Advanced Computing in the Age of AI|Tuesday, September 29, 2020
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Puppet Labs Rolls App Orchestration Tool 

An application orchestration tool from IT automation specialist Puppet Labs aims to improve the deployment and management of IT infrastructure and distributed applications.

Puppet Labs, Portland, Ore., said Thursday (Oct. 1) its streamlined orchestration process enables the modeling of distributed applications and application stacks as Puppet code as a way to speed deployment of infrastructure and applications. The orchestration tool follows the release this past summer of the latest version of Puppet Labs' enterprise platform.

The orchestration tool is said to include a management stack extending from bare metal up to current distributed applications. The application orchestration tool can use any of the 3,500 Puppet Forge modules, self-contained bundles of code and data, Luke Kanies, founder and CEO of Puppet Labs, noted in a statement announcing the new tool.

The deployment and management of applications is becoming increasingly complex. Puppet Labs said its orchestration tool provides the ability to model as code multiple applications running on multiple nodes. The models also can include dependencies between different services and systems that make up applications or an application stack.

The coding capability also includes modeling relationships between applications and services with underlying infrastructure. Puppet Labs said its modeling approach replaces the current method of explicitly defining a series of actions in deploying applications. Hence, the company claims its orchestration tool represents the "next phase of DevOps" by ensuring "that the right things happen in the right order on the right machines as the application is deployed, updated or destroyed."

Puppet Labs' open source Forge building blocks are used to define application stacks. Puppet Labs' enterprise customers support some of the modules, the company said.

In July, the company announced an update to its flagship Puppet Enterprise platform. The 2015.2 release added a new user interface as well as an interactive node graph for visualizing infrastructure code. The graphing tool is designed to provide DevOps teams with a visual representation of the models defined by their Puppet code.

The company asserted that the ability to visualize models defined by infrastructure code helps multiple DevOps teams identify where the models can be improved to minimize failures while improving change response time.

Puppet Labs reported that a recent survey of DevOps teams found that visualizations showing the current state of development, including the quality of the work, translates into smoother application deployment. The company report is available here.

Puppet Labs said its Application Orchestration will be generally available later this year and will be included as part of its Puppet Enterprise license. Language changes used to model applications will be available as part of Open Source Puppet. Additional open source tooling will be released in subsequent updates, the company added.

Puppet Labs will demonstrate its new application orchestration tool at a company event on Oct. 8.

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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