Identity management for cloud servers (specif: Rackspace cloud): How?

samsmith asked:

We have a growing number of instances on rackspace cloud. A mix of about 2/3 windows (2008 and 2012) and 1/3 linux.

Managing all the logins discretely is a pita.

Is there a straightforward way, even just for the win servers, to centralize login & pw?

Is there a way that can be set up in, say, 30 minutes? (e.g. solutions that take 4-20 hours to set up usually don’t get set up…).

To address the gut response “use active directory!” The answer is:
AD does not work in cloud environments. Consider:
a) You join your server to AD, then clone 3 more of them… AD doesn’t like that.
b) You leave your servers unjoined… and want to make clones, spin them up and auto join to AD … to my knowledge, this is not possible

AD does have the overhead of needing an AD server, but such is life. It appears that linux boxes join AD, so AD is a possible answer for Linux…. but how do you spin up and down instances (win and linux) and make it all just work?

My answer:

Use Active Directory to run a Windows domain for your cloud instances.

Use sysprep to change the SID on your Windows cloud instances and join the domain when you start them for the first time.

Use winbind on your Linux instances to join them to the Windows domain; set a unique hostname for each instance when you start it for the first time and before you join it to the domain.

View the full question and answer on Server Fault.

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