A problem I’ve been working on dealing with for a while has been the sad … well … no … terrible state of programmatically configured Linux systems, where the state is determined from a central (set of) source(s) via configuration databases, and NOT by local stateful configuration files. Madness lies in wait for those choosing the latter strategy, especially if you need to make changes.
All sorts of variations on the themes have been used over the last decade or so, with this. Often programmatic things like Chef or puppet, are there to do a push of configuration to a system. This of course breaks terribly with new systems, and the corner cases they bring up.
Other approaches have been to mandate one particular OS and OS version, combined with a standard hardware configuration. Given how hardware is built by large vendors, that word “standard” is … interesting … to say the least.