I am working on the configuration management problem and have been toying with getting bcfg2 working on ESX 3.5. My goal is to have an isolated install that does not require modifying the existing system files or upgrading any packages. My approach to doing this is to create a local Python 2.5 install and install the bcfg2 packages there.
This is just a start, but I thought I would put it out there for anyone who wants to work on something similar.
Installing bcfg2 on ESX 3.5 v 0.00001