[CentOS] Spacewalk or Puppet?

nate centos at linuxpowered.net
Fri Nov 6 21:20:19 UTC 2009

Les Mikesell wrote:
> What happens in the real world is that small companies build something
> complex that works, then are acquired by mid-sized companies that are
> contractually obligated to keep their many separate divisions working
> but would like to combine common functionality and the staff maintaining
> things.  A company like MS may be able to rip out all the Suns and just
> hope their replacement design works, but smaller companies can't get
> away with that and the mix of equipment has to co-exist for years - and
> their non-interoperable automation tools become extra arcane things to
> maintain separately.

More of what I meant was those bigger companies can afford to
keep the existing teams in place. Just look at the recent T-mobile
sidekick thing. All of that infrastructure was Sun/Oracle/Linux.

It took MS years to migrate hotmail off of BSD/Sun. Even after
they migrated the front end it took even longer to change out
the back end, but at least with the front end swapped you
couldn't query their servers and see it was running BSD.

My last company was a small company, they bought another smaller
one(1 person shop) for their technology(perl-based) and then spent
the next year re-writing it to be java based. Only to lose interest
in Java along the way and want to run everything in Ruby. Then
they realized their ruby apps were crap and dropped them all and
went back to their core java app..full circle I suppose.

Two companies ago I worked for a pretty stressful mobile e-commerce
startup that was pretty much entirely linux-based. They started
out with windows but then migrated to linux(I came on board after
the migration had started)

A few months after I quit they got bought out by a really big
company(thousands of people billions of $). They were anti linux.
So much so that when my former company decided to drop RHEL in
favor of Oracle linux for lower support costs the lead lawyer at
the parent firm sent a very threatening letter to my company
demanding they turn off all linux systems immediately and that
open source was banned from the organization. The COO of the
parent company had to go explain the situation and they added
an exception. The parent company even entirely re-wired the
corporate network and linux systems were not allowed to be
connected to the main network, despite many people using it
as their primary desktop, they were forced to get secondary
systems for the normal corporate network.  Glad I left when
I did, I sensed a disturbance in the force and got out quick.

I thought that was funny at least. The parent company was so
inefficient at running operations that they began outsourcing
work to my former company which could operate things 5-10x more
efficiently. Though the stress levels remain high there. My
friends that are still there want to leave but have no time
to even prepare a resume let alone look for a new gig(I
remember the feeling..), so those extreme productivity numbers
come at a very high personal cost. I'm still recovering from
stuff I did 4-5 years ago, though it was an awesome learning
experience, probably compressed 5-10 years worth of work/knowledge
in 3.

Today the parent company is embracing linux more and has no plans
to migrate or re-write the app to run on something else, they've
kept the teams in place for the most part, augmenting them
with others from the parent over time.

Maybe I've just been lucky or something.


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