Belgium 2014 - Proposal

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Configuration Management in a Distributed World

Over the last few years, the general management community has made so much progress on configuration management that we can consider configuration management of individual nodes a solved problem, even when dealing with large numbers of individual nodes. At the same time, we live in a world where individual nodes are no longer the center of attention; instead, we deal with distributed systems running in disposable, often immutable, containers such as Docker containers, cloud instances or virtual machines.

In this talk, we will look at what lessons from the success of configuration management can and should be translated to the world of distributed infrastructure, such as desired state, idempotence, and the tradeoffs between implicit, emergent models and explicit models. We'll have some fun speculating what tools along those lines might look like.

David is a principal engineer at Puppet Labs and the technical lead for Puppet Labs' development of Razor. He was one of the earliest contributors to Puppet, and is the main author of Augeas, a configuration editing tool. Before Puppet Labs he worked at Red Hat on a number of system management tools. Even longer ago, he wrote web applications in TCL, an endeavor he has since mostly recovered from.

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