The DevOps world is moving quickly these days. As part of the Continous Delivery initiative, I’ve done a lot of work with OpsCode Chef. This provides scripted provisioning and configuration of computers.
I find it extremely useful for experimenting with new utilities and services, as their is likely a cookbook available to configure the software. In combination with Vagrant and Berkshelf, I can now have a machine running in a VM, with the software reasonably configured for testing and evaluation purposes.
No more need to walk through arcane installation and setup instructions, or determine dependencies, and ensure they’re installed.
No more cluttering up your local machine to try out software and hoping it doesn’t interact negatively with software you already have.
If you haven’t looked at it, and like to experiment with tools, I highly recommend taking time to familiarize yourself with the basics of Chef, Vagrant and Berkshelf.
And to show the activitiy in the community, it’s been no more than a month since I last used Vagrant/Berkshelf. I’m now looking at logstash, so I checked out the latest Vagrant and Berkshelf. There is much tighter integration between them now, so it’s even easier to tie them together.