1) starting w/ the obvious, Sys admin is tough - a) Mission Critical, but often tension w/ pervasive business view of tech ops as cost center b) Responsibilities tend to just accrue without endpoint, especially as customer usage/volume/visibility goes up. Care and feeding of systems uptime, security, and corralling complexity don't go away after a project is installed. c) Increase in variety and scaling pressures become multiplier on workload after a point Plus of course ...the ongoing drudgery of long-term oncall duties that can go on for years and years and years….
2) System automation gets people out of the rinse-lather repeat of performing more and more command-line tasks faster and into the business of leveraging the best-practice intellectual effort: the design of end-to-end self-healing systems . This is where it can become practical art rather than bottle-washing (or de facto rental of people's brains for volumes of minutia, one-offs and hacks)
3) Automation allows us to scale linearly in human effort, exponentially in quantity and quality of systems administration, asset & complexity management
4) Why puppet? Ruby is fun and has one of the most enthusiastic tech communities - a rapidly growing developer and user base to collaborate with. Flexible and extensible language features. Puppet has a compelling case to make in building logical &quot;models&quot; of systems tasks and requirements, as well as a strong security model.
5)....ultimately tools like this that push the practice forward are good for business and good for sys admins. Systems automation lets us administer our system much more reliably, scale much faster, with less financial and human cost. -> The efficiency, and scaling plus complexity management benefit business bottom lines -> It lets system admins perform their jobs better, do more, and with less stress. It pushes systems administration/management forward in a theoretically solid way by revitalizing the intellectual growth/capital; increases the respect the profession/craft compels; and directs human effort towards higher-value work and away from drudgery.
Automate your systems with puppet, and change your life
Automate Systems with Puppet …and Change Your Life! Towards healthier, wealthier, and wiser systems administration practice Slideshare Operations/Julie Tsai 2010 March 13