"If you have more than a handful of servers,
maintaining them by hand becomes a tedious task. Of course, you can
automate this with shell scripts, but this is an ad hoc solution.
Puppet can help you to reach a more consistent way of managing your
servers. All your configuration changes are made in a central
repository and pushed to your various servers, which can be Linux,
BSD or Solaris. There are lot of ready-made Puppet modules to
configure various system components, and everyone can write their
own Puppet modules.
"When you install an operating system on a server, you know more
or less the exact configuration of the system: you have entered it
manually during the installation or you have initialised it with an
automated installation system such as Kickstart (Red Hat) or
Jumpstart (Solaris). But from the moment the server starts running,
the uncertainty about the configuration begins. For instance, let's
say you have tweaked a configuration file without documenting it.
When problems arise later, you decide to reinstall the system, but
you have forgotten about the configuration change and you have to
re-learn it the hard way. The result: you are losing time and
making too many errors.
"The alternative to this trial-and-error method is using a
configuration management system. This way, you enter your
configuration changes in a central repository and push them to your
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