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Improved data management capabilities with Puppet Enterprise 2017.1

Today, I’m excited to get our next release, Puppet Enterprise 2017.1, out the door and into your hands. It introduces much-improved data management capabilities that help scale your use of Puppet across teams and environments.

The release of Hiera 5 as part of Puppet Enterprise 2017.1 makes day-to-day usage more efficient and more understandable, as well easier to extend when you need to. For those of you not currently using Hiera as part of your Puppet implementation, it is a widely adopted tool for organizing your org-wide configuration data to help you abstract and simplify the process of describing your infrastructure without repeating yourself. Hiera also eliminates the need for complex computational logic in describing infrastructure, so you can write cleaner, more maintainable Puppet code.

This release of Puppet Enterprise 2017.1 includes greatly improved debugability® of configuration data, which will come in handy for day-to-day troubleshooting. Hiera 5 also adds support for per-environment data hierarchies, which can greatly simplify your hierarchy in a complex environment. In addition, the release greatly simplifies the construction of hierarchy rules, gives you a simpler way to retrieve configuration data from sources external to Puppet, and introduces the ability to write and package Hiera lookup functions as part of your Puppet modules.

With Hiera 5 in Puppet Enterprise 2017.1, it’s easier than ever to separate your configuration data from your configuration code. In large environments, consumers of infrastructure mainly interact with Puppet data (listen on port 8080) rather than Puppet code (managing NGINX). Now you as a Puppet module author can include Hiera hierarchies in your modules (forever removing the need for a params.pp class), while providing a trivial way for users of your modules to overwrite any parameter with their own value.

Finally, Hiera 5 is much more efficient in looking up data, so you should see significant performance improvements. However, that’s not the only part of the stack that’s gotten more efficient. The Puppet orchestrator performs better, and Puppet DB queries are faster, while taking up less memory on the Puppet server.

I’m excited to get this release out the door and available for you today. As always, I look forward to your feedback on what’s working well and what you’d like to see us do differently.

Next steps

Lindsey Smith is a senior product manager at Puppet.

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