Puppet Enterprise 2.5 Takes Aim at Infrastructure

by Sean Kerner

The latest release of Puppet goes beyond simple server and application configuration.

In recent years, the open source Puppet configuration management and automation tool has been widely used by an ever-increasing base of users, big and small. The new Puppet Enterprise 2.5 release announced this week takes that base a step further with advanced configuration tools that extend across Linux, Unix and Windows systems.

"The bread of support means our customers can have a single platform to do all their management," Puppet Labs CEO Luke Kanies told InternetNews.com.

Puppet Enterprise 2.5 also includes direct integration with the Puppet Forge of modules to extend the system with additional scripts and capabilities.

Going a step further, the new Puppet release is moving beyond just configuration automation. The Puppet Data Library leverages all the configuration information that Puppet collects to help provide a comprehensive view of an enterprise infrastructure.

"There is a huge amount of data in infrastructure, and we've taken all the parts of Puppet that relate to data and wrapped them up into the Puppet Data Library," Kanies said. "Puppet knows a huge amount about what is going on in your infrastructure because Puppet is doing most of that work."

Puppet has both hardware and software inventory data that is collected in an automated way. The system also provides a configuration graph that has information on all the users, groups and services that are managed as well as the various dependencies across them all.

Kanies noted that if an organization has a security vulnerability and they want to know what will happen if a fix is deploy, the system will have insight into what might happen, as it understands what services rely on which packages.

"The reason why you deploy Puppet is to manage things, but there is all the data resulting from the deployment and we're doing here is enabling enterprises to get more value from the deployment they already have," Kanies said.

That data can then be used for things like compliance reporting and can also be integrated with other monitoring and systems management platforms.

Puppet Enterprise 2.5 is the third commercial release for Puppet. It follows the 2.0 version that was released in September. The Puppet Enterprise 2.5 release is based on the open source 2.7.12 release of Puppet.

The Puppet Data Library is available in the open source version, although Kanies noted that the advanced visualization and analytics are found only in the commercial release.

"We think that the Puppet Enterprise 2.5 release will really help sys admins extend automation into their infrastructure, further and faster," 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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This article was originally published on Friday Mar 30th 2012
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