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With the advent of virtualization and cloud computing, modern IT management relies more and more on the concept of "create, set up, use and throw away" servers. In this context, the benefits of automating and rationalizing the "set up phase" are obvious. This is where configuration management tools come in to play.
This presentation kicks off with a discussion of some key points of configuration management and their benefits and drawbacks, building on real world examples (well, pseudo examples, mostly too silly to have ever really happened... or maybe not?)
The main contender will then be introduced: CFEngine 3. Released in 2009, this is a brand new version of the open source configuration management solution, built on 17+ years of experience from previous versions of the software. We'll introduce the technology's key points, comparing approaches with similar devops-type tools, such as Puppet and Chef (where possible).
I then cover the basics of setting up a minimal environment to start automating your configuration with CFEngine 3, and simple but illustrative examples.