The image above got me thinking a lot about DevOps and automation. Increasingly, as large scale IaaS clouds are deployed, the first hurdle people hit is around automation. When they arrive at this problem, and my guess it’s pretty early in the cycle, they inevitably turn to an automation tool such as Puppet or Chef. These tools allow for automating pretty much anything you want around deployment, configuration, and management. When dealing with hundreds, thousands, and certainly hundreds of thousands of hosts, automation becomes critical. In a lot of ways, scale and automation go hand in hand. The relationship, while symbiotic in nature, works well. Scale begets automation, and more automation increases your scaling.
If you’re new to Puppet and Chef, there are some great presentations on slideshare which will bring you up to speed fast: