Administering one server is easy and administering a handful for the same department isn’t overly complex. It’s when you’re administering thousands of servers for dozens of different departments or companies that it becomes extremely difficult. Without teams of dedicated systems administrators working on the servers such a task seems nigh on impossible. Until now.
Puppet, like CFEngine before it, is a configuration tool that allows automation of complex systems without having to manually duplicate the settings to every server. Through a client server model, with modules for most common open source and commercial applications, Puppet allows one systems administrator to manage hundreds or even thousands of systems without losing any sleep.
While most open source tools use plain text, or at worst XML files for configuration, some use databases that are open, like MySQL, and some use proprietary databases that can’t be modified except through the vendors own tools. This leads to fragmentation in configuration methods for applying simple changes to multiple systems, and let’s not open the can of worms that is updating settings in Windows systems.
Puppet was one of the first next generation, cloud ready, configuration automation tools to assist with overcoming the problem of managing multiple applications, across multiple operating systems with grace and style. Through a simple declarative syntax language that is easy to learn and apply anyone can quickly jump into managing servers.
Puppet Labs offers “Jumpstart” packages for rapidly delivering a complete managed infrastructure solution. The package delivers best practice workflows, team workflow solutions and pair programming style handover in order to get your team rapidly developing/deploying configuration management for your Cisco Infrastructure. The delivered solution is also a future proof solution that can be upgraded with future versions of Puppet Enterprise.
The delivered solution will manage Nexus 9000 and 3000 switches with the Puppet Agent. Preinstallation work consists of solely racking the switches and creating infrastructure for the Puppet Master. The solution will be built from there.
The jumpstart can utilise your existing Puppet Enterprise Master or as an optional add on include thedesign and deployment of a new Puppet Enterprise Master.
More detailed network configuration through Puppet of the switch is possible and can be added to the Jumpstart
as a custom scope definition working with you to understand your requirements
Available through Puppet Labs, Cisco, Diaxion
Want to make sure that Patrol is installed on all UNIX/Linux servers to monitor them? No need to learn how to install a package on Solaris, Red Hat Linux, CentOS & that Slackware machine in the corner everyone is too scared to turn off. Just set it to ‘required’ in Puppet and within 15 minutes every machine that ‘requires’ Patrol has installed it. Neat!
Need to update a specific configuration file on 10,000 servers? Put the file somewhere Puppet can access it and update the configuration in Puppet to push it out. By using modules, of which there are thousands, it doesn’t matter if the program you want to configure is managed through a plain text file, an API or a binary application, Puppet can talk the talk with your DevOps team having only one language to learn. With Puppet and our experienced technicians, you could be working smarter today.
Puppet isn’t the only name when it comes to systems automation these days, if you are a Python smart shop you should look at Salt Stack which is Python based, and includes remote command functionality as well, which is very useful. CFEngine is still around, and Chef is often used as well. All are useful tools that can make the life of your sysadmin/devops team easier.
Want to learn how you could be spending more time growing your infrastructure and less troubleshooting? Talk to Diaxion today. Whether you’re looking for server automation systems or consultation on virtualisation, we are the experts to speak to.
Contact us through our website, or call our Sydney office on +61 (0)2 9043 9200, or reach us in Melbourne on +61 (0)3 9036 8900.