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Puppet Enterprise 3 Orchestrates Configuration

By Sean Michael Kerner (Send Email)
Posted June 27, 2013


The days of manually configuring server compute, storage and networking are numbered thanks to the rise of automation tools like Puppet.

This week Puppet Labs accelerated the drive toward full Software-Defined Infrastructure (SDI( with the release of Puppet Enterprise 3.0. The latest release of Puppet Enterprise adds new cloud and network orchestration capabilities that go beyond what had been available in the Puppet Enterprise 2.5 release that debuted in 2012.

Luc Kanies, CEO and founder of Puppet Labs, explained to ServerWatch that he still comes across enterprises where there is an individual that walks around with a clipboard trying to determine what the status is of connected infrastructure.

"Modern infrastructure and especially cloud technology is very dynamic and transient, so it might be that a workload is running today on a machine that simply won't exist tomorrow," Kanies said. "What you need is to have a system that is based on dynamic discovery."

That's where Puppet Enterprise 3.0 can help with a new service that identifies what is running. Going a step further, the new Puppet provides a progressive deployment model as well as infrastructure orchestration. PuppetWith progressive deployment, new configurations can be pushed out to a few machines at a time to help insure that everything is working as it should, while also helping improve overall infrastructure availability.

The orchestration piece in Puppet Enterprise 3.0 leverages the mCollective tool. Puppet Enterprise itself is a collection of multiple tools, including the open source Puppet engine. Kanies explained that Puppet's job is to really understand and manage state.

"The orchestration is built on mCollective, and mCollective's job is to do the command-and-control piece," Kanies said.

Networking

While Puppet has long been used on servers, as part of of a Software-Defined Infrastructure, there is a need to automate the full application-level view of the world, which involves storage and networking.

"Puppet Enterprise 3.0 helps to flatten silos and builds a horizontal abstraction within one tool to manage all the individual pieces," Kanies said.

To that end Puppet has been working with major networking vendors like NetApp, Juniper and Cisco, and drivers to support these company's products can now be found in the PuppetForge. Network and storage devices now simply become just another node in a Puppet network for configuration and orchestration.

"The whole plan is that whatever our customers have, we want to have one abstraction layer to manage their infrastructure," Kanies said.


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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