published on 8 December 2015

Today, we’re excited to announce the general availability of Puppet Enterprise 2015.3. This is our most significant release to date, marking a new era in management of the software supply chain. As our CEO, Luke Kanies, said in his keynote address at PuppetConf this year, you're going to see us, as a company, evolve over time. We'll continually work to better align the tools we create with your mission: consistent, dependable delivery of value to your customers.

Puppet Application Orchestration helps us — and our customers — achieve that goal, and it’s available today in Puppet Enterprise 2015.3.

Introducing Puppet Application Orchestration

Puppet Application Orchestration allows you express all the components of an application — including the core infrastructure and middleware layers — and manage the application as a single unit. Why does this matter? Because managing distributed applications is complex; there are too many silos and hand-offs, and everyone has a different way of doing things. Just as Puppet helped standardize configuration management across all platforms, we’re now bringing that same consistency, reliability, and repeatability to application deployments. Puppet Application Orchestration enables you to:

  • Easily model distributed application infrastructure. Leveraging an enhanced Puppet DSL, you define application infrastructure based on the desired state, including dependencies between different services and systems.
  • Coordinate ordered deployments. Based on dependencies you've defined, ensure the right configurations happen in the right order at the right time.
  • Manage applications from your workstation with a new orchestration service and command-line interface. Control the state of machines and improve traceability across your environment, from the core infrastructure through the application itself, and do it all from a single interface.

Use It Today

Puppet Application Orchestration relies on the same declarative model-based approach that has made Puppet the most popular way to manage infrastructure. That’s why you can be assured that application orchestration:

  • Works with existing modules. You can get started today and use the modules you’re already using. Or get started by choosing from more than 3,700 modules on the Puppet Forge you can assemble to create models of full application stacks, or underlying services, or application infrastructure.
  • Gives you direct control when enforcing change anywhere. Now when you update core infrastructure (e.g. OpenSSL, NTP, etc.), you can directly kick off Puppet runs as soon as you're ready to push out the changes. Puppet Enterprise ensures ordered deployment, whether you’re deploying changes to just the core infrastructure or across the entire application.
  • Orchestrates any cross-node infrastructure deployments. Not directly managing applications? Don't worry. You can use the orchestrator to deploy any cross-node infrastructure, such as OpenStack components that span nodes, clusters of core infrastructure services like monitoring, an ELK stack, and other distributed services.

So whether you’re ready to model and deploy entire applications, or automate deployments of any cross-node infrastructure, we encourage you to try Puppet Application Orchestration today.

Provisioning Azure and Windows Infrastructure

We've also released our new supported Azure provisioning module. This module lets you provision and manage your Azure infrastructure, including Linux or Windows VMs, cloud services and virtual networks. If you’re running Windows in your data center, we’ve got something else for you, too: We now support the installation of Windows 2008 R2 with Razor, our solution for bare metal provisioning.

Code Management Enhancements

Many of you love Code Manager, but you don’t love having to manually trigger an r10k run to sync new code from your version control system (VCS) to the master. So we introduced a new workflow that's automatically triggered by your VCS when new commits land. It then automatically notifies a service that triggers an r10k run to sync the new code from the VCS to the master. Additionally, the service now:

  • Integrates with github.com, GitHub Enterprise, Stash and GitLab.
  • Runs on any supported master platform.
  • Includes one all-or-nothing permission-gating ability to start a sync.
  • Communicates to services over SSL.
  • Includes an API endpoint for custom integrations (e.g., Jenkins or raw githook).

File Sync Service

If you’re running multiple masters, you’ll be happy to know we’re introducing a new file sync service that will automatically sync Puppet code and related content across large-scale implementations that use multiple Puppet masters. This gives you more control and helps you avoid overwriting code files while agent requests are in progress. It also gives you a built-in VCS history of the Puppet code that you can use in PuppetDB, and provides visibility into the current state of all masters in your cluster.

Token Authentication

One of the big reasons our customers choose Puppet Enterprise is our robust role-based access control (RBAC). As of this release, Puppet Enterprise services accept user credentials to authenticate and adhere to authorization policies set for each user in the RBAC service. Now you can assign authentication to people and see who made a change — and do it all from your workstation without having to log into the master.

Through the CLI tool, administrators are able to:

  • Delegate access to API services via tokens so users can create automations.
  • Remove tokens.
  • View tokens.
  • Create tokens with an expiration date.

With this release, we’re enabling even greater automation, security and agility for our customers. To quote from Luke’s keynote again:

“These efforts and all of your efforts are critical to the success of automation in the enterprise and around the entire industry. You’ve made more impact on adoption of automation in the industry already than anyone else, because you’re at the center. You understand the real complexities. You know that there’s no future with fewer servers, or services that are less complex or less critical. And with this awareness of these complexities, you’re best suited to help turn over the software supply chain, to help make all those individual pieces change, to rewrite how we build software to focus on the customer experience.”

Today, as a community, let’s put the days of artisanal operations behind us, build a better software supply chain, and make the next 10 years even more innovative and fun.

Nathan Rawlins is vice president of product marketing at Puppet Labs.

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