The Puppet Enterprise 3.0 orchestration engine provides an important part of the product’s cloud automation capabilities. It allows admins to discover and manage thousands of nodes at once from either the Puppet Enterprise web console, or from the command line. Read on to learn how the orchestration engine works and see a video demo of […]
It was time for the small company I worked for to pick new content tools, and we were in a meeting to hear from the project lead.
She gave a great talk, explaining the benefits and tradeoffs of each tool. Her slides had cat pictures. She was funny and self-deprecating. But the Q&A afterward was tense. The underlying note of each comment was, “I don’t mind change as long as it’s happening to anybody else.”
Afterward, we joked about the meeting.
“It’s hard,” she said. “People like their tools, and you’ve got to tell them they might have to change something, and …”
“Nerd rage,” I finished for her.
“Right. Nerd rage.”
I’ve always liked the phrase “configuration drift.” It sounds like a wind blew through the racks in the data center just so, gently jumbling that one file down in /opt/etc that’s the last place you look when a service goes down.
Realistically, that drift probably came from human error: a junior admin making a novice mistake, or someone solving a problem with a small but critical change. Either way – mysterious cloud creatures, or everyday people – things change on the systems we maintain, and it can take a lot of time to make them right again.
As a sysadmin, you spend a lot of time trying to get everything just right. You shouldn’t have to spend all your time trying to keep everything just right. With just a little automation, you won’t have to.
In virtual data centers both on-premises and in the cloud, lifecycle management is particularly challenging for administrators due to the dynamic nature and volume of nodes that need to be deployed and managed. Puppet Enterprise can ease a lot of these challenges by allowing IT teams to automate the deployment and management of their VMware virtual infrastructure.
At my last job, and before I knew much about Puppet, I had a configuration challenge I solved the way a lot of us have: I wrote a script. I got tired of passing lots of configuration parameters to the script, so I created a YAML file. Over time, that YAML file became a source of truth upon which all my scripts depended.
If you’re using Puppet, you already understand why the scripts had to go. If you’ve heard about Hiera, you might already know that I got to keep the YAML file.