Strengths: Cloud integration (automating provisioning and configuration of new instances in one fell swoop).
Uses a complete model of each nodes configuration, both desired and current.
Puppet : Grew out of dissatisfaction with Cfengine.
Centralized model, however if the server is unreachable, node agents will still run, applying the cached configuration.
Because the open source tools available are just too good not to netflix carta regalo dove comprare use.Chef : Has its origins in Ruby-on-Rails world in the cloud.Four Tools, bcfg2 : Came out of Argonne National Lab.(New set of documentation is coming out now, but still weak in examples.) Sharing policies between sites is not easy; group names need to be standardized first.And order can be mandated if order is required.).I will attempt to compare and contrast the 4 tools; however using any robust configuration management tool, with discipline, is better than administering systems manually.Automating system administration addresses all the above and makes new things possible.system administration is a relatively new profession, without a standard curriculum, so practitioners have different philosophies and practices.

Sequence of execution is tightly ordered.
There are over a dozen different CM tools actively used in production.
Each server can easily handle 1000 lies on centralization.
Strengths: Highly multi-platform (it even runs on underwater unmanned vehicles!).Lightweight.
Weakness: Puppet server right now is a potential bottleneck (which is solved by going to multiple servers.) Execution ordering can be non-deterministic.This summer the usenix 2010 conference in Boston hosted the first Configuration Management Summit on automating system administration using open source configuration management tools.Able to continue operating under degraded condition (network down, for example).Largest userbase more companies using it than all the other tools combined!Resilient (each node can run stand-alone if the server disappears).Automation of system administration is a must to handle the deluge; else swarms of sysadmins would be needed to handle all these systems.Lightweight on the node.(But reports will always tell you what succeeded and what failed.Going from organization to organization, it is a challenge for a new sysadmin to learn: how is the system setup, why was it setup that way, how it needs to be setup to keep operating, how to set it up that way again in case.Internet use is growing and new services are appearing e number of servers (both physical and virtual) is becoming uncountable.

The panel session was quite lively.