At the first mention of configuration management (CM), everybody and their dog (and links on their respective blog posts!) will direct you to one of what I take the liberty of calling ‘The CM Triumvariate’: Puppet, Chef and CfEngine 3. But I reckon the interwebs is presenting a skewed view and hides from you some real, useful alternatives.
“Alternatives?! With a gazillion resource types, cloud integration, and promise theory readily available, what else could you you possibly want to manage your thousand server infrastructure with?”
If I may reply with a question, can a developer use any of them, say, to provision a bunch of remote hosts directly from his developer machine without installing any additional software?