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Puppet Configures OpenStack

By Sean Kerner (Send Email)
Posted April 17, 2012


The open source OpenStack cloud platform has emerged to become one of the leading options for cloud.

OpenStack now has the support of IBM, Cisco, Dell, HP and AT&T, among other leading vendors. With all that vendor support, there was a need for better configuration in a manner consistent with the way many enterprises today are already configuring their servers.

That's where a new set of open source modules for the Puppet configuration management system come into play. The new modules enable configuration of OpenStack from within the open source Puppet and the commercial Puppet Enterprise systems.

"Puppet Enterprise already automates the configuration and management of Amazon EC2 and VMware for private clouds," Puppet Labs CEO Luke Kanies told InternetNews.com. "Now we're bringing that to OpenStack."

Specifically, Puppet will now have a set of reusable modules that anyone can use to build and maintain an enterprise-grade production OpenStack infrastructure. Kanies noted that over the last two years OpenStack has gained in popularity and deployment, prompting the need for Puppet to support OpenStack.

The OpenStack support isn't something that Puppet Labs built on its own. The effort involved collaboration with Cisco, Red Hat and Rackspace to deliver the open source modules. Kanies noted that those partners didn't just test the Puppet code — they were direct code contributors to the project.

"What this brings is the cloud scalability, and it codifies all the OpenStack best practices," Kanies said, which helps answer the questions of "what is the best way to deploy OpenStack and what is the best way to run OpenStack in production."

Going a step further, Puppet will additionally assist enterprises in managing OpenStack updates and deployments over time as OpenStack itself changes. OpenStack also recently updated the platform with the Essex release. Currently there is a new major OpenStack platform release every six months.

The OpenStack support in part leverages the Amazon EC2 support the Puppet already had. OpenStack includes compatibility support for Amazon APIs.

"The cloud provisioning piece that lets you turn on new virtual machines is where we were using the Amazon API," Kanies said. "We were able to use a decent amount of the API, so there were still some changes, but we didn't have to start from scratch."

Currently the OpenStack support is the same for both the community and commercial versions of Puppet. Kanies said that in time, Puppet Enterprise will have better support for commercial customers. Puppet Enterprise 2.5 was recently released, providing commercial users with additional management interfaces and support.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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