Hullo. This is my first post on the O’Reilly sysadmin blog, and I’m about four months late. I told Mike Loukides I’d start blogging in November, and I’m just now getting around to it. It’s true that I run my own blog, but that’s mostly about the development of Puppet, and here I’ll be focusing more on the state of system administration and how we can maybe do better.
Incidentally, I’m the author of Puppet, a server automation framework. There are a few presentations online about Puppet, but the short summary is that I spent a few years developing and consulting, both on cfengine and on some of my own tools, and finally decided I could not take it any more, and figured I needed to either quit the field or create a tool I really wanted to use.
So, two years ago, Puppet was born, and that’s what I’ve been doing ever since. Puppet is an ambitious project for me, because I’m really hoping to do more than create a decent tool, I want to redefine acceptable best practice in system administration. Cfengine is currently the “state of the art”, but it’s barely changed in 10 years and it’s only got one developer who isn’t even working on it full time. I want to do more than create a tool that’s better than cfengine, I want to prove that sysadmins can use open communities to build great open source tools, and I want to use our community to build a whole new generation of tools, not just one monolithic “does everything” tool.
In the meantime, I’ll do my best to write often. I don’t really know what I’ll be blogging about here; it’ll definitely be part rant on the state of system administration, but I’d also like to help keep people abreast of what I learn and do (for the record, I’m now a full-time developer working on Puppet, and I haven’t been an operational sysadmin (thankfully) in a few years), and I will post on the events I go to and my experience trying to evangelize a better way to do system administration.