Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Puppet Tool Expands to Manage Docker, AWS 

As the line between datacenter management and DevOps continues to blur, more tools like Puppet and Chef are emerging to help automate management of physical and virtual servers, network infrastructure and cloud deployments. A new generation of provisioning tools is now incorporating features like support for emerging Docker application containers, public cloud infrastructure as well as bare metal servers.

Among the emerging batch of system management and monitoring tools that scale at lower cost is the latest version of Puppet Labs' configuration management tool. Among the new features of Puppet Enterprise 3.8 are modules aimed at easing the provision of Docker containers, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and bare metal servers.

The company, based in Portland, Ore., also stressed that the latest version of its management tool responds to the needs of enterprises adopting DevOps tools as they struggle to deliver services across an expanding array of platforms.

The Puppet upgrade starts with a module for managing a Docker platform and launching Docker application containers via a Puppet-managed infrastructure. The goal is to automate and alleviate configuration issues with the Docker program running the containers, thereby increasing the time available for administrators to instead focus on developing and deploying applications, the company said.

A separate AWS module used to provision, configure and manage the public cloud service supports Elastic Compute Cloud, virtual private cloud, elastic load balancing, auto scaling and other AWS services. The latest release of Puppet Enterprise is also touted as allowing organizations to describe their virtual networks, launch AWS instances and then manage the software within those instances.

The AWS module also allows code review and continuous integration to be applied to the composition of machines and networks running on AWS, Puppet Labs said.

The latest release also includes a bare-metal provisioning tool called Razor that had been in preview. Razor includes automatic discovery of bare-metal hardware, dynamic configuring of operating systems and hypervisors along with workload configuration via policy-based automation. Provisioning covers a range of Linux and Windows operating systems along with VMware's ESXi, according to the company.

The final addition is a code manager app that can be used to define infrastructure in Puppet code. The module then oversees code as it moves from development and testing to production deployment.

Among the other system management and monitoring tools also making their way into datacenters is Chef, which along with Puppet is helping to lead the so-called DevOps movement that is transitioning from hyper-scale datacenters for enterprises.

The latest round of configuration modules being added to Puppet Enterprise comes on top of the more than 1,200 modules in version 3.0 that control servers, applications and databases along with virtual servers and public clouds. Enterprise 3.8 demonstrates that the Puppet community continues to push the number of configuration modules higher to accommodate emerging technologies like Docker containers.

The company said in late March that Puppet Enterprise 3.8, which includes its next-generation Node Manager, Razor and Puppet code manager along with support module for Docker containers, would be generally available in late April. The AWS module is available now on Puppet Forge.

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).

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