From Issue #168April 2008
But, if you are concerned with resource consumption, Cfengine is the right choice. A recent report shows that Cfengine is up to 40 times more effective than Puppet (http://www.usenix.org/publications/login/2010-02/pdfs/bjorgeengen.pdf. - Requires login). Follow the discussion on Puppet's group here.
cfEngine is cool, and might have been the first centralized configuration system with such vast reach. However, I must suggest readers also look into Puppet by Reductive Labs. It was covered last year by Linux Journal and continues to have very rapid development and an excellent support community.
I maintain a Puppeted environment, and have had nothing but good experiences with it.
Is your environment large?
The reason Cfengine was the only viable alternative of the two for me was the Ruby overhead.
We don't have the resources to maintain a fully fledged Ruby installation (with web servers) on *every* machine just to have Puppet installed.
Remember that Ruby also requires updates and maintenance.
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