In a lot of companies, machine deployment is a delicate subject: every administrator has his own recipe, using CD-ROMs, static binary images deployed via the network, peer delegation ...
However, one solution makes the consensus when it comes to automated mass deployments ( except in the Cloud ): PXE boot. The main cons are that the deployment and the management of such a service is a pain, and every OS has its own installation automation system.
This is where Cobbler saves the day: it enables a painless and reliably to create a PXE service, usable on either virtual or physical machines, while beeing the most agnostic possible towards the target OSes and its preconfiguration system (preseed, kickstart, sysprep, ...) while offering the possibility to handle lots of configuration parameters in a modular fashion (network, partitionning, user accounts, configuration management agent...)
This conference aims to introduce the audience to the general concepts of Cobbler, and some scenarios where it would be a useful solution.