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Cfengine 3

Intervenant(s) : Nicolas Charles
Date : Mercredi 7 juillet 2010 Horaire : 15h20 Durée : 40 minutes
Lieu : ENSEIRB - Amphi D

Managing numerous heterogeneous server systems is a difficult task : one must patiently works through every detail and acts quickly in case of emergency. Along with the day to day continuous maintenance, this consumes most of the system administrator’s time, leaving little room for innovation, the real human added value.

By using a configuration management software, we can lighten the burden of the repetitive tasks as well as the cost of adapting processes to each different platform.

Cfengine is a cross-platform (Linux, Windows, BSD, Solaris) autonomous agent, written in C with a very small footprint on both memory usage and cpu time. It relies on Mark Burgess’s promise theory, which is a model of voluntary cooperation between agents who publish their intentions in the form of promises, the promise being a declaration of intent.

Its development started in 1993 and has evolved since then. In 2008 Cfengine reached its version 3 boasting a simpler promise syntax and new features and offering solutions for security, provisioning, compliance and monitoring.

The talk will discuss common requirements and pitfalls of administrating a large number of machines from a central tool before presenting Cfengine’s approach to address them through configuration principles, robust and scalable architectures and promise theory. Last but not least, some use cases will help illustrate these needs.

Website :

Speaker :

Nicolas Charles has been a developer in different languages and fields for the past 7 years. In 2009, he cofounded Normation, a software company in Paris. There, he discovered the wonders of system administration and configuration management with Cfengine, that he uses extensively for the compliance project he’s working on. He is an active member of the Cfengine community. When Nicolas doesn’t work on Cfengine, he enjoys dancing salsa.

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