The talk focuses on a new unified approach to deploying and managing modern versions of FreeBSD across a wide variety of technical and administrative circumstances: different countries, data centers, hardware, access policies, boot methods, networking, support contracts, machine roles, etc.
While avoiding any popular Linux-centric CM systems, such as Puppet, Chef, and CFEngine, we achieve very low complexity by leveraging rc(8), loader(8), glabel(8) and other existing instruments, such as pkgng, to their potential as necessary. The cornerstone is keeping configuration and deployment versioned and unified — same across all cases, with no duplication of common parts and very simple specification of per-role/per-case peculiarities. The approach spans everything from installation and booting to managing third-party and custom site-specific software. The method is being actively developed and applied in production environment of a popular online music service.