Published on 11 May 2017 by

At Puppet, we have always offered technology to bring you deep situational awareness of your infrastructure. With our latest innovation, Puppet Cloud Discovery™, we are, for the first time, bringing situational awareness to cloud environments that aren’t managed by Puppet.

Puppet Cloud Discovery allows you to scan your Amazon Web Services (AWS) EC2 instances and gather information about them. This helps you understand exactly what you have in EC2 (for resources not managed by Puppet) so you can take steps toward managing everything you're running there.

Let's dive for a moment into just what situational awareness is. The commonly accepted definition is along the lines of, the perception of the elements in the environment within a volume of time and space, the comprehension of their meaning and the projection of their status in the near future. From a systems perspective, “perception of the elements” means understanding what you have, as well as the relationships between the things you have, and how various inputs will affect a given situation. Equipped with this knowledge, you can then make more intelligent and informed decisions about how to manage that situation.

In designing Puppet Cloud Discovery, we considered what we've learned from our customers about how information about environments should be presented, and how you can then take that information and use it. So we've made and tested visualizations and query procedures that show you what you have — all your cloud instances, and what's running on them. The goal is to help you quickly understand what you can or should do with them. Yes, we want to give you lots of data, but we want to present it to you in a way that makes it clearly understandable and actionable.

We are well aware that today, IT is not managed solely by IT operations experts. Plenty of developers use IT environments that they're supposed to be managing themselves — for example, EC2 instances. We wanted to make sure that, whether you're an IT operations expert, a developer, or a release engineer, you could gain awareness of the cloud resources you have, and what's running in them, so you can manage them appropriately for the work you're doing and for the business purpose your work serves.

Puppet's technology has always given you this situational awareness — helping you understand what software you have, how it's changed, why it's changed, and who changed it. Now Puppet Cloud Discovery lets you understand the same things for your cloud resources. You're thus equipped to make any needed remediations — and optimally, automate those remediations. (We believe in automation around here.)

This is the start of a journey to making cloud infrastructure easy to manage intelligently, for everyone who uses it. There’s lots of work for us to do. So we're eager to hear what you think; your feedback will help us build the next iterations of Puppet Cloud Discovery.

To partner with us on this journey to creating greater agility for you in the cloud, please sign up for one of the limited number of spots available for the preview.

Alanna Brown is a senior product marketing manager at Puppet. J.D. Welch is a principal user experience architect at Puppet.

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