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Why I Embraced the Power of Pluggability with Idem

Hello, world! My name is Tyler Levy Conde, but you may know me better as Akmod in the world of open-source software. I'm one of the primary maintainers of Idem, an innovative cloud automation tool developed by VMware. With a background that started with a junior Linux systems administrator role, I found myself drawn to the challenges and opportunities presented by cloud computing.

One of the key individuals who guided me on this journey was Thomas Hatch, the inventor of Salt and Idem. During an R&D sprint at SaltStack, I was introduced to Idem by Thomas himself. Initially, we explored various uses for Idem, from serving as a new engine for salt, to being the backbone for grains or the core of salt's package management solutions. However, as we delved deeper into its capabilities, we discovered its true niche: the cloud.

Idem is more than just a cloud automation tool - it's a platform for innovation. Built on the paradigm of Plugin Oriented Programming (POP), Idem offers a level of flexibility and extensibility that sets it apart from other tools in the field. Every component of Idem can be replaced or extended with external plugins, which is its most transformative quality - its pluggability.

The power of pluggability is a game-changer. In traditional cloud automation solutions, changes can take months, even years, to get approved and implemented. With Idem, you don't have to wait. You can maintain and implement the features you need immediately, saving time and enhancing efficiency. But it's about more than just expediency - it's about empowering you, the user, to take control and innovate.

Of course, pluggability doesn't come without challenges. As the maintainer of a distributed application like Idem, managing changes across multiple components can be complex. But the plugin-oriented nature of Idem significantly reduces this overhead. It facilitates independent feature addition through dynamic subsystems, enabling you to implement the features you need without having to navigate a convoluted approval process.

To further fuel innovation, we provide tools like pop-create and pop-create-idem, which let you start building your own idem-cloud extension right from scratch. This means you can not only extend Idem's functionality to suit your specific needs, but also create something entirely new and unique.


As we look to the future, we're excited about the potential to extend Idem's capabilities and reach. While we currently only support AWS, GCP, and Azure, we aim to provide support for every cloud platform out there, including Alibaba Cloud, Digital Ocean, Tencent Cloud, and many more.


Whether you're a cloud automation enthusiast or a seasoned professional, there's a place for you in the Idem revolution. Idem is not just about using a tool—it's about joining a community that's driving innovation and change in cloud automation. I invite you to be part of this journey and look forward to seeing the amazing things you'll create with Idem.



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