Microsoft is starting to get it with Systems Center 2012, but if you haven’t followed Chef, check out this concise perspective by the folks that blazed this trail:
Now, one might *think* that this is a structural fork in the road, and Microsoft is on a different (but similar) road, but this isn”t necessarily so. Check out this presentation on Chef and Azure (if you have an additional 17 minutes after the last one wet your appetite ):
Chef is written with an application framework, Ruby on Rails, that has as its two core philosophies “Convention over Configuration” and “Don’t repeat yourself”. When specifying the infrastructure needed to run applications, 90% of the stuff or more is not really new. So, there is a consistency here.
Personally, I keep up on what is going on with Chef, because I believe it predicts where Microsoft is headed. Now, in 2009 this diverged quite a bit. I have to say, though, that with what I see of Systems Center 2012, the ideas aren’t diverging much at this point. BTW, Chef uses the Apache license, and RoR uses the MIT license. I believe that this means we might see more and more of this, perhaps even as part of Systems Center. In fact, Microsoft is increasingly supporting GNU/Linux platforms, and even iOS as part of Systems Center.
So, to just add much more fun to this, VMWare purchased Cloud Foundry, which is mainly RoR (Cloud Foundry frameworks ). Cloud Foundry? Remember the chair Balmer threw? (Wired article on Cloud Foundry ) Recently a heavy at VMWare moved over to Warner Music group, and the CTO said they are working with Tier 3, who has a .NET fork of tools to utilize Cloud Foundry. (details on Iron Foundry ). So… we get .NET as the framework between cloud as well, besides just at Azure.