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Puppetry Arts...

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I guess you Atlanta folk will get that one… :)

Howdy all, and a hearty hello.  I’m back from my exile to the land of single shiny glowing buttons and happiness, rainbows, and OSX, and have returned to Atlanta with SysAdmin bells on.  I’ve done a lot over the last couple years (much I cannot talk about), but have developed quite an affinity for the Puppet configuration Management system.  So much so, in fact, that I’ve found a need to start a whole new category right here on the ol' blog to accommodate.

Not in a long time have I liked something “new” that has come along to SysAdmin work… The moniker “Devops” still gives me hives, but I will endeavor to navigate the puppet-y waters without uttering the vile mantra but wading into the wonderful waters of automation and  managed infrastructure.

In short, “Puppet” in and of itself is quite a feat of engineering.  A series of platform tools to enforce a single “blessed” configuration upon your infrastructure in a consistent, premeditated way from a central location, eliminating the need for all manner of scripting and “loop lists” to do individual functions on each system, one at a time.  No no!

Puppet enforces policies you write in a uniform, secure way, rather quickly and scales rather well for most environments.  For the larger environments that cannot be scaled to, Puppet will utilize other “workhorse” industry standard products as modular replacements of various pieces of the Puppet system, to broaden and expand its abilities.

Puppet comes in two flavors, the commercial “Enterprise” system where everything is packaged together and all gets installed and configured at load time in an “automagical” sort of way so you don’t have any need to post-configure, but can just begin writing configurations immediately.

The “Open Source” Puppet has most of the same pieces, although named somewhat differently, and you can build a very solid, full-featured system of your own without the price tag.  All you need is time.  :)

In the coming sections, I will take apart Puppet for those of you wishing to know more, and give a rudimentary survey of all the different things it can do.  Hope you come along!