A highly complex and powerful configuration engine. Its purpose is to deploy configuration information to multiple machines from a central point. Toward that end, it allows classification of systems (to allow customization of servers vs. desktops, accounting users vs. shop, etc.). It can be used for such things as maintaining proper permissions, making network changes, fixing file changes, removing unwanted files and more, and of course it automatically documents everything.
This is not something you deploy for the heck of it. Setup and preparation is complicated and may not be worth the effort if you only have a few systems. Larger networks can really benefit from this type of tool. It could also be beneficial when you need to turn management over to less skilled people. That might be particularly useful in a mixed OS environment - yes, cfengine can "do" Windows also.
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More Articles by Tony Lawrence © 2009-11-07 Tony Lawrence
Legend has it that every new technology is first used for something related to sex or pornography. That seems to be the way of humankind. (Tim Berners-Lee)