Puppet Labs Adds Visualization to IT Automation Experience

Says custom automation scripts must go

Michael Vizard

July 28, 2015

2 Min Read
Puppet Labs Adds Visualization to IT Automation Experience
Among other things, Puppet Enterprise 2015.2 features tighter integration with VMware vSphere (Image: Puppet Labs)

Infrastructure as code is nice, but for many, visualization of that code is even better.

Puppet Labs today rolled out an update to the 2015 release of its IT automation software that sports a new user interface and a tool to help IT organizations visualize infrastructure as code, looking to make the popular open source-based DevOps platform easier to use.

The company has also unified the agent software provided in the open source version of its software with the agent software it previously made available in the commercial version.

Tim Zonca, director of product marketing for Puppet, said by unifying the agent software the company hopes to make the transition from using the open source version of to the commercial release of the IT automation platform a much smoother process for the user.

“Our agent software is now 50 percent smaller and 20 percent lighter,” said Zonca. “We’re trying to make moving to Puppet Enterprise more straight-forward.”

Finally, Puppet Enterprise 2015.2 adds a more robust programming environment along with tighter integration with switches from Cisco, application delivery controllers from Citrix, and VMware’s vSphere hypervisor.

Although Puppet already has over 26,000 customers, the single biggest challenge in getting IT organizations to adopt software that essentially turns infrastructure into programmable code remains inertia, Zonca said. Many IT organizations still rely on custom scripts that don’t scale or are particularly well documented. As a result, when IT administrators that wrote those scripts leave the company, they take that intellectual property with them.

A recent Puppet Labs 2015 State of DevOps Report, produced in partnership with book publisher IT Revolution, finds that organizations that have a more mature approach to managing the DevOps process not only deploy code 30 times more frequently; they also experience 60 percent fewer service disruptions while recovering 168 times faster when there is a service interruption.

To help more IT organizations achieve those numbers, Zonca said, Puppet has added an Interactive Node Graph that dynamically visualizes infrastructure models defined using Puppet code. The end goal is to make it easier to optimize Puppet code and respond to changes faster, ultimately reducing the time it takes to achieve a particular desired infrastructure state. Meanwhile, the new user interface makes it simpler to visualize all that data across larger sets of infrastructure deployments.

Thanks to the rise of application programming interfaces at both the application and infrastructure level data centers are essentially becoming programmable entities. The rate at which IT organizations embrace that notion will naturally vary. But given the complexity of the data center environment and the general lack of talent in critical data center technology areas, the rise of the programmable data center is now all but inevitable.

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