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Automating the Cloud: Talking to the Puppet Master

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Automating the Cloud: Talking to the Puppet Master

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In the cloud you can turn on 100s or 1000s of servers at the click of a mouse, but what happens when you want to configure them?  If you do it by hand it will take you months if not longer.  That’s where Puppet comes in, an automation tool that allows you to configure and manage legions of servers.

Back in September, at Venture Beat’s CloudBeat I moderated a session with Stan Hsu of Paypal and Luke Kanies, CEO and Founder of Puppet labs.  During the session Stan talked about how Paypal used Puppet to automate their processes and increase responsiveness to the business.

After the session I grabbed some time with Luke to learn more about Puppet.

As Luke explained,  as we have moved to cloud-scale the need for automation has continued to rise.  With the cloud the rate of change continues to increase and time to value is what you compete on.  As a result, shortening the amount of time between when your developers finish coding and your customers get access to those services is critical.  Anything that lengthens that time is friction and the name of the game is reducing friction and increasing velocity.  As Stan of paypal explained during our session you want to constantly examine your processes for bottle necks and then automate them.

With a tool like Puppet sysadmins can automate processes and move beyond the table stakes of providing a stable and secure environment and become more responsive to the business and ultimately the customer.

Some of the ground Luke covers in the above video:

  • How did Luke get in the automation game and where did the idea for Puppet come from?  How form the start his goal was to make a tool that the vast majority of people could use, not just the gurus.
  • 2:38 How have things changed in the eight and half years since he started Puppet?
  • 4:46 Who are the primary users of Puppet?  Why DevOps is poorly named and why it’s so important for sysadmins and operations.

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…



 

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