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I'll soon have 30 boxes being used at one of our workplaces under my control and a few other groups (not as large) in separate locations.

These boxes are behind a router and will occasionally need support/cleaning/fixing (you probably get the idea).

I had planned to set up port forwarding to a single box in every location/group, SSH into that box then SSH into the rest of the computers locally from that box.

I'm 300 miles away from the actual machines and will only be with them physically about once a month at most.

Am I doing the correct thing? What is the best way to handle this securely?

I don't think I will require to remote desktop but any suggestions regarding that would be interesting to hear.

I'm fairly confident with Linux systems, I am not a very confident system administrator but I do often throw myself in the deep end and get to grips with things relatively fast. Any help or advice/tips regarding administration like this would be deeply appreciated.

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closed as not constructive by Journeyman Geek, random Nov 14 '11 at 3:45

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If you only allow external SSH connections on one machine, you will be relying on it being in operation for connection to any other. What will you do if it goes down? – paradroid Nov 3 '11 at 11:30
Very good point, I hadn't thought about that and i'm glad you raised it. I think the solution I have in mind was to use the abilities of a few of the members down in that location to open external access on another machine. If that fails we have several backup boxes so the user encountering issues will have to relocate until errors are fixed. – Anthony Nov 3 '11 at 11:43
up vote 1 down vote accepted

mssh, pssh, or clusterssh may be useful for issuing commands to multiple servers at once.

puppet can be used to standardize deployment and configuration of many hosts.

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