Author Interview with Diego Zamboni
What made you write the book?
CFEngine 3 is a powerful tool with ample reference documentation, but I realized that it was lacking in good 'getting started' documents. This is the gap that I intended to fill with this book‚ to guide CFEngine beginners from zero to being proficient in using CFEngine for system maintenance, and to prepare them to further explore the more advanced resources on their own.
Why is your book especially important now?
Infrastructure has grown more and more complex in recent years, yet users expect agility, flexibility, and customizability in how systems behave. CFEngine allows system administrators to stay on top of that game by expressing the desired state of the systems, leaving the low-level details for CFEngine to manage automatically, and making use of the knowledge that CFEngine can provide about the state of the infrastructure. This book makes it easier for sysadmins (both novice and experienced) to get started with CFEngine quickly, and to take advantage of its many powerful features as soon as possible.
What is the single most important thing readers will be able to do after reading your book?
They will be able to set up CFEngine on a network of systems, and use it to manage all the basic system administration tasks needed to keep them running.
What do you think is on the horizon for your readers?
Learning CFEngine is vitally important because infrastructure complexity will only keep growing, and we are well past the point when a sysadmin was able to comprehend the whole infrastructure. Today's infrastructure is dynamic, personalized, and malleable. Users expect changes to take effect immediately, and to be able to affect much of those changes themselves. The next generation of system administrator needs to be an 'Infrastructure Engineer.' He needs to deploy, configure, and maintain complex applications and services across a breadth of servers, clients, clouds, networked devices, tablets, smart-phones, and toasters. She needs tools that empower her to acquire and express knowledge about systems in a scalable, comprehensive and agile way. CFEngine provides this ability.