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Published: Oct 22, 2012
Last Updated: May 22, 2013
Precedents set by cloud providers are now changing expectations within the corporate datacenter. In the cloud, many systems scale automatically, either to provide additional availability or in response to increased demand. Crucial to managing a growing estate, immutable servers, or ‘phoenix servers’, are a sensible approach for enterprises looking at IaaS and PaaS. In contrast, custom-configured ‘snowflake servers’ increase the load on the operations group and encourage a “works on my machine” mentality. Being able to re-provision machines - hard or virtual - from scratch using tools such as Chef or Puppet can drastically reduce the complexity of managing large server farms. Coupled with software that is designed to withstand failure, this will lead to more scalable and reliable systems.