Published on 18 April 2019 by

As IT organizations adopt Puppet automation across their infrastructure, one challenge I hear often is the difficulty to understand the impact a Puppet code change will have. While features like “no operation” (or noop) in Puppet help understand what might change on one or more nodes, you still need to know which nodes to run Puppet on, even in noop mode.

Imagine if every new pull request for a proposed Puppet change could tell you which nodes would be affected, and even which configurations would change. With this detail, you could better assess the potential impact of the new proposed code. You could quickly push through changes that only affect the infrastructure of the team that proposed the change and apply more scrutiny to changes with more broad affects.

That sounds amazing, right? Well guess what? That’s precisely what Impact Analysis in Continuous Delivery for Puppet Enterprise does.

Introducing Impact Analysis

Impact Analysis will determine which nodes will potentially be affected by a change to your Puppetfile and Puppet manifests. It will then determine the changes to the desired state that will occur on those nodes. Continuous Delivery for Puppet Enterprise will generate a report and even provide a link to the report directly from the pull request.

Now a team can propose a change to the Puppetfile or a role, for example, and you can have a sense of what the impact of that change will be before you even merge it. Having this knowledge beforehand is immensely powerful.

A bright future ahead

Here's a look at the ability to see impact of a potential change and report on it.

What gets us excited is to think of Impact Analysis’ future potential. As we continue to progress and improve the feature, Continuous Delivery for Puppet Enterprise will expand Impact Analysis to cover more than just Puppet code, such as Hiera data. The goal: a ops world where we run Puppet on only the nodes that will be affected by the change or changes that require approval if their scope is too large.

Learn more and try it yourself

We hope you’re as excited about Impact Analysis as we are. Check out our free 30 day trial of Continuous Delivery for Puppet Enterprise and see first hand how Impact Analysis can impact on your team. Here are some useful resources:

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