N. Desai, R. Bradshaw, J. Hagedorn, C. Lueninghoener, "Directing Change Using Bcfg2,," Preprint ANL/MCS-P1368-0906, August 2006. [pdf]
Configuration management tools have become quite adept at representing target configurations at a point in time. While a point-in-time model helps with system configuration tasks, it cannot represent the complete scope of configuration tasks needed to manage a complex environment over time. In this paper, we introduce a mechanism for representing changes over time in target configurations and show how it alleviates several common administrative problems. We discuss the motivating factors, design, and implementation of this approach in Bcfg2. We also describe how this approach can be applied to other tools.