This week InfoQ published an article I wrote entitled "Cloud Automation in a Windows World." The article could just as well been given the title "Automation in a Windows World" since there is nothing exclusive to cloud in the article. The article is a survey of automation strategies and tools used for windows provisioning and environment definition and management.
When it comes to compute resource automation, windows has not traditionally been known to be a leader in that space. This article discusses this historical gap and illustrates some of the ways in which it is closing.
I discuss ways in which we automate windows at CenturyLink Cloud and I point to a variety of tools that anyone can use today to assist in windows environment automation, be it a cloud or your grandma's PC. Among other technologies I mention Chef, Powershell DSC, Chocolatey, Boxstarter, Vagrant, and the future of windows containers.
If this all sounds interesting, please give it a read.