Last week two pretty interesting things happened in cloud land. The first was the release by Opscode of Chef a new open source alternative to Puppet. Both are terrific tools for configuration management setting the bar progressively higher in an area that has been woefully neglected by open source software.

In addition, EngineYard branched out from managing their own infrastructure to providing their deep expertise of Ruby on Rails/Merb in the form of EY Solo for AWS. This is the best practices all bundled up in a cloud instance and available for your immediate use.

More importantly, EngineYard is one of the first consumers and users of Chef showing that it’s already an interesting and viable alternative to Puppet.

Recently, Adam Jacob, Opscode CTO, did a podcast interview (MP3) with John M. Willis, one of my favorite cloud bloggers. You can find the transcript here.

Just to be clear, I don’t have a favorite. Both Chef and Puppet are great tools and I continue to be excited by what looks like a potential renaissance in open source tools for Internet operators and a resurgence in interest in pushing that discipline forward. You can see this even with conferences like Velocity, a new conference focused on Internet operations, that is going into it’s second year.

Congrats to both EngineYard and Chef!