Justin B Rye wrote, "setting things up for automated installs of
thousands of packages on thousands of computers isn't quite a matter
of ticking an "enable configuration management" checkbox."
Agreed. It's easier. APT and openssh-server combined with distributing a public key enables configuration management and much more: system monitoring, backup, diagnostics, networking, GUI and user-management. This system makes a group of computers as manageable as one for the system administrator. It's so good that automated installs give no advantage over manual installs. A script on the the system can be run by the administrator to install, remove, and upgrade anything anywhere. Compared to automated updates on that other OS it is much more reliable. It is also completely configurable. The one negative is that it might have some negative consequences for health in that fat old guys like me rarely have to get out of a comfortable chair.