Ansible is part of a new generation of open source IT automation tools which aim to simplify the automation of tasks like installing software and setting up servers. You can see more about Ansible from its creator in this recent PyCon talk:
Ansible strives to be simple and requires very little support infrastructure or complex setup. Even though the project is only a few years old, it is already one of the largest on github and home to a healthy ecosystem of modules that can automate almost any server task.
I've been investigating Ansible and expect to make heavy use of it as the primary means of automating the setup and maintenance of the device cloud. The primary output of this project will likely be a collection of Ansible playbooks and tasks that help you build and manage your own device cloud.