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5 Unsung Tools of DevOps by Jonathan Thurman

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Chapter 1. 5 Unsung Tools of DevOps

The tools we use play a critical role in how effective we are. In today’s ever-changing world of technology, we tend to focus on the latest and greatest solutions and overlook the simple tools that are available. Constant improvement of tools is an important aspect of the DevOps movement, but improvement doesn’t always warrant replacement.

So here are five tools that I use almost every day. They either provide insight into or control over the environment around me while requiring minimal installation and configuration. They are not the flashiest tools, but they are time tested and just work.

“It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.”

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

RANCID

Configuration management (CM) tools like Puppet and Chef are really useful for keeping your systems in line, but what about your infrastructure? The Really Awesome New Cisco confIg Differ—or RANCID for short—is the first step in tackling this problem. In essence, RANCID is a suite of utilities that enables automatic retention of your configurations in revision control. If you have a physical infrastructure at any level, you should be working to have the same level of control as you do on your servers with your CM solution.

So that sounds good, but what problem does RANCID really solve? The core usage is to create an audit trail of software configurations and hardware information for the devices that glue servers together. The configuration ...

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