Getting Started With Configuration Management

Sascha Bates (Chef)
Operations, Mission City Ballroom B4
Average rating: ***..
(3.27, 22 ratings)

Configuration management is all the rage. It’s pretty much acknowledged that no web sites of any size can be built without automation and configuration management. Except many web sites have been built precariously by hand with scripts and string and yours might be one. Maybe recently you’ve seen the light and discovered config management tools.

There are questions to be asked prior to starting and a level of self awareness required during the early days that you may not anticipate.

  • What kind of CM infrastructure are you going to implement?
  • What’s the best kind of early use cases to work toward?
  • At what point in the provisioning process do you insert your CM tool?
  • How old is your current provisioning process and how do you adapt the work currently being done by kickstart scripts or by hand to configuration management?
  • What do you do with existing servers that can’t be re-provisioned immediately?
  • How do you translate current applications and OS scripts/configurators into configuration management code?

I have some awesome code snippets of early horrors I perpetuated on our Chef infrastructure as examples of why verbatim moves of scripts into CM is a recipe for endless sadness. I also plan to discuss when it’s ok to start out with bash blocks.

Photo of Sascha Bates

Sascha Bates


DevOps enthusiast, automator of things, I am the owner of Bratty Redhead Consulting, where the sarcasm is always free and the passion sincere. I love helping developers make beautiful things, whether that involves infrastructure automation, JVM tuning and tweaking, deployment pipelines, performance debugging or anything else needed to make things go!


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