Monday, August 26, 2013

PuppetConf 2013



Thanks to Scott Lowe (@scott_lowe) I was able to attend the PuppetConf 2013 last week.  It was held in the San Francisco’s Fairmont Hotels and Resorts from Aug 22 to Aug 23.  Before the actual conference Puppet Training started on Aug 19 while Aug 21 is the Puppet Developer Day where developers gathered together to work on Puppet modules for areas such as OpenStack, Windows and other areas where Puppet can be used.

Before last week I have heard of Puppet from the vBrownBag webcast and I know it is a configuration tool for servers.  I have downloaded the Puppet training VM (http://info.puppetlabs.com/download-learning-puppet-VM.html), had it started on my VMware Workstation 9 but did not play with it.

Luke Kanies CEO/Founder of Puppet Labs starts the first day keynote followed by speakers from Google and Red Hat.
Sessions were divided into different tracks:

  • DevOps
  • Case Studies
  • Getting Started
  • Products + technologies
  • Continuous Delivery
  • Cloud Automation

DevOps is a relatively new term to describe the process in which application software engineer and IT professionals working together to deliver the application similar to the Agile Software Methodology.  A famous book named “The Phoenix Project” describes DevOps in a novel.  May be one day I will write a book review also.

Automation is an essential part of DevOps. Puppet and Chef are two popular tools for DevOps practitioner to automate the application delivery process. 

In this conference I have learn a lot about Open Source and how we can check out the code via Github and/or Forge. There are other tools like Foreman, Razor for cloud orchestration and provisioning.

I did not learn much about how to write Puppet Scripts and that is something I would pick up later along with skills using Vagrant which is widely being used to provision virtual machine.  Both Vagrant and Puppet is useful for setting up an OpenStack environment.

The most interesting session for me was the “Puppet Enterprise for the network” with Jeremy Schulman as the speaker. He spoke on embedding the Puppet Agent in JUNOS (Juniper’s Operating System) and how it can be used to configure network switch interface attributes such as admin up and down, VLAN membership as well as link aggregation membership.

There is also the netdev - a vendor-neutral network abstraction framework developed by Juniper Networks and contributed freely to the DevOps community.  It can be found in github (https://github.com/Juniper/puppet-netdev-stdlib-junos) to work with any networking device that has a Puppet Agent.

Overall impression of this conference is – eye opening.

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