Puppet Enterprise 3.2: Extending Automation to More Tasks and More People

We want to make it quick and easy for people to do what they need to do with Puppet Enterprise. So we’ve released version 3.2 with some nice additions that help extend automation to more of your IT process, and to people on your team outside of IT operations, such as application developers and database admins. We’ve also made it easier to become productive quickly, even if you’re new to Puppet Enterprise. (You can start getting more productive right now — download and try it out for free.)

Supported Modules in Puppet Enterprise 3.2

Starting today, we’re providing full support for modules that represent the most common starting points for Puppet Enterprise customers, and that customers depend on for their daily work. Full support means that these modules are:

  • Rigorously tested for use within Puppet Enterprise by Puppet Labs engineers
  • Supported by Puppet Labs via the usual customer support channels
  • Maintained for long term use
  • Compatible with a wide range of platforms and architectures

Packaged with Puppet Enterprise 3.2 are seven critical modules you need to build your infrastructure: stdlib, inifile, apt, firewall, reboot, java_ks and concat. These seven modules have been thoroughly tested, and include significant feature improvements and bug fixes.

Now you can also download five modules from the Puppet Forge that are fully supported so you can become productive immediately:

You can see supported modules, and keep up with them as we add more, on this page of the Puppet Forge. You can also now search explicitly for Puppet Enterprise supported modules on the Forge. Expect ongoing development of supported modules over the lifecycle of Puppet Enterprise, including new features, any needed security patches and bug fixes.

Simpler, Faster Deployment and Upgrade of Puppet Agents

Puppet Enterprise 3.2 has a new capability: simplified agent install. This reduces both the complexity of and time needed to deploy and upgrade PE agents by leveraging native OS packaging systems like yum and apt. How much time will you save deploying and upgrading agents? Several minutes per node. That really adds up when you have thousands, or tens of thousands of nodes.

Tech Preview: Bare Metal Provisioning with Razor

Also new in Puppet Enterprise 3.2: a tech preview of Razor. For Puppet Enterprise customers, this is the chance to get early access to Razor, which automatically discovers hardware and then enacts rules-based bare metal provisioning of Linux nodes and hypervisors. Instead of wandering up and down the aisles of your data center, trying to locate the newly racked and stacked servers you’re supposed to turn into web servers or database servers, you can use Razor to discover, provision and configure them from your desktop. The beautiful part is, you've gone from having a bunch of bare-metal servers to having a group of configured Puppet-managed servers, with no manual effort.

With Razor, the only manual intervention needed to turn a racked server into a fully functional machine is to power it on. The entire provisioning process completes unattended, typically in 15 minutes or less. As we all know, it’s better to spend your time getting things done, rather than getting ready to get things done.

Puppet Enterprise customers can provide feedback on tech preview capabilities by contacting Puppet Labs Support. Also be sure to check out our upstream Razor page on GitHub and let us know how we can make Razor even better.

Extending Automation Beyond Infrastructure Teams

IT infrastructure teams often own root access to their organization’s entire infrastructure, perhaps thousands or tens of thousands of machines. The infrastructure engineers work with application teams, database teams, and web server teams, all of whom have access to a subset of the infrastructure, but don’t have root access to any of it, which rightly limits what they can do with their own particular piece.

Puppet Enterprise now allows other teams that don’t have root access to still automate management of their servers. A database administrator can now get the same benefits from Puppet Enterprise that an infrastructure engineer has, and at the same of level of privilege at which they perform manual tasks.

The ability to run non-root agents is also very useful for organizations that outsource their infrastructure. Now you can let a service provider manage your private cloud, while your teams automate with Puppet Enterprise within the boundaries of the agreement with your provider.

Support for Solaris 11 Agent

When people sign up to use Puppet Enterprise, pretty soon they want to run it on every operating system they have in their infrastructure. And of course, we want you, our customer, to be able to automate all the platforms that matter to you. Now you can automate your Solaris 11 servers with Puppet Enterprise, and we’ll continue to add more platforms in future releases, too.

We hope your experience with Puppet Enterprise 3.2 is pleasurable and rewarding. We’d like your feedback. As you explore, please let us know what you think in the comments section below. Did you know you can download Puppet Enterprise and try it out for free? Well, now you do.

Lindsey Smith, aka turbodog, is the product owner for Puppet Enterprise.

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