Published on 14 May 2013 by
If you're using virtualization in your data center, you're familiar with the challenges as well as the benefits: VM sprawl, maintaining consistent configuration, provisioning and tearing down VMs at the speed your business demands. Puppet Enterprise is an exceptional tool for dealing with these challenges. Here are 13 reasons that, if you're not already using Puppet Enterprise to manage your VMware virtual environment, you should be.

1. vSphere Integration Developed in Partnership with VMware

Puppet Labs and VMware have worked closely on Puppet Enterprise. That collaboration enables system administrators to automatically and dynamically provision, configure, and manage virtual infrastructure. Similarly, VMware vFabric Application Director customers can leverage more than 1,000 freely downloadable modules on the Puppet Forge, enabling them to automate the installation and configuration of many applications.

2. Reduced Outages

Up to 90 percent of IT service outages are caused by human error. Puppet Enterprise can significantly reduce the likelihood of error by allowing server changes to be thoroughly tested in a virtual environment that completely represents the servers’ current and intended configuration and performance. With more thorough testing, uncertainty about a production deployment is dramatically reduced.

3. Visibility and Control of VMware Environments

Puppet Enterprise and VMware vSphere together minimize downtime risk by not only monitoring VMware virtual machine system state, but also the status of applications running in the VMware virtual environment, giving administrators unchallenged visibility and control.

4. One-Stop Automation and Lifecycle Management for Multiple Operating Systems

Puppet Enterprise reduces operational complexity and TCO by eliminating the need for different operating system–based lifecycle and automation products.

5. Reduce Training Costs

Puppet Enterprise gives administrators the ability to recover a desired business-critical system state without specific training on a given application.

6. Automatically Discover Resources and Start Managing in Minutes

With its intuitive graphical user interface, Puppet Enterprise automatically discovers resources – packages, hosts, groups, and users – allowing system administrators to establish a single source of truth about their systems across both physical and virtual nodes. With this knowledge, Puppet Enterprise enables administrators to quickly make changes that would otherwise take hours.

7. Quickly Deploy Critical Updates With a Single Command

Critical updates, such as patching security vulnerabilities, require fast, coordinated action. Puppet Enterprise’s orchestration capability allows you to query your physical or virtual infrastructure to discover the vulnerable nodes, and then, in a single command, schedule the required updates, without logging into a single machine. When updates are complete, Puppet Enterprise delivers a single, aggregated report of the results.

8. Rapidly Add Virtual and Cloud Workloads, and Maintain Change Management

The ability to rapidly scale to virtual and cloud environments while maintaining change management practices is vital to a growing organization. With Puppet Enterprise’s provisioning capability, teams can quickly create, configure, and manage VMware instances using the same Puppet manifests used in their physical infrastructure, ensuring consistency across these heterogeneous environments.

9. Prevent Virtual Machine Sprawl

Puppet Enterprise can easily deploy and terminate virtual node instances, preventing unmanaged sprawl.

10. Puppet's Vast Community

Using vSphere, vCenter, and vFabric Application Director with Puppet Enterprise, you can leverage the Puppet development community for additional deployment and management solutions.

11. More Streamlined Management

Puppet Enterprise allows for the combined management of servers and endpoints, from Linux servers to Windows machines, physical or virtual, all from a single pane of glass.

12. The Puppet Forge

Access to 1000+ pre-built configuration modules are free on the Puppet Forge. VMware related modules from Puppet Forge can help automate away repetitive tasks associated with the lifecycle management of VMware virtual machine infrastructure.

13. Industry Leadership

InfoWorld's "Top Ten Emerging Enterprise Technologies" says "private cloud orchestration" is #1, and notes Puppet Labs' leadership in this space.

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