Configuration management tools are awesome. Using them, you are now managing loads of servers, reaching the pub on time and you can focus on really fun stuff. A counterpart is that they almost work in your back : changes are propagated quickly, and even if you store your cookbooks/modules in a VCS, even if you review them, you still want to know what really happens on your servers. Puppet has a really nice automatic summary part to do that job, and some people are doing cool things with it. Chef also has summary of updated resources but they don’t get back to a master like puppet do. So I wrote a little report handler to push back data to wherever you want to. It is based on the stomp protocol, to be non blocking and easily scale if you have a large number of machine. With this you just need to have a consumer that will process data to your favorite datastore.
I’ve put that on my github chef repo, check the readme for the extensive file list & function.