Published on 21 February 2017 by

Over the past year, we have been really starting to push the importance of upgrading. Let’s face it – we’ve done some really cool, innovative stuff with Puppet, and we want you to check it out, use it and love it. We’ve got two upgrade options for you.

Long-term support (LTS) release track

Puppet Enterprise 2016.4 has been designated as our long-term supported release, meaning you can expect full support, security updates and bug fixes through October 2018. This version is the best fit if you want continued security updates and full support without having to upgrade Puppet frequently.

Quarterly release track

Puppet Enterprise 2016.5 is part of our standard track of quarterly new releases. This version is the one to pick if you always want to take advantage of the latest new features and capabilities from Puppet as soon as they become available, and if you can commit to upgrading Puppet every quarter in order to remain fully supported.

As we continue to innovate and introduce new versions of Puppet Enterprise, we are committed to making our upgrade processes for older versions as seamless as possible. We want to share why you should upgrade, and provide assistance with the upgrade process.

Why upgrade? Let me count the ways!

Upgrade to reduce costs

At Puppet, each new version is put through a rigorous testing process — plus, we continually receive feedback from our community of users, and use that feedback to refine our software. When you upgrade, you're ensuring you get the latest capabilities, along with continued support and access to security fixes. You save both time and money.

If you are already on a Puppet 4 version, upgrading to the latest version is relatively easy, with minimal incremental work. In the upgrade documentation I’ve included below, you can check the version of Puppet Enterprise you're running and understand what the upgrade process will look like for you.

Upgrade to increase productivity

New capabilities provide efficiencies and improve ease of use to save time and make your team more productive. Over the past year, we’ve delivered performance boosts and improved scalability from top to bottom; provided a gorgeous, completely rewritten web UI; and included powerful new features in the platform.

Stay ahead of your competition

Your competition may have already upgraded. By keeping up to date with your software, and taking advantage of the benefits new technology has to offer, your company stays in the lead.

Encourage your team to be their best

Keep your team on a steady upgrade trajectory so they are always learning new things, and new ways to become more efficient. That supports continuous improvement for your entire business — a huge competitive advantage, as you can see in the State of DevOps report.

Documentation and how-to’s

Our goal is to help you upgrade to either the LTS release or latest quarterly release so you have access to the newest technology, and have full confidence that your Puppet code will continue to work as expected.

A successful upgrade may require steps beyond running the upgrader, so we strongly recommend that you read the appropriate version(s) of Upgrading Puppet Enterprise and Upgrading Puppet Enterprise: Notes and Warnings before getting started.

Upgrading Puppet Enterprise

Upgrading Puppet Enterprise: Notes and Warnings

If you're on Puppet Enterprise 3.x, which hit its end-of-life (EOL) date on 31 December 2016, we’ve created an outline of the upgrade process to get onto the modern Puppet 4-based stack. The jump from the Puppet 3-based stack to 4 is significant. Why is that?

One reason is the enhancements we made to the Puppet language. It got an overhaul for Puppet 4, with a completely rewritten parser, cool new constructs like iterators and lambdas, and an opt-in data type system to make modules that do more for you, with less work. We also improved error messages to reduce the amount of time you spend head-scratching; structured facts to allow you to access inventory data like network interfaces more intuitively; and provided resources that apply in top-down order, so your manifests work the way you expect them to.

Note that there are some additional steps to make sure your code works on the new, improved parser.

Services

Finally, we offer Puppet Upgrade Services to help you upgrade to the most current release and significantly reduce the uncertainty and risk associated with an upgrade. Our services can shorten the time to ramp up your team, reduce the risk of the upgrade itself, and get you there faster.

Stephanie Stouck is the senior services marketing manager at Puppet.

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