Puppet is an open source configuration management tool. It is written in Ruby. This software is considered as an alternative to Cfengine configuration management system. I've used Cfengine for:
=> Pushing configurations
=> Applying patches
=> IT management
=> Software management
=> Configuration management etc
Both project reduces complexity and non-portability of shell scripting for Unix / Linux configuration management. From the Linux.com article:
The Puppet project allows you to issue system administration commands to one or more machines, and will smooth over the differences between distributions for you. For example, if you want to install MySQL, that action should be your primary aim, and you shouldn't have to worry about if the machine is running Maemo, Ubuntu, or Fedora.
=> Puppet can ease system administration tasks across the network
Interesting idea that explains how to build awesome secure and portable system using Linux. From the article:
I designed this system with both security and portability in mind. My system uses a Linux kernel and the entire thing, applications, personal data, etc, takes up 1GB of space. It is split up into two parts, the operating system, and my personal data. The operating system is a 700MB live-CD, GRML, that generates a completely fresh install every single time I boot up the computer. Doing this means that if my system is ever hacked into, a simple restart of my computer fixes the problem. This also means that any configuration changes made or private information stored by any application, restarting reverts everything to a clean slate.
The personal data is encrypted using an AES-256 algorithm. The password I type in actually unlocks a special encrypted file which unlocks the real encryption information, meaning that my actual password is never stored in RAM (more specifically, DRAM). To prevent highly sensitive information from being discovered by remote hackers, which this layer of encryption would not protect against, an extra layer of encryption using either GPG or AES-256 provides two layers of encryption for highly sensitive data.
=> My Awesome Secure and Portable System