Tip of the Trade: Puppet

Monday Jul 30th 2007 by Carla Schroder

Rolling out changes across an entire enterprise is no easy task. Puppet makes it easy to pull the server strings and keep the network secure.

Brian Proffitt

Late last year, the Roundup mentioned that The Open Group had bestowed Mac OS X Leopard the official Unix moniker, and pointed out some (then) current arguments why OS X might indeed be Unix, but perhaps wasn't quite ready for the enterprise.

In the course of the column, some factual errors on my part were made, and in the course of getting the corrections out, I was offered the opportunity to speak with an Apple manager to find out just what the company's plans are for OS X. Curiously, its plans do include the enterprise space, although in a tightly targeted distribution plan.

When I spoke with Eric Zelenka back in December, he laid out the to-date development history of OS X and highlighted where in the marketplace Apple is likely to take Leopard Server in the months to come. You would expect Zelenka, as senior product manager for server and storage Software, to paint a rainbow-esque "the future belongs to Leopard" picture. On the contrary, Apple knows exactly where it wants to sell Leopard Server, and it isn't to every IT shop on the planet.

But first, some background: At the core of Leopard, Zelenka explained, is 64-bit technology specifically tuned to work with multi-core Intel platforms. In fact, he noted, Leopard marks the complete rebuilding of the OS X core to work in a multi-core/multi-processor environment. This capability gives Leopard real oomph in the data center. Not to mention the 32-bit performance of apps that can run right alongside 64-bit applications.

Zelenka pointed to Apple's long history of interoperability as another plus for Leopard users. The development team is committed to open standards as well as open source projects, and Apple's working relationship with other proprietary software vendors supports its interoperability claims.

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