It seems that I'm looking for the all-in-one general purpose full-system installation tool.
I've multiple instances (today: 10x with a tendency to grow) of almost identical computer systems where self-produced and purchased software components must be installed, (re)configured and maintained for the purpose of deployment and development.
Each computer system consists of a standardized set of <10 servers and <20 clients operated driven by a Microsoft Windows Domain. Basic OS and fixed parts installation is done by an RIS.
Full (manual) software installation on a single system takes about 3 days time and means:
- running MSI/install4j installers and (long) installation manual manuals
- partially software needs to be installed on file- and database-servers and on some clients.
- manually altering settings
- running database scripts
- manually fixing known problems
- How to automatically install such a system?
- How to keep the system up to date (when new versions of software components become available)?
- How to switch between two version sets?
- How to maintain system consistency? e.g. software component A relies on component B (e.g. in version 1-5 but not version 6 or higher)