmdb). 5 G of space should
provide some breathing room, typical user reported sizes for
Files\Cfengine are around 1 GB. As always things vary in different environments
it's a good idea to measure consumption in your infrastructure and customize
The agent builds local differential reports for promise outcomes. The
longer the period between collections from the enterprise hub the more
resources are required to calculate these differentials. You can
control the maximum disk space used by diff reports (contexts,
variables, software installed, software patches, lastseen hosts and
promise executions) by adjusting
Verify that the machine’s network connection is working and that port 5308 (used by CFEngine) is open for both incoming and outgoing connections.
If a firewall is active on your operating system, adapt it to it to allow for communication on port 5308 or disable it.
CFEngine bundles all critical dependencies into the package; therefore, additional software is not required.
Requirements for VIOS
CFEngine Enterprise has Virtual I/O Server (VIOS) Recognized status from IBM. This means that CFEngine Enterprise has been technically verified by IBM to be installed in and manage VIOS environments.
During testing, CFEngine Enterprise was seen to use up to 2% of the
VIOS CPU during
cf-agent runs with the default CFEngine policy. The
resource utilization may vary depending on the policy CFEngine is
running. The VIOS should be configured with Shared Processors in
Policy Server Requirements
Please note that the resource requirements below are meant as minimum guidelines and have been obtained with synthetic testing, and it is always better to leave some headroom if intermittent bottlenecks should occur. The key drivers for the vertical scalability of the Policy Servers are 1) the number of agents bootstrapped and 2) the size and complexity of the CFEngine policy.
cfapache and cfpostgres users
The CFEngine Server requires two users: cfapache and cfpostgres. If these users do not exist during installation of the server package, they will be created, so if there are constraints on user creation, please ensure that these users exists prior to installation.
These users are not required nor created by the agent package.
The CFEngine Server is only supported when installed on a dedicated, vanilla OS (i.e. it only has repositories and packages officially supported by the OS vendor). This is because the CFEngine Server uses services, e.g. apache, that are configured for CFEngine and may conflict with other custom application configurations.
One option, especially for smaller installations, is to run the CFEngine Server in a VM. But please consider the performance requirements when doing this.
A modern 64-bit processor with 12 or more cores for handling up to 5000 bootstrapped agents. This number is also linear with respect to the number of bootstrapped agents (so 6 cores would suffice for 2500 agents).
Minimum 3GB memory (can run with less for small testing/lab environments), but not lower than 8MB per bootstrapped agent. This means that, for a server with 5000 hosts, you should have at least 40GB of memory.
Disk sizing and partitioning
So that the agent is not affected by full disks it is recommended that
/var/cfengine be on it's own partition.
It is recommended that
$(sys.workdir)/state/pg is mounted on a
separate disk. This will give PostgreSQL, which can be very disk I/O
intensive, dedicated resources.
Plan for approximately 100MB of disk space per bootstrapped agent. This means that, for a server with 5000 hosts, you should have at least 500 GB available on the database partition.
xfs is strongly recommended as the file system type for the file
system mounted on
$(sys.workdir)/state/pg. ext4 can be used as an
alternative, but ext3 should be avoided.
For 5000 bootstrapped agents, the disk that serves PostgreSQL
$(sys.workdir)/state/pg) should be able to perform at least 1000
IOPS (in 16KiB block size) and 10 MB/s. The disk mounted on
$(sys.workdir) should be able to perform at least 500 IOPS and 0.5
MB/s. SSD is recommended for the disk that serves PostgreSQL
If you do not have separate partitions for
$(sys.workdir)/state/pg, the speed required by the disk serving
$(sys.workdir) adds up (for 5000 bootstrapped agents it would be
1500 IOPS and 10.5 MB/s).
Note Your storage IOPS specification may be given in 4KiB block size, in which case you would need to divide it by 4 to get the corresponding 16KiB theoretical maximum.
For serving policy and collecting reports for up to 5000 bootstrapped agents, plan for at least 30 MB/s (240 MBit) speed on the interface that connects the Policy Server with the agents.
The maximum number of connections is the maximum number of sessions that
cf-serverd will support. The general rule of thumb is that it should be set to
two times the number of clients bootstrapped to the hub. So if you have 100
remote agents bootstrapped to your policy server, 200 would be a good value body
server control maxconnections.
Open file descriptors
Open file descriptors should be set at least two times body server control
appropriate file in
/etc/limits.d/ accordingly for your platform.
For example, if you have 1000 remote agents, body server control maxconnections should be set to 2000, and open file descriptors should be set to at least 4000.
soft nofile 4000 hard nofile 4000
Not sure what your open file limits for
cf-serverd are? Inspect the current
limits with this command:
cat /proc/$(pgrep cf-serverd)/limits
CFEngine Enterprise is provided in two packages; one is for the Policy Server (hub) and the other is for each Host (client).
Log in as root and then follow these steps to install CFEngine Enterprise:
On the designated Policy Server, install the
[RedHat/CentOS/SUSE] # rpm -i <hub package>.rpm [Debian/Ubuntu] # dpkg -i <hub package>.deb
On each Host, install the
[RedHat/CentOS/SUSE] # rpm -i <agent package>.rpm [Debian/Ubuntu] # dpkg -i <agent package>.deb [Solaris] # pkgadd -d <agent package>.pkg all [AIX] # installp -a -d <agent package>.bff cfengine.cfengine-nova [HP-UX] # swinstall -s <full path to agent package>.depot cfengine-nova
Note: Install actions logged to
Run the bootstrap command, first on the policy server and then on each host:
# /var/cfengine/bin/cf-agent --bootstrap <IP address of the Policy Server>
After bootstrapping the hub run the policy to complete the hub configuration.
# /var/cfengine/bin/cf-agent -Kf update.cf; /var/cfengine/bin/cf-agent -K
If you are evaluating CFEngine Enterprise or otherwise using it in an environment with less than 25 agents connecting to a Policy Server, you do not need a license and there is no expiry.
If you are a customer, please send the Policy Server's public key to CFEngine support to obtain a license.
It's best to pack the public key into an archive so that it does not get corrupt in transit.
# tar --create --gzip --directory /var/cfengine --file $(hostname)-ppkeys.tar.gz ppkeys/localhost.pub
CFEngine will send you a
license.dat file. Install the obtained
# cf-key --install-license ./license.dat
When bootstrapping is complete, CFEngine is up and running on your system.
The Mission Portal is immediately accessible. Connect to the Policy Server
through your web browser at http://
<IP address of your Policy Server>.
Learn more about CFEngine by using the following resources: